Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Royal-ity Check

After taking the first two games on the road in the first two rounds of the playoffs against the first and second seed in the Western Conference....I'm starting to think that many have slept on the Los Angeles Kings and that this could be unlike other #8 seeds we've seen in the playoffs.

The idea that this team would rely heavily on the play of Jonathan Quick isn't all that too far from the truth. However, it seems that Quick's play and the attitude from Darryl Sutter from behind the bench is something that has sparked the all-around play of the Kings. It seems that Sutter won't let these guys rest on their performance from the game before and makes them look forward to the next game immediately after the final horn of the game prior. While some wouldn't respond to it, the Kings have bought into it-- which is odd considering the onus many have put on the likes of Jeff Carter and Mike Richards.

Not only that, but the role that Dustin Brown has played, especially considering many thought he would be traded this season, shows that he's not only committed to the team, but also how much of a leader he truly is for the team. Oddly enough, Anze Kopitar has been contributing, but not getting much of a fanfare and Dustin Penner is doing a lot of dirty work on a line with Richards and Carter, most of which will go unnoticed or used as a way to make pancake jokes-- but as long as it get goals and victories-- who cares?? Justin Williams hasn't even got going yet, which is a scary though.

It makes you wonder how much the team was playing possum for the season and now finally exploding onto the scene in these playoffs. Considering the fact that the Kings are fifth in the playoffs for goals-for and second in the West; it's a head scratcher. I mean, this team had the lowest goals-for of all the playoff teams and second-lowest in the entire league-- but now they have a four-goal first period of Game Two and are fifth in the entire playoffs?? Mind boggling.

Yet, back to Sutter-- the mirage he could be creating with coming into a team and changing things around could be something to look at. While he coached a half-season before his run with the 2003-04 Calgary Flames, it's almost along these lines where the two teams are seemingly unassuming heading into the playoffs-- then really taking everyone by surprise when push comes to shove. The Flames took out the top-three seeds on their way to the Stanley Cup Finals....the Kings could be doing the same thing right before our eyes.

While I did say the Kings would be a team to keep an eye on four years ago, the team has taken many different looks, many different goalies, and many different philosophies. The look of the team now is one ready to actually make a lot of noise and do plenty of damage. Just a matter of not letting critics throw them off what they've been doing.

No comments: