Category Archives: 2010 Playoffs

Kings can’t solve Luongo as playoff fever comes to a close for L.A.

Jonathan Quick #32 and Ryan Smyth #94 of the Los Angeles Kings shakes hands with Roberto Luongo #1 of the Vancouver Canucks after Game Six of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Staples Center on April 25, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Noah Graham/NHLI via Getty Images)Game 6: Canucks 4, Kings 2

It had been eight long years for playoff hockey to return to Los Angeles. But despite making some noise earlier in the first round, the Los Angeles Kings’ hopes for the Stanley Cup were dashed when the Vancouver Canucks continued their late-game mastery to clinch the series in Los Angeles.

As was the story in Game 4, the Kings came out with a full head of steam and got an early lead. But the veteran Canucks continued to be patient, and eventually turned the momentum, forcing the Kings out of their gritty gameplan and capitalizing on small mistakes.

It was the final toll of the bell for the Kings, who weren’t picked by many to make the playoffs. And the Kings didn’t go down without a fight. They actually led the way heading into the third period, hoping to force a Game 7. But the faster, hungrier and more disciplined Canucks proved to be too much for the youthful exuberance of the Kings.

Alexander Frolov finally got the playoff monkey off his back, scoring his very first goal in the postseason, when his strong wraparound attempt rides up Roberto Luongo’s stick and in. The assembled throngs at Staples erupted as the red light of shame shone down on Luongo. It took six games, but Alex finally scored on that wraparound.

Maybe he should have tried something else earlier in the series. The guys over at Cycle Like the Sedins tweeted :”Alex Frolov is like that guy on NHL ’10 who keeps going for the wraparound move over and over.”

The Kings did a tremendous job focusing on the Sedin Brothers through the first two periods of the game, holding them without a shot. The Kings were able to cycle the puck better in Game 6, something that they had gotten away from the past two games.

The story for the Kings seemed to be their lack of production with the man advantage. Dustin Brown was able to draw two penalties, and Anze Kopitar added a third, but the Kings power play unit, which had been their bread-and-butter unit, failed to take advantage.

Roberto Luongo had another series-defing save, this time on Ryan Smyth, whose shot would’ve gone in had the hockey gods deemed it so. Luongo, on his side and making what Jim Fox referred to as a”breakdancing” save, snapped the puck out of the air to thwart the Kings once again. It was a huge save that helped lift the Canucks, who struck minutes later.

Brown gets called for interference, putting Vancouver on the power play. Steve Bernier scores with traffic infront with under 10 seconds of the man advantage to tie the game. Bernier had actually screened Quick, and the puck went off his back.

Dennis Bernstein, senior writer for the Fourth Period tweeted: “Test of character for #LAKings. On heels of great #Luongo save Bernier ties itfor #Canucks. You can feel some energy leave the building.”

The energy had also shifted to Vancouver after the Bernier goal. But just as Stick in the Box was coming off the best shift of the night for the Sedins, the Canucks take an offensive zone penalty, when Brother Daniel tripped Brown. But Vancouver showed some testicular fortitude and held off the Kings for the third straight time, despite some good looks by L.A.

But the Kings are still buzzing, and the hard work paid off when Drew Doughty scored on a slap shot from inside the blue line, when his shot ricochets off of Alexander Burrows’ skate, just enough to alter its path past Luongo. to give L.A. their second lead of the game. Doughty know leads all defenseman in playoff goals so far. Not only that, but he was played 20 minutes in two periods.

Late in the period has proven dangerous for the Kings, as they have a tendency to become lax at the end of shifts, especially as the Canucks are mounting a charge. Quick stopped a dangerous puck ouside his crease to halt such a surge by Stick in a Box late in the second.

Although his puckhandling left much to be desired. Chris Kontos from The Royal Half tweeted: “Jon Quick needs a refund from that Marty Turco Stickhandling School he went to last summer.”

After two periods, the Kings held the lead. Thy led in shots (26-11) and hits (28-24), and both of their goals came even strength. Since they only had five even strength goals in the first five games, it appeared that they have made the adjustment.

But the Canucks too much for the Kings in the third period once again. Kevin Bieksa goes tweeners on Quick from a bad angle to tie the game. The Kings were forcing Vancouver to shoot from the outside, but that shot went through. With that goal, the Kings have now been outscored in third period 8-2 this series. That stop by Luongo on Smyth in the second period weighs heavy on the mind.

