Call it a ‘Dwight-out’
Those Phoenix fans wear white at home for the playoffs.
It must be an effort to add some sort of kick to the building’s atmosphere or something I guess. That’s cute.
Meanwhile, their team got worn out, just got outright beat in every facet of the game by the Kings in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals Sunday night. The Kings showed no signs of letting their 7-day hiatus slow them down. In fact, they came out playing absolutely out of their minds.
Dwight King‘s got the name, don’t call it fame. Give him a sharpie to sign that “whiteout”.
Can’t stop, won’t stop.
Temperatures exceeded 100 degrees in Glendale, but Kopi’s getting nippy
- Game 1 Looks -
They’ve started this third-round tilt on a tear, peppering Mike Smith with a whopping 48 shots, beating him genuinely three times, with many more chances that hinged on a bounce or a break.
The Kings are now 6-0 on the road in the postseason, they’re 9-1 in total, and have just momentarily stolen home-ice from the Western Conference‘s 3rd-seed club. This, after dropping both the #1 and #2 seeds in utterly stunning fashion.
Two big names for the Kings came through again on Sunday, Anze Kopitar starting the Kings’ scoring, potting a back-hand upstairs, while Dustin Brown tallied the game-winning goal on a beautifully-placed shot that handcuffed Mike Smith.
And then there’s Dwight King, who’s become a staple on the Kings’ second line after spending the majority of the season with the Manchester Monarchs of the AHL. King has shown it in all aspects since his late season call-up. He’s been a menace in all three zones, and has the speed and scoring touch you don’t see too often from guys his size.
He continues his impressive trend by potting two goals Sunday night – beautifully reading a 2-on-1 with Mike Richards to notch the Kings second goal, then sealing the deal with an empty-netter. You talk about a huge late-season addition, you talk Dwight King – very much so for his Rookie counterpart Jordan Nolan. The Granite State’s been great.
Jonathan Quick played very well once again, but didn’t see too much action from the Phoenix offense. Quick stopped 25 of 27 Coyotes’ shots to seal his 9th postseason win. The big story may be his flub on Derek Morris‘ goal from center ice, but if there’s any goalie due for a slip-up, it’s Quick. The factor here, neither Quick or the Kings faltered or surrendered momentum after the lapse.
Hold up now
- Game 2 Looks -
Head Balance: I’ve said it time and time again, and every time the Kings have proven themselves stable enough to feed off of early-series accomplishments. A Game 1 victory gets you nothing but just that, a win. You can only expect the Phoenix Coyotes to come out stronger Tuesday night, and they’re built to do that without surprise.
They’re going to make adjustments, which is something teams have failed at doing so far against the Kings this postseason. You’ve got to remember the goalie which they’re playing against, Mike Smith, and their well-known stingy defense. For the Kings to beat Phoenix’s attempt at making successful adjustments to their game, the Kings should make no adjustments.
You don’t change the way you’re playing right now, because it’s absolute gold.
Not to mention, the Coyotes are well-aware of how the Kings managed their two series’ with the Vancouver Canucks and St. Louis Blues, they’ve seen it. The goal here is to not allow them to change the pace the Kings are, and have been riding.
– The Kings have let opponents score two consecutive goals just once during the entire postseason, that being in their only playoff loss – Game 4 of their first-round mosey with the Vancouver Canucks. Responding to goals doesn’t just keep you at pace, it shuts down the opposition. That was huge Sunday night with Phoenix’s two tying tallies, and it will surely be a major factor again Tuesday.
– The powerplay has looked good, but hasn’t put up numbers. Man-advantage scoring is a huge bonus when we’re talking this matchup, the Kings need to spark it. You can’t look for too much, though. The Kings shut down Phoenix’s powerplay last night, and have allowed only three man-advantage goals in the playoffs. The Kings have scored more times on the penalty kill (4 shorthanded goals) than they have allowed (3).
– A quick start is so valuable, a la seen in the Kings’ 1st period frenzy Sunday night – outshooting Phoenix 17-4. Strong starts can certainly set the tone, and that’s been the Kings’ tune for the most part. Don’t give Phoenix any room early.
– The Kings topped their game-high total for shots on Sunday, this includes the regular season. With 48 shots, that climbs above their previous total of 44 against the Minnesota Wild in December. That’s a good sign, because if you’re going to beat Mike Smith, you need a heavy gauge of shots.
Get this guy one ‘o them free t-shirts