Kukla's Korner Hockey
The Kings defeated the Phoenix Coyotes 2-1 tonight and now lead the best of seven series 3-0.
The Coyotes came out in the first period and fired 11 shots at Jonathan Quick but only had 8 the remainder of the game, 4 in each of the last two periods.
The Kings played the same game we have witnessed throughout the playoffs; tight checking, key saves and at times a dominating forecheck.
The game winner was scored by Dwight King, his 4th of this series (the Coyotes have 3 goals total), early in the 3rd period.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
The Kings’ ability to absorb and adapt to Sutter’s message is one of the primary reasons they are 10-1 in the playoffs and halfway to qualifying for their first Stanley Cup final in 19 years. The Kings lead the Phoenix Coyotes 2-0 in the Western Conference final, heading into Thursday’s third game, a game in which the Coyotes will play without centre Martin Hanzal, who was suspended one game by the NHL for a dangerous hit from behind against Kopitar’s linemate, Dustin Brown.
Brown and goaltender Jonathan Quick are the Kings’ leading Conn Smythe trophy contenders, but Kopitar is No. 3 with a bullet, and in the midst of a strong playoff of his own. Through 11 games, he is second on the team in scoring with 13 points, one behind Brown. Kopitar is the Kings’ perennial scoring leader, a player whose ability to play at both ends of the rink is what makes him so valued by the team’s coaching staff and his teammates.
“I don’t want to say Kopi’s underrated, but he’s very underrated in the D zone, with how hard that he plays,” said linemate Justin Williams. “You respect that as a winger, knowing that he’s hard on guys in the defensive zone. We get a lot more time in the offensive zone, because he’s so good in our zone.”
“My greatest fear is I retire and the Kings win the Stanley Cup the next year.”
-Bob Miller, legendary TV voice of the LA Kings. More on Miller from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal.
from Stu Hackel of the Red Light,
It’s still a good month before the captain of an NHL team hoists the Stanley Cup over his head and a lot can happen between now and then. But on the basis of the first three games in the Western Conference Championship, there is no more impressive team at this moment than the Los Angeles Kings.
This isn’t to say that the Coyotes are dead desert dogs — although they have their tongues hanging out and are panting heavily. Nor is it to say the Devils or Rangers are destined to fall to LA, regardless of which one wins the east — although if the Kings get out of their series in four or five and the Devs and Blueshirts go the limit and the winner gets battered, the Cup in California would be a possible scenario. And who knows what might happen to the Kings along the way? What injuries might they suffer, what puck luck might they not get? What will the hockey gods rain down upon them before the guys with the white gloves carry the Cup onto the ice for the presentation?
But at this moment, the Kings – who are 35-14-11 since Darryl Sutter took over from Terry Murray as coach in December — look like the best of the four teams still skating.
Tuesday night’s 4-0 Jonathan Quick shutout victory over Glendale’s favorite hockey team was a demonstration of domination. While the Coyotes started well, the Kings eventually took control of the proceedings.
I say at least two games for this hit on Dustin Brown, anyone else agree/disagree?
I don’t write this very often, but this series could very well be over in 4 games.
The Coyotes are frustrated and have lost their offensive game.
It’s only going to get tougher now that games 3 & 4 will be played in Los Angeles.
The story of the game, 24 PIM for the Kings, 54 for the Coyotes.
See the penalty box score below…
Smith received 2 for slashing, Brown 2 for diving.
Also, this guy, Fred Murtz, gets many of these YouTube vids up very quickly. The guy continues to kick-out videos at a record pace.
Trevor Lewis of the LA Kings was the recipient of the hit.
thanks to gwyshynski for uploading the video
added 11:41pm, Watch the TSN version of the hit below…
added 11:58pm, Just shaking my head on this one, perhaps he should stick to the NBA…
from Eric Goldschein of the Sports Grid,
Shane Doan was thrown out of tonight’s Coyotes-Kings game for a boarding call that made a bloody mess out of Trevor Lewis’ face. But was he the victim of what the NHL would consider a “flop”? The NBA knows all about flopping, but hockey players wouldn’t know how to fake an injury if they tried. Unfortunately, this looks to be the exception.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
The Kopitar unit with Brown and Justin Williams murdered the Coyotes all night long with stretches in the Phoenix defensive zone and created numerous scoring chances aside from the two goals the line produced. The line combined for 15 shots, Brown leading the team with seven and Kopitar had six.
Know this: It’s going to be a short series unless the Coyotes find an answer for L.A.‘s top line. Martin Hanzal’s top line with Ray Whitney and Radim Vrbata were mostly matched up with Kopitar and it wasn’t a good result for the Coyotes.
“I didn’t see it as just the Kopitar line,” Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said. “I thought their whole team was better than our team.
“We weren’t close in that game. We got beat in every facet of the game. Hopefully we take some lessons from it and we can be better next game.”
Tippett mixed up his top two lines in the third period, putting Whitney with Antoine Vermette and Shane Doan to try to find an equalizer.
The Kings dominated most of the game and the final score of 4-2 was not really reflective of the play.
The Kings fired 48 shots at Phoenix goaltender Mike Smith while Phoenix managed to get 27 shots on Jonathan Quick.
Here is Dustin Brown’s game-winning goal which came early in the 3rd period.
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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