Bieksa slashed Jarett Stoll to give the Kings their fourth PP of the night. But everything is going the Canucks way, as they proceed to kill it off. With that PK, the Canucks raised their percentage to 61.5 percent for the postseason. It’s still last in the league, but have killed off 12 of their last 13 in their last two games.

Frolov had a breakaway with little pressure on him as he skated in. Even with a bunch of time in front of Luongo, he is denied on one of L.A.’s few chances. The Kings had one again gotten away from their game plan, and look a little scattered. They keep missing outlet passes and the chain had broken on their cycle.

Vancouver scores for the second time in the period with two minutes left, when the Art Ross winner Henrik Sedin scored to make it 3-2, deflating the once hopeful crowd. As time winds down, Terry Murray pulled Quick as the Kings tried desperately to put another goal on the board.

But Drew Doughty left his position to join the offense, leaving the Kings wide open for a turnover. And it’s the Canucks’ regular season leading goal-scorer, Alex Burrows, who finally pots a goal for Vancouver in these playoffs. The final buzzer sounds, drawing the a close the Kings’ postseason.

The players lined up for the traditional handshake at center ice, and the Kings skated off the ice, leaving only the captain Dustin Brown to talk with Fox Sports’ Heidi Androl. Brown said what you would expect from the captain, but his words were hopeful.

“It’s tough to be positive about it right now,” he said. “but sometimes you have to lose before you can win.”

The Kings’ future is bright, and they should be able to build off of this next season. Kings fans should take solace in the fact that the kids got six games of valuable playoff experience against an extremely competitive team. I’ll write more about it in a later post. But for now, I’m going to sleep it off.

Vancouver Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo watches Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty's goal as left wing Ryan Smyth looks on during the second period in Game 6 of a first-round NHL hockey Western Conference playoff series in Los Angeles, Sunday, April 25, 2010. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)• AP: Canucks finish Kings on Daniel Sedin’s late goal

 Roberto Luongo made 30 saves while carrying third-seeded Vancouver through the Sedin twins’ shotless first two periods, and Kevin Bieksa tied it early in the third. Yet the series seemed headed for its third overtime game until Sedin snapped a shot past Jonathan Quick and one-upped his brother, NHL scoring champion Henrik.

• LA Times: Kings take stock of what worked and what didn’t

The team that was 29-0-2 this season when leading after two periods lostGames 4 and 6 after squandering third-period leads at home. The Kings’goaltending wasn’t good enough — Jonathan Quick won only two of his last14 starts, including the playoffs — and their lack of speed on defensewas glaring when the Canucks pushed the pace. Their power play wasexceptional, but their five-on-five scoring was inadequate, reflecting alack of depth, especially up the middle.

• LA Times: Breaks go Canucks’ way in Game 6 win against Kings

“There’s an easy answer: Two of the best players in the league did it,” Kings Coach Terry Murray said. “The Sedin line was tremendous. They won the series. They won the game and each of those games you’re talking about made the difference. That’s what the best players are supposed to do.”

• LA Kings: Kings eliminated by Canucks

This team, with the youngest group of core players in the NHL, was widely expected to miss the playoffs. Few expected that they would reach the 100-point plateau for only the third time in franchise history and contend for home-ice advantage in the first round.

• NHL.com: Canucks oust Kings on late Daniel Sedin goal

With the top half of the net begging for Smyth to drill it, Luongostacked his pads and made a catching-glove save that might leave Smythconsulting with a sports psychologist all summer.

They said it

“Definitely. We have to. Like I said, this is a first for a lot of guys,and we have to learn from this experience. We had a chance to securethe series and we let it slip by. That’s something we have to learnfrom. In a year’s time, if we’re sitting here having this sameconversation, then we haven’t learned anything at all. That’s thedifference. It didn’t happen this year, but this series, right now,might be the turning point for this team. Come this time next year, wemight not be having this conversation at all. It’s a matter of what wecan take from this series.” – Dustin Brown, on learning from thisexperience.

