The Kings and the Blackhawks flashed back to the great overtime duels we knew and loved in the 2013 and 2014 Western Conference Finals. Each of those series ended in series ending overtime wins for each squad. follow by each raising a Stanley Cup in the Finals. The nearly five minutes of thrilling overtime hockey saw glimpses of a brighter future for both teams.
But as soon as Doughty’s shot ricocheted through to the back of the net the clock struck twelve and the Kings turned back into pumpkins as they played spoilers to the Blackhawks ever-dwindling playoff hopes.
Los Angeles swept the three-game season series (3-0-0) against Chicago.
Coach’s Corner: What Willie Desjardins Did Wrong Tonight
Wins are great...when they matter. They don’t matter now. I see you’ve justified benching Ilya Kovalchuk now by shifting your double talk from “we have to play the young guys” to “You look at results, you find ways to win...That’s kind of what we look at.” You are full of it. All that matters right now is letting all of the kids in the line up. Tonight was a great example. Austin Wagner scores the tying goal and then we barely see him for an entire period. You want guys to “earn their playing time” but even when they do they hardly play. Seven minutes, six seconds of TOI for the Cheetah? Are you kidding me? Try giving him 14 minutes and maybe you’ll get your precious meaningless games victories without going to overtime. So, in case that clipboard of yours doesn’t give you the game notes here were the TOI numbers—Kurtis MacDermid 12:10, Michael Amadio 7:48, Jonny Brodzinski 7:26, and Austin Wagner 7:06. Meanwhile Willie D. continues to grind the gears of the veterans—Drew Doughty 28:52, Anze Kopitar 23:31, and Dustin Brown 23:06.
My final words to you in this Coach’s Corner revolve around one simple plea: don’t screw up the future in these final four games. You were here for the Tankapolooza. Be the Tank Commander we know you are and get us the best chance to draft Jack Hughes or Kaapo Kakko in June.
The Game 78 Highlights
(if you want Hawks stuff, go to their recap)
Big Hitter Kurtis MacDermid:
Hawks 1. Kings 1.
Austin Wagner ties it up...just imagine if he earned more than 7:06 of TOI!
Hawks 2. Kings 2.
Michael Amadio sends it to overtime...just imagine if he played more than 7:48!
Kings 3. Hawks 2.
Next: The Kings host the Calgary Flames on Monday at Staples Center.
“I thought all night it was kind of like we were battling. They had a lot of transition in the game, kind of had us on our heels. I think that’s your leadership in your room where it doesn’t matter where things are going, you’re always looking at the next shift, you’re always looking at finding a way, and it was good. We got a couple goals from young guys tonight, which was huge. It’s nice to see the young players coming in and contributing, and then it was great – we had the overtime power play last game and didn’t capitalize. We made a few adjustments and it was great to get one tonight.”
"Why would we even give breath to that rivalry? Kings-Ducks, that's a rivalry. San Jose-LA, that's a rivalry. Vegas... they're still babies."— LA Kings (@LAKings) March 31, 2019
- @isaiahmustafa #GoKingsGo | @_Attendee pic.twitter.com/kXqzLqSuC9
Games Until the Kings are Eligible for a New Head Coach: 4
Games Since Ilya Kovalchuk was Exiled: 6
Games Since Tyler Toffoli Scored Against an NHL Goaltender: 23