Cashing in when it’s free, here’s game three
For Stanley Cup Final ticket prices, one can’t help but be grateful for some extra hockey. And boy, have those Devils fans gotten a taste.
One for the money, and two for the show.
Call it flow; some of that road flow. Call it 10 and oh.
The Kings are heading back to Staples Center in the same fashion they’ve done in the previous three series’ this postseason: Holding a 2-0 lead, and on a majestic road that seems to be just their own. The winning continues, the Kings upping their record on the road to 10-0 this postseason. That’s unfathomably filthy, and it owns NHL record books.
Things have been done a bit differently this time around, the Kings being the ones to queue opposing buildings to close house, rather than the 3rd period horn. It’s been in overtime, and they’re inching toward glory in an aspect of the game that they’ve allowed to absolutely kill them in seasons’ past.
The Kings were 0-3 in playoff OT contests in their first-round exit against the San Jose Sharks last season. Extra hockey also haunted the Kings in their only other Stanley Cup Finals appearance in 1993, also going 0-3 in OT contests against the Montreal Canadians.
They’re 2-0 in this series alone, 4-0 throughout the postseason. And when they’re not winning Stanley Cup Finals games in walk-off fashion, they’ve been doing so to clinch. The Kings sealed the fate of both the Vancouver Canucks and Phoenix Coyotes in the OT frame.
Many say it’s luck, which is a huge factor.
But, when you play consistently close hockey like the Kings had done all season long, with Jonathan Quick in your rear-view, you are a dangerous threat. The Kings are just that.
Their consistent struggles throughout the regular season have been a golden blessing in disguise.
They’re made for this.
Watch it happen
There’s been no hesitation from the Kings when it comes to the next, and final goal of the game. They’ve outshot New Jersey 15-6 in OT so far, and have ended both instances on their own terms. It’s all about being comfortable in that situation, and the Kings couldn’t be better built for the OT limelight.
Shot-totals in OT don’t necessarily mean a more explosive offense, but a better overall feel of yourselves as a club – which is a strength the Kings have. While playing a conservative-type defense in OT, they’re sure enough to take risks up the ice, but in smart form, always with players back. It’s about lulling the opposition to sleep, and pouncing on open lanes.
In fact, shots are what is most important come OT, and they don’t have to be good. Just after a sequence that saw Dustin Penner surrender an opportunity by holding onto the puck too long, Jeff Carter does exactly what you want a player to do in that situation – throw the puck on net. Carter did so for a chance and a rebound. A rebound he got, and made that bounce count with his next shot.
Looking at it
Slinky eyes: Many were amazed at the fact Jeff Carter scored the Game 2 OT goal without actually looking at the net. This is the knack of a goal scorer, this is something extremely good to see from Carter. In fact, catching Martin Brodeur off-guard without giving away the eyes may have been the only way the Kings score again in Game 2.
Carter, who had possession for a while, had a very good feel for his positioning and where the net was. Carter was controlling the movement of the defense, Martin Brodeur included, after picking up his own rebound. Carter knew this, and he shot against the grain (a la Wayne Gretzky), with no clue to foreshadow the decision.
They call that ‘seeing with the puck’s eyes’.
Trigger pulled – New Jersey’s hopes nulled.
Today, we’re all Kings