“I felt that we were doing a pretty good job there. I didn’t think that they were getting too many unbelievable chances. They got a couple goals, obviously, but I thought that we were keeping them to the perimeter and not giving them too many great chances. It’s just unfortunate that they went in, and we’ve just kind of got to forget about it now.” – Drew Doughty, on losing third-period leads in the playoffs.

“He told me I had a great year, a great season and a great series. It means a lot coming from a guy like that. He battles all year round, and he is really respected in the league. He has been through a lot, so it means a lot.” – Jonathan Quick, on a postgame talk with Ryan Smyth.

“I guess I’m from the older school in that sense, because I do believe in that. Going back a few years, there were some tremendous hockey teams that kept on winning. They didn’t share it with anybody else, talking about the Oilers I guess, in particular, most recently, and Detroit. They don’t seem to want to relinquish that championship. You do have to go through adversity. There are difficult times and you’ve got to take a lot away from a series like this. Again, the one thing I did say to the team, these young guys in particular, is that this is a wonderful experience for your future. Again, come back to it, revisit it in a few days and think about what you just went through, to be able to draw some positives and some things that are going to benefit you as an athlete, as a player, in the future.” – Terry Murray, on whether he believes that a young team has to learn to win by losing.

Around the Kingdom: Game Six blogs

Los Angeles Kings players watch from the bench during the last minute of the final period against the Vancouver Canucks during Game Six of the Western Conference Quarterfinals of the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs on April 25, 2010 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. Vancouver won 4-2 to win the series four games to two. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)• Press Box Perspective: Murphy’s Law of playoff predictions

The last time a team similar to this Kings team got into the playoffs for the first time in a while with many players who’d never played a game in the playoffs, they didn’t even make it to 6 games. The Penguins lost a very disappointing 5 game series to the Senators. The picture of Crosby upset in the locker room seemed to be everywhere. A lot of people say you need to learn how to lose the playoffs before you can win them. When Helene Elliott asked Terry Murray’s thoughts on that, he said he agreed with the idea. The Penguins said the main thing they learned from that first playoff series for many of their players was that the playoffs are a lot of fun, but losing in the playoffs is a horrible experience. They made it to the Stanley Cup Finals the two years after that, winning the second year. If Kings fans could look forward to that outcome, I’m sure they’d be perfectly happy about their team not advancing this time.

• The Royal Half: This is far from over

Sure, it’s been tough being a fan of the Los Angeles Kings the last 8 years (heck, the last 42 years.) But this 6 game playoff elimination at the hands of the Vancouver Canucks can only give fans of the Kings something to actually look forward to for once. This team… this franchise… has been rebuilt from top to bottom. After getting 101 points this season, the Kings can come back in the fall and be even better than before. But what really was the lesson learned from this past season? Simple… Playoff Hockey is amazing.

• LA Kings News: No Easy Road

Know this. Believe it. The storm has passed. While no one expects the road ahead to be an easy one, we know that for which we reach is now within our grasp. We step with resolve for we know that the day will soon come that the Kings will no longer only look to the future in the hope for greatness but greatness will be thrust upon them and among us.

• HockeyBuzz’s Matthew Barry: Congratulations to the Vancouver Canucks

Quick then allowed the worst goal of his career at the wrong time. A slow moving puck by a guy wearing SEDIN in the back of his jersey… with just over 2 minutes left. Ugh. And for the 43rd consecutive time, Kings fans were left saying, “we’ll get ’em next year”.

• Examiner.com’s Jon Moncrief: Tough loss ends terrific season for Kings and their fans

But a 4-2 loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday at Staples Center cannot damage the season or the accomplishments of the team.  They achieved so much this season, and have so much to build on for next season.

• Jewels From the Crown: The End: Canucks 4, Kings 2

I still have this feeling of disbelief that the season has ended. I now understand why people argue to have the regular season shortened, but I wouldn’t change it. The length and effort it takes to just get to the first round makes the heartbreak greater, which is madness but I wouldn ‘t have it any other way.

• Purple Crushed Velvet: Kings 2, Canucks 4: so that’s how it ends

When the season started I wasn’t sure they would be able to  make the playoffs. But after this season and this playoff series the Kings’ future looks bright.

• The LA Kings Outsider: Not much to say

On the other end, Jonathan Quick did what I was afraid he might do.  The Kings rode Quicker into the ground and our playoff fate was sealed before the postseason even began. On the bright side… Who would’ve thought the Kings were a 100-point team going into this season.

