Saturday, May 11, 2013

Cool, Calm, and Collected

My flight home is delayed, so I'm in the airport blogging about how THE KINGS WON FOUR GAMES IN A ROW TO KNOCK THE ST. LOUIS BLUES OUT OF THE PLAYOFFS last night.


In my "Lemonhead Stanley Cup Bracket Challenge" on, I had originally put the series down for Kings in 5. Probably could have happened if Jonathan Quick hadn' know...Game 1?

But I also had Vancouver sweeping the Sharks (ha!) and therefore we'd have played the Ducks in the conference final (according to my expertise). So my bracket in both conferences is pretty much shot, and not all of it is Jonathan Quick's fault. If the Kings beat the Penguins in Game 6 of the final, I'll have called it. But we can sweep them too, I'm not against that by any means.

You know what is Jonathan Quick's fault? The fact that we won this series. This guy stood on his head every night, save after save, as per usual. So thanks, man. That was nice of you to keep us in it, again. But I'm still leaning towards Justin Williams for Conn Smythe as of now.

Update on #PlayoffMartinez: of course after I say something he does nothing spectacular (but mind you nothing terrible) to help me prove a point. Based on who scored the winning goal, I'm fully on board the #PlayoffPenner train.

*Video courtesy of Kings Vision*

Arguably, it's a lucky shot, gets deflected, Brian Elliot probably wasn't expecting it. However, Penner's hustle earlier on in the play gave him that opportunity. I said this last year to my little brother when Penner scored the winning goal in a game of the Vancouver series, "If you had told me Dustin Penner would score a winning goal against the [Blues] in the first round of the playoffs, I would have cried from laughter."

Now, relating to the title of this blog. I noticed, and have continued to notice, how the Kings are very focused and level headed when being interviewed after games, regardless of the outcome. You can see what I mean by watching the videos on the Kings Vision YouTube channel.

They are all so focused, it's insane. Preparing for the next game is all that's on their collective minds, whether they are down two games in the series, ahead in the series, or into the next round. I mean the only person who said that the Kings were confident was Mike Richards, and I read somewhere...

...that he has won 21 playoff series in his OHL, AHL, and NHL careers combined. So I suppose he has a right to be confident.

This brings me to my next topic, Daryl Sutter. Despite my name being derived from his existence,*
I am really interested to see how this guy runs his locker room. I mean he has got to be doing something, at least something more than the Terry Murray tactic of "They are Professionals, They'll figure it out." I'm starting to think that, maybe, perhaps, that Sutter is The Zen Master. He's the Phil Jackson of hockey. (Side-note: what if Jackson started coaching in the NHL? Makes you wonder...)

*I asked my dad what he thought of the name of my blog, and how I thought it was fun and creative because my school mascot is a longhorn (bull) and Daryl Sutter is a farmer. My dad's reaction was, "Oh, so that makes more sense now." So I guess it's not as good as I thought and a missed the ball a little bit on that one, but it's a little late to change now isn't it? But thanks for the support, dad.*

*Geographical Update: I’m in Los Angeles now. Hopefully going to be able to attend a few of the playoff games in person. I’ll have you know, the Kings are 2-0 when I attend games in person this year. I’ll have you also know those games were against the Stars and Blue Jackets.*

As far as the next round goes, I’m a bit torn as to who I’d prefer. It’s all up to the Ducks to decide our next round matchup, so to whichever side I’m leaning they’ll probably cause the opposite to happen because that’s just how they are. The Kings were 2-1-1 against both teams in the regular season this year, so it'd really be a toss-up. Those OT losses to both teams were in a shootout. 

We could end up playing the Sharks, who are arguably “hot” after sweeping the Canucks, but let’s be real here folks: the Canucks are 1-9 in their last ten playoff games, so sweeping them isn’t that great of an achievement. Motion to rename the team to the Vancouver Cachokes. We also get home-ice advantage if we play the Sharks, and since the Kings are doing so well at home lately, that could be very beneficial. 

On the other hand we could face the Ducks. They had a “pretty good” season I guess you could say. Last time they did anything noteworthy though, in my opinion, was when the won the Cup. Second playoff appearance in last three years, but they were eliminated in the first round two years ago. But I will say I am a bit surprised by how they haven’t closed out this series with Satan’s hockey team, more commonly known as the Detroit Red Wings, in less than seven games.

Should the Kings and Ducks play in the second round, I expect a few things. 
  1. Increased security at games
  2. Violence. Lots of it. On and off the ice. 
  3. Hopefully, lots of Kings fans at the Ponda Center ruining the lives of Ducks fans. 

A playoff Freeway Face-off would be historic, to say the least, but I would have preferred it to have taken place in the Conference Final. The home-ice advantage wouldn’t be as crucial in this series I don’t think, since the the two arenas are so close, and hopefully enough Kings fans will show up in the OC to make some noise.

Now we’ll just wait and see what happens Sunday, and take these few days to pretend we care about basketball...wait...BOTH Los Angeles basketball teams aren’t in the playoffs? Kings, you’re our only hope, because let’s be honest, the only person genuinely excited when the Galaxy win championships is Phil Anschutz. 

P.S. For you English nerds:

You may have noticed that I utilized the Oxford Comma, or Serial Comma in this blog’s title. I understand that this isn’t proper AP Style. I’m really not much of a print guy anyway, I’m hoping to go into broadcast. But I do have a defense for my use of the Oxford Comma. 

This comma is VERY important. A friend of mine at school (a petroleum engineering major) explained it to me in this way: 

At a bachelor party, the Oxford Comma is the difference between inviting over;
  1. The strippers, Jeff and Steven. (the strippers names are Jeff and Steven)
  2. The strippers, Jeff, and Steven. (You’re inviting over strippers in addition to your friends Jeff and Steven)
There you have it folks. Follow me on Twitter @SuttersLonghorn

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