It’s back to a three-game series now. With alternating games between Vancouver and Los Angeles, the next three games will determine who advances to the Western Conference Semi-finals. It’s late, and I’m bummed about the result, so I’ll make this quick, and try to get a more complete debriefing tomorrow with some specific details. For now, let’s just answer the questions we raised in the preview:
- How will Roberto Luongo bounce back in this game? Answer: Meh. He gave up four goals, so let’s not call it an impressive performance, but he did make a few good saves, and did not appear as rattled as he had in his last two trips to Staples. Is this the start of a turn-around for him? I suppose we’ll have to wait and see.
- Speaking special teams, can the Kings keep it up? Well, no. At least not in as much as they were not 100% on the Power play as they were in game three. Nonetheless they’re still clearly rolling with the man advantage, and ended the game 2 for 4 on the power play. They gave up 2 goals on 4 attempts as well, so clearly their PK was not clicking the way they would like.
- Will the Kings be able to maintain strong forechecking during the 5 on 5? Not in any significant fashion. They had a few good shifts, but they’ll need a more consistent presence if they’re going to win the series. They gave up 3 even strength goals (four if you count the empty net goal) and that’s just going to be trouble. Add the two PP goals, and that’s a devastating 6 goals against. You’re not going to win many games giving up 6 goals, that’s for sure.
- Can Handzus, Richardson and Fredrick Modin continue to contain the Sedins? Nope. Hopefully this game was an aberration, but Henrik ended with a goal and an assist, and Daniel tallied three assists. That’s pretty much a failure to contain their offensive prowess. We’ll have to see how this pattern plays out when they get back to Vancouver, but for this game it was less than impressive.
- Will my presence at the game jinx the team? Apparently yes. Damn. Fortunately (I guess) I don’t think I’ll be able to make any of the other games in person, so the Kings are in the clear to fulfill my prediction of Kings in 6. I’ll stick with it until it doesn’t stick anymore.