On cusp of the Cup
It’ll be the franchise’s 45th birthday Wednesday, and Game 4 is joining the celebration.
Tell me the stars aren’t aligned.
With an offensive outburst leading them to another win Monday night, the Kings are just one victory away from the Stanley Cup, just one win from the greatest glory to grace this franchise, something that would be quite a gift for that birth-date recognition.
The Kings keyed on the powerplay in Game 3, and exemplified perfection in doing so. They executed on both man-advantage opportunities, Jeff Carter and Justin Williams potting third-period powerplay markers to push the Devils to the brink, making them look just about as hopeless as every other opponent the Kings have seen this postseason.
Then there’s Jonathan Quick, again. Quick posted his third shutout of the postseason in stopping all 22 Devils shots. That’s just been another taste, Quick has stymied New Jersey all series long, turning away 70 of New Jersey’s 72 total shots.
The Kings see themselves in the same Game 4 situation they’ve looked at in each previous series this postseason; on home-ice, with a 3-0 series lead. This position, albeit any team or fan’s dream, has been the least successful for the Kings. They’ve gone 1-2 in these situations, including their only two losses of the entire playoff campaign.
But it’s just about one more win.
If the Kings don’t have absolute commanding control over New Jersey with their 3-0 series lead alone, the inside numbers certainly give their edge and dominance extreme validity. The Kings have now stopped all 12 Devils power-play opportunities, while simultaneously making Ilya Kovalchuk non-existent.
The scoring is coming from all assets, three tallies from the top-two lines and another from defenseman Alec Martinez – who has subtly been outstanding all postseason long, especially last night with his late instinct to jump in on offensive rushes.
Is it worth talking Jonathan Quick? You already know.
He’s been getting even more help as of late, because lately, sometimes the shots just aren’t getting to him. Matt Greene and Rob Scuderi combined for seven blocked shots, the defense as a whole got in the way of 12. To add to Alec Martinez‘ goal, Drew Doughty and Willie Mitchell chipped in with assists.
It’s simply coming from all cylinders, and you don’t stop that.
Party at Marty’s
Tough ending?: Martin Brodeur doesn’t have to play perfect just once, he has to do it four straight times. For the slew of pressure he’s been facing, and for the utter rampage this Kings team is on – with Jonathan Quick at the other end, you’ve got to come to terms with something. Even the greatest players run into a machine they just can’t handle. It’s not his fault.
Killing Jersey: Of the Kings’ six successful penalty kills Monday night, most notable was their stunting of New Jersey’s 5-on-3 opportunity in the first period. That is one of the best ways to feed into a momentum swing in this game, because it comes in one of the most difficult, inglorious fashions. If the Devils can’t solve Jonathan Quick and the Kings’ defense in that situation, in the early stages of a game they need to win, when can they?
Finish ‘em: I’m not sure what else to say, I’m not really sure why I said any of the aforementioned. This Kings club hasn’t just stunned us, but the world. It’s beyond comprehension, it’s bigger than a majority of sports history, and it’s absolutely beautiful.
They’re at home Wednesday night, Staples Center will be holding the Stanley Cup trophy in it’s bowels, and it’s one more win for the taking. But oh, is it all so much more than that.
The season’s seen tough times
There’s Davis Drewiske
John Stevens times
Hold up – -
Tick, tack, paddywhack
Been in it since ’06, owns it six years later