I’m pretty sure I am speaking for most Los Angeles Kings fans when I say I wasn’t too optimistic when they went down 0-3 in the series to the San Jose Sharks. The Kings had gotten destroyed in games one and two, and after all those bounces went the Sharks’ way in-game three, it seemed like it just wasn’t going to be the Kings’ year. However, the tides have turned and I am still writing about the Kings’ play.
The Kings have turned this series around and have forced a game seven. This turn in fortune is largely thanks to the Kings’ star players performing to their fullest capability when they needed it the most.
Anze Kopitar is a prime example of this turn around in play. Kopitar has been the Kings’ top player for quite sometime now, but was not playing like it in the first three games of the series. Kopitar opened the series with only three points, all of them being assists, and a minus three rating. However, Kopitar flipped the switch at the start of game four and has recorded three goals and five points, with a plus four rating through the Kings’s last three games.
When people around you play better you usually play better and that is the case with Kopitar and his line-mate Justin Williams. Williams has been playing like a mad man the last three games. He recorded multi-goal games in games four and six on his was to five points in the Kings’ last three games, compared to his zero points in the first three games of the series. Williams seems to have figured out a pretty simple idea in the last three games, you have to shoot to score. He has fired a total of 14 shots in the last three games and seems to be reaping the benefits.
While offense is great, you have to stop pucks if you want a chance to win and the Kings have figure thought out as well. In the first three games of the series the Kings gave up 16-goals and allowed 112 shots against. In the last three games the Kings have only given up four goals and have only allowed 95-shots against.
After getting lit up in games one and two it has seemed that Jonathan Quick has worked his way back into a groove and will likely be the deciding factor if the Kings are able to win game seven tomorrow night. How Quick has been playing in the last few games that is likely not a bad thing. Quick opened up the series with a 5.33 goals against average and . 851 save percentage through three games. However, he seems to be back to his old ways with his 1.33 goals against average and .957 save percentage through the last three games.
The Kings need one more game in order to complete this historic comeback and their star players will need to play some of their best hockey in order to make that possible.
For information on ticket prices for this game 7, along with the other two game 7′s tonight, check out this article on TheStreet.com.