• Rink Royalty: The bitter end

Another year of Kopitar, Doughty, Johnson, Quick, Simmonds, and the rest is only going to make this team better. We’ll see you next year to be sure, and we’ll be there to watch every game!

• Deep Inside the Kings: Anatomy of a choke job

With such an incredible year now behind them, it is such shame the Kings ended it the way they did. It was very reminiscent of the old Kings – of the loser Kings and their fans. I had high hopes and was very confident this team would – win or lose – make it very hard on the Canucks. But in the end, they shrunk to the challenge and withered away in the night.

• Inside Hockey’s Brian Kennedy: Kings let it slip away

The Los Angeles Kings didn’t blow it Sunday night against the Vancouver Canucks.  At least, not if blowing it means disgracing yourself, not showing up for the game.  No, the home team did its darndest in a 4-2 loss to Vancouver, and the last goal they let in went into an empty net, so call it 3-2 with spare change.

Hockeywood Insider Playoff Special: Game 6

Game 6 is but a distant memory for Kings fans, but Jesse and I break down the series-deciding (and season-deciding) game of the playoffs between L.A. and Vancouver.

Jesse gets started with a rant about who’s to blame about the Kings losing Game 6. And it wasn’t the players, the coaching or the general manager. You may be surprised at who it is. After a while, I reel him in and we start the real analysis.

We play Mythbusters and try to answer the top three myths facing the Kings right now. Jesse also asks me a question about personnel that I bristled to answer logically. And we talk other stuff that eludes me at the moment.

The Hockeywood Insider will still be around, breaking down the playoffs as only we can, as well as figuring out how listeners can listen live and interact.

Don’t forget, you can subscribe on iTunes, so you can get the podcast before anyone else does.

The Hockeywood Insider: we got a taste of it now. And we want more.

Kings pushed to the brink by Canucks in Game 5

Vancouver Canucks' Shane O'Brien, left, and Los Angeles Kings' Wayne Simmonds fight during the third period of Game 5 in an NHL western conference playoff hockey game at GM Place in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada on Friday, April 23, 2010. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jonathan Hayward)Game 5: Canucks 7, Kings 2

The Kings have now experienced the wide range of emotions that the playoffs bring. The soaring feeling of winning in overtime from Game Two. The feeling of invincibility of completely dominating Game Three. And now the crushing feeling of humility of being blown out in Game Five.

The Kings played their worst game of the Stanley Cup quarterfinals against Vancouver, and now face elimination Sunday when they skate into Staples Center for Game Six. Could there be enough time for these young, carefree kids to mount a Hollywood-style comeback?

There wasn’t much that went right for the Kings Friday night. They had less shots, won less faceoffs and gave up the puck more, all the while taking more penalties.

Their problems were up and down the lineup. They got away from their gritty gameplan for the second game. Their defense was aggressive, but didn’t get much more support from the rest of the squad. The offense looked stagnant, and struggled playing with the man (and men) advantage, as well as playing five-on-five.

Things were chippy right out of the gate. After play had been stopped early when Kevin Bieksa cross-checked Richard Clune in the first period, many people on the West Coast went to commercial. But the people who were watching the Canadian feed were treated to seeing Bieksa shove Kings defenseman Drew Doughty from behind during the team’s jawing at one another, causing his helmet to fly off his head. It was a cowardly play by Bieksa, who should’ve gotten more than just the two minutes.

That put the top-ranked PP unit of Los Angeles on the ice. For eight seconds. That’s when Ryan Smyth got called for “interference.” A questionable call? You could say that, but I’m not one to blame wins and losses on officiating. The fact was it kept L.A.’s only effective offense off the ice.

Fans who were watching the Canadian feed were also treated to another injustice. When CBC cut to Smyth in the penalty box, the ever-present Green Men were there, mocking Ryan and dry-humping the glass. And the guy gyrating on the glass was… ahem, excited. Guess the broadcast standards up north are more lax than here in the States. Put it this way, you could tell the guy was catholic. I almost threw up a little in my mouth after seeing that.

