Young fighters screaming, no time for doubt. Not much I’m asking, if you want the truth. Here’s to the future, dreams of youth. There’s so much to do in one life time. I’m giving it all. Here’s to the future. Hear the cry of youth
Analyzing game one and two in the Los Angeles Kings, San Jose Sharks was akin to watching a team realizing the potential at their fingertips and talents not yet bestowed on them by the Hockey Gods themselves.
Frustrating inabilities on the power play, offense and defense suddenly disintegrated. The power play became potent, the offense began to coordinate, communicate and shoot with precision, and at times that showed vision of the ice. Constant passing that caused turnovers or led to shots that ricocheted back down the boards were replaced by by cannons that blistered through lanes and created rebounds. Everyone knew their roll: pressure, crash and cycle.
The defense, already the Kings strength went another notch still. Sacrifice the body. Block shots, finish your checks and consistently, without fail, make every single Shark that handled the puck pay for crossing the blue line. Know that over a seven game series, this will exhaust the toughest of players and with a work eithic that can’t be broken good things will happen.
And good things did. The power play came alive. Justin Williams led the charge right away on the power play and was soon followed up by Drew Doughty and Jack Johnson. When was the last time the Kings had not just two power play goals but two in one period? I don’t remember. Do you?
A slow, boring and predictable system that gave opponents the time to block the lanes, clear the zone and defend every player on the unit was gone. From the start of the series and then finding yet another level in game two the power play was suddenly riding the speed of sound.
The power play was tenacious. Sharp, fast passes led to blazing, well timed shots that created rebounds. The rebounds were supported by everyone crashing the net. From the blue-line to the trapezoid, the power play was on fire and the penalty kill moved right down the track steady as she goes.
Next? At every tick of the clock, every player showed up to contribute. Suddenly, the Kings decided to show up, exemplify the team that could have have played all season.
Not one goal was given up a shift AFTER the Kings scored.
Not once was there a sign of anyone backing off and letting up, let alone during the always cursed second period. No. All sixty minutes (and then some in game 1) was fought for, tooth and nail. Even with a four goal lead in game two the Kings kept the pressure on and rose to the task.
Then there was game 3. It started brilliantly in period one, picking up where game two had left off. Then the old habits started to kick in. What would follow was not quite as bad as what was seen at times this year but still a very bitter pill to swallow.