Kukla's Korner Hockey
The NHL camera followed Teemu Selanne through the handshake line last night...
If your eyes are still dry after watching, let me know.
After the handshake line was complete, what did the LA Kings do?
Puck drops just after 9:00pm ET today and is on NBCSN, TSN and RDS.
Time to sit back and enjoy the game and I think the Ducks will move on.
The Ducks and their fans have good reason to enter Game 7 loose and free. The Kings, not so much. A second-round loss could have GM Dean Lombardi answering questions he hasn’t had to for a couple years, particularly when no one on the 2014-15 roster has a no-movement clause.
-Matt Larkin of The Hockey News. Read more about these two teams...
from Eric Stephens of the OC Register at the Los Angeles Register,
There have been dueling car flags on the streets and battling billboards along the freeways. Perhaps some split households, too, with Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf enjoying the sight of a strolling couple adorned with opposing jerseys.
The back-and-forth series is at its logical conclusion. The Kings came into Orange County and won twice, while the Ducks answered with two in downtown L.A. The Ducks set to advance after winning Game 5, the Kings staying alive by capturing Game 6.
Four games decided by a single goal. The other two separated by just two goals. The Kings with 13 goals in all, the Ducks’ total the same.
It is down to one dealing a heavy dose of disappointment to the other for the right to face the reigning Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference finals that will begin Sunday.
“I think we knew what kind of team they were, coming from 3-0 down the previous series,” Ducks forward Andrew Cogliano said Thursday. “We knew things weren’t going to be easy or quick, and we’d have to fight for everything we got. So Game 7 is pretty fitting.
“It’s one game, in our building, and we’ve played well here and we’re comfortable here. It’s going to be a great atmosphere.”
from Rich Hammond of the Los Angeles Register,
They play in the shadow of Hollywood, and would make stellar slasher-film villains.
The Kings just won’t go away. Drop them to the bottom of the pond, and they come back seeking vengeance. With their season on the line again, the Kings came through with their best effort of this second-round series and beat the Ducks 2-1 in Game 6 on Wednesday night at Staples Center.
Five times in the last 21 days, the Kings have played a game that could end their season. They went 4-0 against San Jose in the first round, and Wednesday’s victory forced a Game 7 on Friday in Anaheim.
The Game 7 winner plays Chicago in the Western Conference Final, which starts Sunday afternoon.
“It’s a double-edged sword,” Kings captain Dustin Brown said. “It’s great that we have that ability to dig our own grave and climb out of it, but we have one (more) game to take care of here. From then on, we have to try and not put ourselves behind the 8-ball.”
Below, two videos, the first is game highlights and the second a short video of both coaches, post-game.
First up is Bruce Boudreau followed by Darryl Sutter below...
"The challenge of staying on top and consistently competing with the big boys, the challenge for the club is very different than building. I said that two years ago, for all of us, general manager, coach and players … I talked to all those people. They said, 'You're not going to understand it until you go through it.'
"We've got to all learn from it, to get that consistency."
"I never lose faith in them. That's the one thing I come back to when we're in this. I know deep down they care. Even when we were down 3-0 or whatever. They've shown me too many times that they'll figure it out."
-Dean Lombardi, GM of the Los Angeles Kings. More from Helene Elliott of the LA Times.
from Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider,
Are the Kings growing weary of The John Gibson Saga?
“Kind of, yes,” Marian Gaborik answered.
Judging from several responses at the team’s facility today, and from Justin Williams’ “let’s not anoint him yet,” comment before yesterday’s game, there’s the sense that the Kings are aware of the level of talent possessed by the first year pro while acknowledging that he’s still John Gibson, not Kirk.
“You know what? We know we can beat him,” Drew Doughty said. “We know he’s a very good goalie. At the same time, they’re good shot blockers. That doesn’t mean that a lot of times we’re screening him. We just need to get pucks by those guys. We got a lot of shots last night. He made some big saves. But at the same time, we haven’t done everything we can. We can get more bodies in front of him. We can get more tips, more rebounds.”
Though Doughty was cut in the mouth yesterday – “I didn’t lose any teeth thankfully,” he said – he was still able to articulate his opinion on the NHL’s goaltender hierarchy.
“As good as [Gibson] is, he’s not impossible to beat. I’d take Quickie over him any day, still.”
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
The Kings fended off elimination four times in their first-round playoff series against San Jose, sticking together when it would have been easy to fracture, playing an ever-tighter defensive game that complemented Jonathan Quick's confident goaltending while they picked apart the emotionally fragile Sharks.
The Kings' 4-3 loss to the Ducks on Monday at Honda Center in Game 5 of their Western Conference semifinal series left them facing elimination for the fifth time this spring. They know the territory, certainly, but the Ducks are not the hollow-hearted Sharks and aren't likely to fumble under pressure as the Sharks did.
So, somehow, some way, the Kings must formulate a way to make another comeback in Game 6, to be played Wednesday at Staples Center. And then, they hope, return to Anaheim for a seventh game Friday.
"That's the plan," Kings center Anze Kopitar said Monday in the subdued locker room. "Now we've got to go home and win a home game. That's the bottom line. There's no secret. We want to come back here and give ourselves a chance."
The Anaheim Ducks hear from coach Bruce Boudreau and the hard hat is passed on to the player of the game...
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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