The Kings kill off the penalty, but Vancouver had all the momentum. Pavol Demitra skated behind Jonathan Quick, then threw it in front to Kyle Wellwood. His one-timer missed the net, but bounced off the boards to Steve Bernier, who scored his second of the playoffs. The goal wasn’t a power play goal, but Ryan Smyth barely got into the play, so it might have well been.

The chippy play continued, and the refs had enough. Sean O’Donnell and Rick Rypian were called for roughing, in the refs’ attempt to reel in both teams’ enthusiasm. That meant four-on-four action, which found the Kings spending a lot of time in the offensive zone. But they come away with nothing.

Smyth is able to draw a hooking penalty on Alexander Edler, and the Kings finally capitalize. Michal Handzus skates in behind Roberto Luongo, and tries to pass it in front to Anze Kopitar. But the puck somehow got caught under Luongo’s skates, and he put it in for the Kings to tie the game. It was the Kings tenth power play goal of the series.

But the Kings’ momentum was short-lived, as Edler was able to snap one past Quick stick side to put Vancouver up by one again. It was noted on the Canadian broadcast that the goal was the fifth time Stick in a Box had scored stick side on Quick. They asked Bill Ranford if it was something the Kings should be concerned with, to which he replied no.

Which was true, because the next two Vancouver goals came glove side. First, Daniel Sedin scored Vancouver’s next goal later in  second period, followed by Mikael Samuelsson scored his sixth of the playoffs five minutes later. Quick was as porous as Spongebob Squarepants, and coach Terry Murray had seen enough.

So out went Quick, and in went Erik Ersberg. The Kings’ blogosphere was not amused: The Royal Half’s Chris Kontos tweeted Luongo and Quick arenow tied in Pulls for the playoffs. Matthew Barry , from HockeyBuzz.com added: Thanks Jon Quick, we needed you to be great tonight.Guess you weren’t channelling Roy or Hasek tonight. 

Ersberg looked like Jesse Ventura when Fireball was dispatched by Ben Richards in Running Man. Could the Swedish goaltender stem the tide of the mounting Vancouver attack? Uh, no. He let in two goals on four shots, as the raucous General Motors Place exploded with Nelson Muntz laughs.
 
Demitra tallied one early in the third period, followed by Samuelsson’s second of the game less than two minutes later. Nothing was going L.A.’s way. And in a bizarre turn of events, Quick replaced his replacement, as Ersberg retired to the dressing room, allegedly to pack his bags.

Now before I stand coming off as putting the whole blame on the goaltending, let me point out the Kings’ failure with a two-man advantage earlier in the second period. After play had stopped, Dustin Brown gets depostied into the Kings’ bench by Bieksa, right in front of the referee. The ref has no choice but to call interference on Bieksa, since it happened less than a foot from him. ThenBrown is able to draw another penalty, this time on a questionable tripping call on ChristianErhoff.

But the Kings’ success on the power play earlier in the series had completely unraveled Friday night. AlexanderBurrows even lost his stick, but is still effective, as he cleared the puck with his hand. That play alone sums up theKings’ PP this game.

Fredrik Modin pots his third goal early in the third, but it was too little, too late. Not much else to point out here. There were two fights, a spirited fight between Wayne Simmonds and Shane O’Brien, and an awkward scrap between Richard Clune and Rick Rypien.

The attempts to jump-start the Kings all failed, and if there was any positive to be taken away from this blowout, it’s this: to win in the playoffs requires a constant intensity. The team must fight through exhaustion and rely on their game plan, which is effective when they adhere to it.

The Kings need to find their second wind when they return to the friendly confines of Staples Sunday, and force Vancouver to win a Game Seven. It may seem that the Kings are in the unenviable position of having to win to stay alive, but really it’s on Vancouver to try and keep their foot on the Kings’ throats. If there’s one thing these Kings are known for, it’s for surprising everyone.

Goalie Jonathan Quick #32 of the Los Angeles Kings re-enters the game to relieve backup goalie Erik Ersberg #31 during the third period in Game Five of the Western Conference Quarterfinals against the Vancouver Canucks during the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs on April 23, 2010 at General Motors Place in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)• AP: Samuelsson leads Canucks past Kings

Henrik Sedin, who led the NHL in regular-season points, set up both second-period goals to knock Quick from the game after 17 saves. He won an offensive zone faceoff to Samuelsson, who fed Daniel Sedin behind the net for a wraparound that Quick stopped. But Daniel lifted the rebound over his pad at 8:26.

