Well folks, the LA Kings have punched their ticket to the NHL western final matchup against the Stanley Cup defenders, the Chicago Blackhawks. The semifinal series (like most this year) went to game seven, and if I could describe this matchup in just one word, it is wow. This matchup, in my opinion, was one of the best this year. The fight, passion, and all the effort put into this second round matchup had everything a Stanley Cup matchup should have.
It’s times like these when certain players stand out and lead the team. Anze Kopitar is leading the team with an impressive 19 points this post-season, and his play has been at the next level. This is just what a team needs this time of year – someone to look up to – as it puts confidence in the team going forward.
Marian Gaborik is another, sitting at 15 points this post-season, and it has you thinking, “wow, what a pickup!” Leading the team in goals this post season, Gaborik helps to instill confidence in the guys on his top line all the way down to the bruisers on fourth. If Gaborik’s point production keeps up, look forward to an explosive LA-Chicago series.
Seeing as it was the only hockey game on, I take it all you NHL fans watched game seven of the Anaheim/LA series. That being the case, I can assume you saw how well Jeff Carter performed. This man took his game to a whole different level, breaking through two D-men to score the second goal of the game. I can assure you it was a thing of beauty to watch.
Carter also sent a beauty feed to Tanner Pearson for the Kings’ last goal to take a 6-2 win over the Ducks.
But let’s go back and take a better look at game seven. Going into the game, I truly thought it was going to be anybody’s to take. Watching only the first shift I’m sure everyone thought, just like myself, that the Kings were going to walk out of there with the win. In the first period alone, there was not one shift where the Anaheim Ducks looked better than the LA Kings. Although the Ducks got some good licks in there physically, that was about all they could generate. The Ducks even had calls in their favor, looking back to when Corey Perry had the breakaway; he was awarded the penalty shot because the officials thought Drew Doughty slashed his stick, which clearly wasn’t the case. The replay showed that blocking a shot on the previous play broke his stick. Perry couldn’t even score on the penalty shot, which did not help the Ducks gain momentum. That’s all that needed to happen for the LA Kings to win. They just played their game – as usual – of mistake free hockey.
But it wasn’t until after the game that I truly felt proud to be an NHL fan. Not only did the Ducks and the all the fans in Anaheim give Teemu Selanne a standing ovation, but also all the LA Kings players stayed on the ice and honored the future hall of famer.
Selanne was then interviewed after the game on what it felt like playing the last game of his career, and how it felt to be given a standing ovation at the end of the game by everybody. He only had positive things to say.
The up coming schedule for the La Kings looks like this:
Game 1 – Sunday May 18th LA @ Blackhawks 12 PM (PT)
Game 2 – Wednesday May 21st LA @ Blackhawks 5 PM (PT)
Game 3 – Saturday May 24th LA VS Blackhawks 5 PM (PT)
Game 4 – Monday May 26th LA VS Blackhawks 6 PM (PT)
Game 5 – Wednesday May 28th LA @ Blackhawks 5 PM (PT)
Game 6 – Friday May 30th LA VS Blackhawks 6 PM (PT)
Game 7- TBD