The Los Angeles Kings are your Western Conference Champions! The Kings won an instant classic of a series against the Chicago Blackhawks with a 5-4 overtime win that was worth every minute. If you saw the game, you know what I am talking about. If you did not, please continue reading and relive the heart attack that was the 2014 WCF Game 7. Bottom line, the Los Angeles Kings are returning to the Stanley Cup Finals.
Chicago started things up five minutes in when Brandon Saad received a cross-ice pass from Patrick Kane and shot it from a nearly impossible angle. The puck bounced off Jonathan Quick and into the net for the 1-0 lead. A few minutes later, Justin Williams went in to the box for tripping. Guess what happened? Jonathan Toews scored on the following power play. That is why you do not make stupid mistakes on the deciding game that would potentially send your team to the Stanley Cup Finals. Chicago up, 2-0.
Eight minutes later, the Kings were able to conjured up some fire. Dustin Brown led a rush into the Kings’ offensive zone and shot it on goal which bounced up off Crawford. Jeff Carter was in the perfect spot to bat it down and into the net. The goal was reviewed for a possible high-stick, but no video evidence could confirm that. The Kings were back in this, 2-1. Less than a minute later, the man known as “Mr. Game 7”, Justin Williams tied the game at two. It was on for sure. But…
Twelve seconds later, Patrick Sharp scored on a breakaway down the right side with a shot that took a wicked bounce over Quick’s pad to make it 3-2. At least the Kings got on the board. But seriously think about this first period, there were five goals on 18 shots between both teams. NHL playoff hockey!
The second period saw the Kings tie it up 11 and a half minutes in. It took LA nine and a half minutes to get their first shot of the period, but once they got on, they were on. Tyler Toffoli was the King that got on the board with his seventh goal of the playoffs on a bouncing open netter. He had the game squared up, tied 3-3. What killed the Kings were several dumb penalties committed through the game, which has been good and bad. LA killed a five-on-three just after the half way point of the second, but four minutes later, Chicago regained the lead on another power play, when Patrick Sharp took advantage of a stickless Quick and a got the puck in the upper right corner passed a screening Jake Muzzin as they went up 4-3.
Marian Gaborik brought it all even when he scored off of a back-hander to a large opening on Crawford’s left side. The intensity was thick. Thicker than anything Kings fans have witnessed all season long. Thicker than Frozen Fury. Thicker than losing Quick to injury. Even thicker than the Stadium Series. It was Game 7 at its finest. This one was going to overtime. Now to properly understand the emotions that this Game 7 overtime elicited, please do the following: go to the top of the Hancock Tower in Chicago, tie some dental floss around your waste and an antenna and lower yourself over the edge. Stay there for five minutes and 47 seconds (add four minutes for stoppage, commercials and time-outs).
That was how long it took for the Kings to take their revenge on Chicago. Alec Martinez scored the series winner in OT to dethrone the champion, just like Chicago did to LA a year ago. Along with the Kings making it to three Western Conference Finals in a row, they are now in the Stanley Cup Finals for the second time in three years. They won three Game 7s on the road in this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs and now look to battle the New York Rangers for the greatest trophy in Sports. If you have not known by know, even though everyone has been telling you for a while, the Los Angeles Kings are built for the playoffs.
Mike W.R. Twitter: @TheBigDisco
Tags: Los Angeles Kings