May 14, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Kings mascot Bailey holds a #BEILEVE sign after game six of the second round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Anaheim Ducks at Staples Center. The Kings defeated the Ducks 2-1 to tie the series 3-3. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Kings Back In Their Comfort Zone: Game 7


May 14, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Kings right wing Dustin Brown (23) is pursued by Anaheim Ducks center Saku Koivu (11) in game six of the second round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Staples Center. The Kings defeated the Ducks 2-1 to tie the series 3-3. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Kings are a difficult team to eliminate from the Stanley Cup Playoffs; just ask the San Jose Sharks. Since first facing elimination in Game 4 of the first round, Los Angeles are now a perfect 5-0 in playoff games where the season is on the line. Last night’s 2-1 win over the Ducks marked the fifth time Los Angeles lived to fight another day, this time forcing a Game 7 in Anaheim. Los Angeles also improved to 5-0 when leading after two periods in this year’s playoffs.

While it is certain the Kings would have rather wrapped this series up earlier, you have to feel that they are quite comfortable going into Friday night’s game. The Kings thrive on high pressure situations and seem to play better when elimination is staring them in the face. If the Kings can muster up a win on Friday, the fatigue of playing two series to Game 7 could factor in further down the road, but we have seen the Kings play through fatigue before.

For the Anaheim Ducks, the concern going into Game 7 will be the pitiful performance of their power play in Game 6. The Ducks went 0-for-5 on the man advantage and generated little to no special teams offense. The poor performance could have been a minor bump in the road, as the Ducks power play went 4-for-8 in Games 3, 4, and 5.

Los Angeles also dominated the Ducks in the faceoff circle, winning 15 of 21 faceoffs in the opening period. The normally reliable Ryan Getzlaf struggled all night, losing 14 of the 20 faceoffs he took. For Anaheim to have any chance against the Kings they must get out to an early lead and possess the puck. That begins in the faceoff circle.

Another factor going into Friday night is Ducks rookie goaltender John Gibson. This will be Gibson’s first time facing a must-win situation in net since taking over as the Ducks starting goaltender in Game 4. Since his debut shutout performance, Gibson has shown some signs of his inexperience, allowing five goals on 65 shots in his last two games. Gibson gave the Ducks a chance to win on Wednesday, allowing two only goals, but he will need a performance like Game 4 if the Ducks hope to eliminate the Kings.

Both the Ducks and Kings possess the talent and will to win on Friday, but one can’t help but notice there are more questions surrounding Anaheim today than Los Angeles. For the Kings, this is just situation normal: win when it counts most.

 

Tags: Anaheim Ducks Los Angeles Kings

  • William Goit

    Game 7 is NOT a comfort zone for the Kings. They beat San Jose for Gods sake. Everyone expected it. When the Kings won the cup. They did not play any game 7. The Ducks on the other hand have a LOT of game 7 experience and many of the players on the present roster were playing in those games. Go Ducks!!!

    • mmajeski06

      Williams, Richards, and Gaborik all have Game 7 experience. Williams has five goals and 10 points in five Game 7 appearances.

      • William Goit

        Yes they do, but not with the Kings

    • sheepeater777

      Kings have 3 players who are 5 – 0 in game 7′s.

      It makes no difference where they were playing during the game 7′s.

      Your beloved coach / leader is 4 and 1 in game 7′s.

      Numbers, except for the ones on your tax return, don’t lie.

      • William Goit

        Seriously, I am beginning to like you sheepeater. We are a few hours away from knowing what is up. I say at least one over time maybe more. I honestly think Bruce is a great coach who had Ovie I dont play defense to deal with when he was with the Caps. However I miss the biggest chap ass in hockey Mike Babcock. The Ducks do not lack game 7 experience…Perry, Getzlaf, Beauchemin, Selanne not to mention Niedimyer is a coach, all won the cup in Anaheim. Numbers do sometimes lie in hockey though. Lie on my tax return? Me?

        • William Goit

          Well sheepeater, The Kings and Quick really made the Ducks look bad tonight. Even though I was born in Lynwood, I am not about to get on the band wagon. That being said, the Kings are sure to win the cup. Quick is definitely better than Lindquist and Price and way better than Crawford. I has been nice talking with you. Go Ki…uh nah.

          • sheepeater777

            thanks william i didn’t see this before i riffed on you some more. i would have taken it a little easier on you.

            the blackhawks and their fans are scumbags of the worst kind.

            they only won last year because the kings were injured.

            everyone’s picking the blackhawks, which is great motivation for the kings and fans.

            all i want for christmas is duncan keith’s two front teeth.

          • William Goit

            Right on Brother, I will admit the pond is not exactly a haven of hockey, but I live here. I do not like Chicago, although you cannot help admire Kanes mad skills. I hope to see the Kings and Montreal in a awesome border war. Take care.

  • sheepeater777

    Kings owned the Ducks in Game 6.

    Ducks owned the Kings in Game 5.

    at the risk of stating the obvious, the question is which team is going to show up in game 7? the game 6 Kings or the game 5 ducks.

    the second question is will the officiating at least be equally horrible for both sides. the phantom calls and unequal treatment of the same plays by the ducks and kings have favored the ducks.

    I do think Gibson is way way overrated. the ducks were playing really hard in front of gibson in his first game and the kings really didn’t have any quality scoring chances so that shutout says way more about how hard the ducks were playing and not much about gibson as a goal tender.

    at the end of the day i think the story will be that gibson will be a liability for the ducks. at least the kings are loyal. when quick was struggling in the sharks (and ducks) series the kings let him work through his issues but we know that we live or die with quick. it was a punk move for boudreaux to pull hiller and put that rookie in. hiller deserved the start. make no mistake, gibson will crack. i think hiller would have been stronger. if the ducks win it won’t be because of gibson it will be in spite of gibson.

    also, i have to say i tried the Duck Wings at Tom’s Urban before game 6 and they were delicious. I also sent over a plate of the Duck Wings to a table full of sucks fans before the game :)

    Go Kings Go!!!

    Die sucks die.

    • William Goit

      You obviously have not been watching Hiller all year. We shall see. Hockey is an interesting game, filled with intense emotion. Many fans get so caught up they imagine they are actually playing the game themselves. You appear to be one. Stop eating animals.

      • sheepeater777

        You obviously have never been in a high pressure competitive situation, sporting or otherwise. The 20 year old will implode if the kings are able to put any heat on him whatsoever. Children are fearless because they’re ignorant and inexperienced. Like you, and your 20 year old goalie savior.

        They don’t call it peKING duck for nothing.

        I will pick up two extra orders of duck in your honor and feed one to my dog and the other to the homeless guy sleeping in your front yard.

        • William Goit

          I doubt you can afford to even visit San Clemente Bro.

          • sheepeater777

            I won’t gloat. there’s no need. this thread, my predictions and the kings play all speak for themselves.

            it’s clear to anyone reading it that you’re living in a fantasy world.

            who would want to visit san clemente?

            That’s a perfect place for you.

            Too bad getzlaf is stuck in anaheim. he’s a great player stuck in a weak town with a clueless coach and weak fans.

            Time to scalp some blackhawks.

          • William Goit

            I am from south central. Smell A is a hole. This IS a perfect place for me. I love to surf. Folks are polite and the women pretty. If obnoxious fans made a team great; Philly would win every year. Fans do not play, they pay. I agree we need a better coach. The way Anaheim came out is a coaching issue and it happened all year long. Weak in the first period. Reality is beyond conditioning, thought and opinion. I doubt you are interested. Everybody lives in a fantasy world Bro. Some nice and some not so nice.