Are the Kings Done?

According to Twitter and the rest of the Internet one thing has become certain: An original six Stanley Cup Final is inevitable. The 2011 Stanley Cup Bruins will face the 2010 Stanley Cup Blackhawks in what is to be a truly remarkable championship. The only problem of course is that Chicago has not finished the Kings and won the Campbell Bowl.

I’m a fan of Twitter and think it’s a great platform for news, smack talk, and enjoying the moment with people you’ve never met. The only problem is how short sighted and visceral tweeting has become. You’d think that the Chicago fan base more than any other would understand that a 3-1 series lead is not necessarily insurmountable. 

Superstitions and jinxes are as much of sports as locker room tomfoolery. Just ask singer Pia Toscano who received abuse from Kings’ fans on Twitter after she was unable to sing Tuesday, which in the opinion of so many was the reason why the Kings lost. It did however leaves us with an awkward amazing high five attempt.

This preaching better lead to something and it does: The game is settled on the ice. Through the five games the Blackhawks have been the dominant team despite a lot of misfortune – Justin Williams goal in game one, Voynov’s broken stick, Keith’s penalty and suspension. Chicago has been the better team throughout the first five games.

Reasons to Worry: Last postseason Dustin Brown and Anze Kopitar amassed twenty points apiece. This year has been different – Brown has found the net three times and has four points. Kopitar seems to be battling a previous injury and the Kings’ best all-around offensive player has two goals and five assists. The absence of offensive production from these players is the reason behind the Kings’ offensive woes this post-season.

Jonathan Quick lives in a weird world. When Quick is on he’s the best goalie in the league and the media’s darling. When he’s off he needs more help and he’s still the media’s darling. Brown is the emotional leader of the team and Quick is the reason the team wins or loses. It certainly isn’t fair to Quick but his play generally decides the outcome of the game. While the offense has been absent this series Quick had a horrendous outing in game two and missed two saves he normally makes in game four. 

The Kings are down 3-1 to a Blackhawks team that has won six of its last seven. Los Angeles will need two wins in Chicago to advance and have only captured one road victory in their eight away games.

Reasons for Optimism: While Brown and Kopitar struggle Tyler Toffoli, Justin Williams, and Jeff Carter have shown flashes on offense. The three forwards accompanied with Drew Doughty and Slava Voynov have the potential to create momentum and spark a series comeback. Scoring early in tonight’s game is mandatory to set the tempo for the game.

The Kings’ physical style of play is tailored for success the later a series goes. Los Angeles is 4-1 this postseason is game five thru seven. The Hawks style is based on speed and stretching the ice, the Kings style of physicality wears down opponents evening the skating field and allowing the Kings to set the tempo.

Up until game four Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews were “nowhere to be found”. Chicago’s forwards got back to their style of play creating havoc for the Kings. The Kings have an entire roster of players waiting to make an impact. One goal, hit, power play could wake the Kings skaters and shift momentum. Along with Brown and Kopitar, Jake Muzzin, Dustin Penner, Kyle Clifford, Jarrot Stoll, and Trevor  Lewis are all waiting to put their stamp on the series.

So kick your feet up, turn on the TV, enjoy the game, and talk smack on Twitter. #becauseitsthecup