Second chances are now unavailable.
You’re going to simply sink aside with the rest if you can’t overcome new challenges. To the world, you become just another team. It’s that quick, it’s that easy, it’s that painful.
The Kings have stymied their way through obstacles they hadn’t had to endure during their phenomenal Stanley Cup Championship run last year. They’ll be playing their 13th NHL postseason game Tuesday evening. Staples Center will be the setting.
Up until now, it’s been about Darryl Sutter and his roster being able to continually adapt against the opposition with clear and precise control. For the first time as Kings’ head coach, Darryl Sutter and his bench have failed to take complete, and absolute control of a playoff series.
They raised the Stanley Cup in an astoundingly short 20-game span last year. The Kings lost just four times during last postseason’s run. They’ve lost five this time around, and we’re still in the second round.
Since the magical night of June 11th, 2012, this franchise has glistened as the NHL‘s premier club, channeling airwaves and news feeds across North America, whilst giving a boost to hockey’s popularity and it’s playing population in Southern California and across the West Coast like the region hasn’t seen since Wayne Gretzky‘s arrival in 1988.
24 Years Ahead
Great Escape: The Kings last hosted a Game 7 contest at home in Los Angeles in April of 1989, during Wayne Gretzky‘s first season in Los Angeles. The Kings were playing at the Great Western Forum in Inglewood at the time, and won that Game 7 contest against the Edmonton Oilers in the Smythe Division Semifinals with a convincing 6-3 win.
Tuesday night, Staples Center will host it’s first ever Game 7 NHL contest in the building’s 14-season existence.
The Kings as a franchise, their first in 24 years.
Straight-Laced: As tumultuous, as back-and-forth this series against the San Jose Sharks has been, the six games played have actually donned light on a few trends the Kings must adhere to in order to come out triumphant Tuesday night.
The Kings undoubtedly have the upper hand on Tuesday night’s contest in one major, widely talked about facet – which is home ice. The deciding contest of this Western Conference Semifinals series will be played in Downtown Los Angeles at Staples Center.
All six games of this series thus far have been won by the home team.
It’s an attractive trend to behold, but you’d be obnoxious to lean on it.
The Kings have surrendered powerplay goals to the San Jose Sharks in three games during this series. In all three of those contests, the Kings have lost – feeding every single one of San Jose’s victories in this series with their own, and at times undisciplined doings.
When the Sharks have executed on the powerplay, it’s been huge for them. Their first man-advantage tally, in Game 3, tied the contest late, leading to San Jose’s OT win. Their second and third powerplay goals came early in Games 4 and 6, where they were able to uphold their quick success and churn out a win.
It’s about being disciplined.
It’s about staying out of the box. And hell, if someone goes there, the upcoming 2:00 minutes better be the hardest you’ve played all season.
The Kings scored as many goals in last Sunday evening’s Game 5 dance at Staples Center as they have in all three games at San Jose’s HP Pavilion during the series. And when they’ve been at HP Pavilion, the Kings lose, and they don’t score.
However, they didn’t get embarrassed. Far from it actually. All three Kings’ losses in this series happened at HP Pavilion, and they’ve all come by way of a 2-1 score in the Sharks’ favor.
Scoring seems to be the issue here.
The Kings have failed to bury more than a single goal per contest in each of their three losses during this series against the San Jose Sharks.
The games they’ve won have held a different story, however, which have all been at Staples Center. In the Kings’ three wins against San Jose, all in Downtown Los Angeles, they’ve outsored the San Jose Sharks by a goal total of 9-3, shutting them out in two of those dances via the magic of Jonathan Quick.
Add it Up
Keep San Jose’s powerplay out of the picture.
Score first. The Sharks can’t seem to overcome.
Faceoffs. The Kings absolutely have to draw even on Tuesday night, at worst.
If the Kings can score more than one goal in 60 minutes, which in doing so could’ve put this series to sleep last week while now awaiting the Chicago Blackhawks or Detroit Red Wings, they can win Tuesday night.
If Jonathan Quick shows up.
If things go as they should.
If there’s enough reason
Or if One isn’t Enough
The last time the Kings were withheld from any type of NHL play was on the night of April 25, 2011 at Staples Center, when the San Jose Sharks‘ Joe Thornton snagged life from this roster with an OT goal in Game 6 of the 2011 Western Conference Quarterfinals.
This one has all the looks you’d want for a Game 7 matchup.
I’ll say one more thing:
If you translated this into the outcome of tomorrow night’s game. Sh*t, you mine as well just cancel the thing. Mail it in.
Get on the Buss
Success has been in the works for a long time.
Don’t let it slip away.
Puck drops for Game 7 of the Western Conference Semifinals in Downtown Los Angeles at Staples Center against the San Jose Sharks at 6:00PM PST.
Episode 199 KingsCast TV: LAK-SJS Game 5 WCSF RECAP – HERE
Episode 198 KingsCast TV: LAK-SJS Game 3&4 WCSF RECAP – HERE
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