They say a series doesn’t start until the road team wins a game. Well, what happens when the road team wins the first two games of the series? That scenario is exactly what has happened so far in the NHL’s Stanley Cup Finals and the Los Angeles Kings are headed back to Hollywood two mere wins away from their first Stanley Cup Championship in franchise history after Jeff Carter scored at 13:42 in overtime last night to give the Kings a 2-1 victory in the game and a 2-0 series lead over the New Jersey Devils.
The Los Angeles Kings look poised to take home Lord Stanley’s Cup. They are 14-2 so far in the playoffs after back-to-back 2-1 overtime victories over the Prince of Wales Trophy holders (given to the Eastern Conference Champion) New Jersey Devils. These games marked the first time in 61 years that games 1 and 2 of the Stanley Cup finals were decided in overtime and both games have been extremely thrilling and are definitely a worthy adversary to the NBA conference finals for television viewership.
Kings defenseman Drew Doughty believes that his team “have to reset, refocus…We have to go back to L.A. as if the series is just starting. We have home-ice advantage and have to take the first two at home”. If the Kings are able to pull that off they will have swept the Devils and will have earned a parade through the streets of Los Angeles, a town that still may not know that they even have a hockey team despite the playoff success of their boys in black and purple.
The biggest key to the Kings run so far has been the play of net-minder Jonathan Quick. Much like the way the Bruins rode goalie Tim Thomas to the championship last year, Quick has been the man for Los Angeles. He’s allowed only 24 goals so far in the postseason, and exactly half of them have to come to his low-stick side. If he can continue with his stellar play the Kings will have definitely deserved their championship. The goaltender that is competing against is no scrub himself, in surefire Hall-Of-Famer Martin Brodeur who made his 200th career playoff appearance in this series (only former Colorado Avalanche net-minder Patrick Roy had more).
The Devils have played well so far in this series. The Kings have just played better. If that trend continues back in Los Angeles tomorrow and Wednesday then this series will be over in four games. It’s not over until the fat lady sings and with a fast paced sport like hockey anything can happen on any given night, but the way the Kings are looking right now it will be a tough task for the Devils to send this series back to the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey for a potential game 5. As a neutral hockey fan I’ll be rooting for the Devils to win at least one game on the west coast, only because I am not ready to see this season end. Can they do it? We’ll find out tomorrow.