The Kings are only the latest team to have been seemingly jinxed by the media. Much like the San Antonio Spurs were going to roll right by Oklahoma City after going up 2-0 in their series, or how a team containing Dwyane Wade and Lebron James was “done” when they went down 3-2 against the Celtics, the Kings were supposed to wrap up their first ever Stanley Cup in four or five games without an issue. Except, like every other scenario just listed, it didn’t happen. The majority of us (myself included) had pronounced the Devils dead after their Game 3 trouncing, but they’ve since come roaring back to make it a 3-2 series. One more win in Los Angeles and they’ll have home ice for Game 7 and a chance at rewriting the history books.
In an interesting twist of fate, the “hot” spirit has left Jonathon Quick and possessed Martin Brodeur for the last two engagements. Quick is one of the best stick handling goaltenders in hockey right now (another, interestingly enough, is Brodeur), but he flubbed one in Game 5 which led to a Zach Parise wrap-around goal. After limiting New Jersey to a mere two goals in the first three games, Quick has allowed four in the last two (what a scrub, right?). That’s not to say Quick hasn’t been playing well, but he’s regressed from unbeatable Jedi Master to human.
Marty Brodeur, on the other hand, is doing headstands. Last night he stopped several second and third rebounds and stonewalled Jarett Stoll on a breakaway minutes before Bryce Salvador put the game winner between the pipes for the Devils. He’s been a colossal part of New Jersey’s resurgence, only allowing two goals in the past two contests. If he’s only going to give up one goal per game, the Devils are going top be tough to beat.
The Unbearded One
New Jersey Winger David Clarkson disposed of his bushy playoff beard as an act of superstition before Game 4. It appears to be be working, but what does this mean for the fate of playoff beards? Will people start shaving them off before the Stanley Cup Finals instead of after? This could be a tragic scenario for the manliest tradition in sports.
The most profound difference between the first three games and the last two has been the Kings’ lack of scoring. That starts with Anze Kopitar, who looked like the second coming of Jaromir Jagr early on, but has since failed to record a shot on goal in the past two games. Given Kopi’s monstrous playoffs, it’s hard to crucify the guy. That said, his disappearing act has come at the worst possible time. If New Jersey can keep Kopitar a non-factor they are shutting down LA’s deadliest scoring threat, something they failed to do at the beginning of the series.
Can the Devils make history?
A team hasn’t climbed out of an 0-3 deficit in the Cup Finals since the Toronto Maple Leafs did it way back in 1942. If New Jersey pulls off the unthinkable, they’d be the first Cup team to come back from a three-game deficit in the Modern Hockey Era. A believer in sports logic would suggest that an 0-3 comeback is due to happen at some point, so why not now? After all, teams come back from three-game deficits in other rounds all the time. In fact, the Kings were up 3-0 on the San Jose Sharks in round one of last year’s playoffs, but then faltered and lost in seven. Los Angeles could very well see this chapter in history changed from one of the most impressive Stanley Cup runs in history, to the most runner-up in history.
On the other hand, a believer in simple logic would suggest that the odds of beating a good team four times in a row are very slim, especially when their goaltender continues to allow less than two goals per game. The fact that this series has been very even throughout suggests that the Kings are due to get a few deflections and bounces going their way, something that hasn’t happened in Games 4 and 5.
Fan Hub Action
Jeanne-Marie Jansen Lowell May 23rd
Greatest relief pitcher EVER! Someday we can all tell our grandchildren we got to see him pitch. A true legend!
Jim Lowell May 23rd
Great tribute to a great player, a great Yankee, and a great man.Thank you!
Frank Lowell May 23rd
Great job, Ryan! As a life-long Yankee hater since the 1950’s in the closing days of the Brooklyn Dodgers, I can only sit back and…
Tiffany Riddle May 23rd
Love the article, and I completely agree!
Michael T Carr May 16th
Another good article, Craig Lowell.
Charlie Lobosco May 1st
This is a very compelling story because Mr. Collins is a very passionate, tough, intelligent, athelete taking on some additional responsibliity to help others as…
Scott Cohen May 1st
Charlie.. very well said.. he does have guts
Scott Cohen May 1st
but it shouldn’t require guts. .like you said it’s nobody’s business but his own
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