The Los Angeles Kings traveled to Chicago for games 1 and 2 of their Western Conference Finals match up with the Blackhawks and are coming back to Los Angeles in a 0-2 hole. The Kings will need to win under the roof of the Staples Center in order to avoid being pushed to the brink of elimination.
The Kings are treading unfamiliar waters this post season. Last season, the Kings did not lose a game on the road until game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals, thats 10 consecutive road wins. They eliminated both the Vancouver Canucks and St. Louis Blues in their own barn.
That has not been the case this time around.
The Kings have fell into a bit of a slump when away from the lights of Downtown Los Angeles. The Kings have opened these playoffs with a record of 1-7 while on the road. That is three more losses on the road alone then the team’s total number of loses last season.
It is safe to say this post season has been a bit bumpier for the Kings. But that is to be expected, going 16-4 in the post season, opening every series with a 3-0 lead en route to your franchise’s first championship is a major feat to duplicate.
This year, the Kings have been outscored 18-11 while on the road, compared to outscoring their opponents 30-11 through 8 road games last season. Also, something that was never even thought of last season has happened, Jonathan Quick was yanked from a game. After allowing 4 goals through about 30 minutes of play, Quick was pulled and watched the rest of his team’s game 2 loss from the Kings’ bench.
“We just haven’t been finding a way,” said Quick, who fell to 1-7 on the road in the playoffs. “We have to find a way. They did their job. Now we have to go home and do our job.” – NHL.com
All this being said, the Kings will embrace their trip home and the fact the next two games are beneath the two banners that were won last season. A place where they are 7-0 during this post season, a place they have outscored opponents 18-8 and a place where “Chelsea Dagger” is not on anyone’s playlist.
The Kings went down 0-2 to the St. Louis Blues in the opening round and went on to win the next 4 games eliminating the Blues in 6 games. They will try their best to do that one more time, maybe not win the next 4, but get that first win and then move on from there.
For the Kings, and their fan base, they wish they can turn this series around, much like they did against the Blues, and head back to Chicago with the series tied up at 2 games apiece. Then the Kings will have to take another stab at taming the Madhouse and winning on the road.