After an impressive showing in San Jose, sending game 1 into overtime, and dominating game 2 from start to finish, the Kings are heading back to Los Angeles. The Kings will take on the Sharks in game 3 of the series, currently scheduled for Tuesday, where they will look to hold on to their well-earned home-ice advantage.
Anyone that has seen the first two games can tell that this is not going to be the kind of easy series win for the Sharks that many had been predicting. Indeed, if home-ice is preserved through the rest of the series, those of us in the Kings fandom will be thrilled.
There are a few notes and thoughts on the first two games that we should take a look at:
- Adding Stoll’s faceoff skill to a performance like the one witnessed on Saturday night could make this a truly special series for the Kings.
- Jonathan Quick looks much better this season than he did last season. He was clearly exhausted against the Canucks last season, and his relatively fresh perspective is showing now.
- Drew Doughty is a beast in the playoffs. Yea, he’s a very talented player in the regular season, and even at age 21 has a Vezina Trophy nomination to prove it, but his game gets better in the playoffs. 5 goals, 6 assists (11 points) in 8 playoff games. Seriously? It’s not a rate that’s likely to persist at that high level, but if it did it would be better than Sidney Crosby (and almost everyone else) and good enough to be the 4th best playoff ppg in NHL history.
- The Kings dominated game 2 despite only winning 40% of faceoffs. An better faceoff percentage can only help.
- If the Kings power play has found its stride, the Sharks could be in for a rude awakening. The Johnson/Doughty pairing on the blueline is terribly productive.