Sunday, May 25, 2014

Kings Bend, Then Snap Back

Game Three of the Western Conference Finals has given more proof to what we learned in Game Two and that is that the Los Angeles Kings do not fear trailing the Chicago Blackhawks, rather that their resiliency will always keep them in these games and could very well be what puts them through to another Stanley Cup Final.

The Kings trailed early in Game Three, as Jonathan Toews capitalized on a turnover while shorthanded, breaking in and scoring for the early 1-0 lead.  The Kings answered back on the same power play, as Slava Voynov blasted one through a maze of players, only 50 seconds later.  Toews was the recipient of another fortunate bounce, sending his Hawks to a 2-1 intermission lead, but that wasn't to deter the Kings at all.  2nd period goals from both Jeff Carter and Tyler Toffoli flipped the lead around for the 2nd intermission, as the Kings went to the break up 3-2.  A Drew Doughty marker midway through the 3rd was the insurance they needed, as Patrick Sharp tallied with five seconds left, making it a 4-3 final.

Los Angeles was not rattled with that early flurry of Chicago goals, rather, they stuck to their game plan and played it out well.  By the middle of the 2nd period, they were showing the Blackhawks that they had control of this one, which doesn't bode well for the series.  It may be that Chicago is now starting to show their weary legs from the amount of hockey they've played in the last few years, something that happened to the Boston Bruins in their series against the Montreal Canadiens.

Game Four of the series will now go on Monday night, which goes as a 7pm MT start.  The Kings will look to make perfect use of their home-ice advantage.

ImplicationsThe Mallis teams are dominating the Conference Finals in the playoff pool, as John M. leads the round with 34 points, moving up to 8th place in the process, while Gus M.'s teams are 2-3 in the round, with 32 and 31 points, the latter being the pool overall leader, with 212 points.

Dale B. still has some hope of staying in the money, as his team managed to claw a single point back on Gus' first team, sitting with 211 points, but looking at the round totals, Dale hasn't been getting nearly as much production to stay there as he may have wanted.

Corey M. rounds out the top four, tied with Gus' second team with 208 for 3rd place, dropping to 4th on the tie-breakers.  It does look like Travis G. is going to track him down, as Travis is also among the pool leaders in the Conference Finals, with 31 points in the round, so far.

It's a pretty good race out there this year, even if the four pool money spots are dominated by three people.

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