• LA Times: Canucks deliver a crushing blow to the Kings

Their 7-2 loss to the Canucks on Friday at GM Place was an abomination of bad goaltending and bad defensive play, a deplorable effort by a team that had, rightfully, prided itself on its cohesion and resilience.

• LA Kings.com: Kings Canuck-led over by Vancouver

Anyone looking to point fingers in the Kings’ locker room Friday, after a dismal 7-2 loss to Vancouver in Game 5, would encounter one significant problem. Only two hands. Only 10 fingers.

• NHL.com: Canucks rout Kings to take 3-2 series lead

Samuelsson is a zone that most players can only dream about. He’s scored his seven goals on 22 shots, a shooting percentage that Kobe Bryant is likely to put up on a bad night for the Los Angeles Lakers.

• NHL.com Stanley Cup playoff blog: Brown says Kings can bounce back from blowout loss

Q: Has the team played as badly all season as it did tonight?
Brown: This is definitely one of the worst. It’s one of those things where it’s out of our system now and we have to move forward. It’s one of those things where it’s unfortunate timing for us not to be able to perform, especially in the second period.

They said it

“Terry didn’t have to say anything after the game. At this point of the year, regardless of whether you lose 7-2 or 3-2, it’s not what we wanted. We didn’t have a lot of things tonight, but we can’t sit here and analyze or feel bad for ourselves or dwell on it. We have a game in two days, and if we win it we’re right back where we are right now. So that’s our attitude.” – Dustin Brown, on whether players talked after the game, or what Terry Murray said.

“I would love to throw it all on the goalies’ lap, but our lack of structure and discipline and team play gave them those chances. That cannot happen in the playoffs. You have to play disciplined. As boring as it might seem sometimes, you have to do it, because when you give up those chances, to the type of talent they have over there, it’s only a matter of time before it’s in the back of your net.” – Rob Scuderi, on the rising goals-against totals in this series.

“The big difference is that our goaltending was giving us some big stops. You can’t sugar-coat that. The goaltending wasn’t good enough here tonight. He had a tough night. I think we screened some of those shots that were coming through. I think there were a couple that were deflected. We’ve got to be better in front of him, and he has to be better himself. He’s got to get himself ready for Game 6. Quick is going to go. He’s been our guy all year long, and the one thing that I’ve always liked about his attitude is the mental toughness part of it, that he can move through bad games and get himself prepared to play.” – Terry Murray , on whether anything stood out to him as a difference from previous games

Related links

Around the Kingdom, Game 5 blogs

Across the Aisle, the Vancouver viewpoint

Peeping the dailies: Game 5 videos

Hockeywood Insider Playoff Special: Game 5

Around the Kingdom, Game 5 blogs

Los Angeles Kings' Ryan Smyth, right, tries to get a shot past Vancouver Canucks' goaltender Roberto Luongo during the second period of Game 5 in an NHL western conference playoff hockey game at GM Place in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada on Friday, April 23, 2010. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jonathan Hayward)• Deep Inside the Kings: You Had Me at Push

Beaten in every way that matters to the point of now, with your backs up against the wall, you have nothing to take away from that game but shame. You can’t go back home saying how you hung in there despite the lopsided loss. You can’t take anything positive away.

• LA Kings News: The gods demand a sacrifice

I nominate The Briggs to be bled dry before the game on Sunday and to have the creases repainted with their blood.

• Jewels From the Crown: WTF was that?!?

Now THAT’s a Kings loss I’ve seen a million times. Quick is somewhere else, Dustin Brown is skating the puck from the boards into the slot and handing it off to the other team, everyone is shooting wide, the PP can’t get set up…

• Purple Crushed Velvet: Kings 2, Canucks 7: and that’s how you crap the bed

The Kings should be embarrassed with the way they played tonight. They hardly sustained any offensive pressure. Even when they were able to cycle the puck down low for an extended period of time they couldn’t even get a shot on goal.

• Rink Royalty: How To Lose A Game In 60 Minutes

The power play was bad, turning in a 1 for 5 performance and failing to convert on even a 5 on 3 chance. The stars weren’t stars, the grinders didn’t grind and the goalkeepers didn’t keep goal. It was a failure on all fronts.

• HockeyBuzz’s Matthew Barry: Touchdown

Positives: Modin, the 5 on 4 Power Play, Frolov is a free agent, that I had a full bottle of Highland Park 17 year old, Jon Bernier will be wearing an L.A. Kings uniform next season. Some Vancouver fan is going to shoot his mouth off Sunday and wind up without his teeth. Volchenkov is a free agent.

• Inside Hockey: Canucks Trounce Kings in Game 5

Samuelsson’s first goal of the night gave the Canucks a three-goal leadand chased Jonathan Quick from the L.A. net late in the second period.The Kings’ netminder had allowed four goals on 21 shots, and wasreplaced by Erik Ersberg. However, Quick would return to the game in the third period after Ersberg gave up two goals on four shots.


Related links

Kings pushed to the brink by Canucks in Game 5

Across the Aisle, the Vancouver viewpoint

Peeping the dailies: Game 5 videos

Hockeywood Insider Playoff Special: Game 5

Across the Aisle, the Vancouver viewpoint

Henrik Sedin #33 of the Vancouver Canucks celebrates with goal scorer Mikael Samuelsson #26 during second period action in Game Five of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs at General Motors Place on April 22, 2010 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)• Vancouver Sun: Canucks get their swagger, slip in the dagger in beating Kings

They are no longer tiptoeing around in terror on the penalty kill. And they have punched holes in the Kings’ goaltending large enough to drive an Olympia icemaking machine through. It was 7-2 Friday night — four goals on starter Jonathan Quick, two on his replacement Erik Ersberg, then another on Quick.

• Vancouver Sun: Canucks take command of NHL playoff series with lopsided win over Kings

The Canucks clearly have the Kings dazed and on the ropes after Friday night’s lopsided 7-2 win in Game 5 of the best-of-seven Western Conference quarter-final series at General Motors Place. They can deliver the knockout punch Sunday night at the Staples Center.

• The Province: Vancouver Canucks dethrone L.A. Kings in 7-2 Game 5 win

Since being snubbed for the Games (the Swedish coach instead went with journeyman plugger Mattias Weinhandle from Modo — you’d think he had a salary cap, too), the 33-year-old Samuelsson has scored 27 goals in his last 40 games.

• The Province: Vancouver Canucks’ lopsided win over L.A. Kings an ‘aberration’

Maybe the best part for the Los Angeles Kings is that just about every possible thing went wrong. It might make it all the easier to turn the page on Friday’s 7-2 shellacking administered by the Vancouver Canucks at GM Place.

• NHL.com: Alberts goes from villain to favorite

And how about the “Let’s Go Alberts” chants?”That was awesome,” Bieksa said. “I don’t think too many guys on the bench knew what they were saying, because it was going down the bench, ‘What are they saying? What are they saying?’ That’s great. I don’t know how he was handling the fans being negative towards him. I don’t think the fans should be like that in any case. It definitely doesn’t help out the cause if the guy’s not playing the way he wants to.

• Benched Whale: Canucks Destroy the Kings

The shots on goal between the two teams were pretty equal with the Canucks edging the Kings 30 to 26, but what the night came down to is that Luongo was better than whoever was down at the other end of the rink. Now Luongo, Quick and Ersberg have all been pulled in a game. Luongo made some big saves tonight and looked as solid in net as he has looked all series.

• Nucks Misconduct: Sure, That Works: Canucks Steamroll Kings 7-2

As for the Kings – besides the fact Richard Clune is lucky he’s alive – this stings. As close as they were to a 3-1 series lead, now they’re behind and back in their barn on Sunday motivated as all hell to forget every second of this affair and get a huge win in front of their fans.

• The Province: Column: Vancouver Canucks finally played to their post-season potential

For the first time this post-season the Vancouver Canucks fired on all cylinders. The result was pretty special as the home team swamped L.A. in virtually every aspect of the game led by the Sedin twins, who are now officially ascending into super-star level by adding consistently great playoff performances to their already formidable resumes.

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<br/><a href=”http://video.msn.com/video.aspx?mkt=en-US&brand=foxsports&vid=0199c066-681d-42a9-bff0-aaaccfb016e1″ target=”_new” title=”Game 5 Highlights: LA/VAN”>Video: Game 5 Highlights: LA/VAN</a>


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