Category Archives: 2011 Playoffs

Quick takes the bite out of the Sharks’ attack in Game 2 shutout

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Shutout Day water bottleJonathan Quick was named First Star of the Game in the Western Conference Quarterfinal game between the Kings and the Sharks, effectively snatching home ice away from the Sharks in the series.

And you know what that means…. it’s SHUTOUT DAY! Right now, you can pick up some of our popular Shutout Day apparel and finery. And what better way to celebrate than getting a water bottle fit for a King (whether it’s Quick or Jonathan Bernier.)

For a limited time, these 24 oz. water bottles, as well as the rest of the drinkware selections are at-cost with no markup. I figure why not spread the word that the Kings have a legit goalie tandem that can shut down the best of teams.

What better way to bask in the glory of Shutout Day at work than sipping joe from a ceramic coffee mug, or chugging some Newcastle from a 22 oz. stein. Or a subtle reminder to your adult league pickup opponents that you aren’t messing around in net.

The Kings have been built from the blueline out. Now you can share in the excitement! (How that for someJ. Peterman-inspired sales copy?)

THI’s Playoff Special Game Two: Kings shock Sharks, Jesse

The Hockeywood Insider podcastI had said in Game One that the Kings played a near-perfect game, and took the Pacific Division Sharks to the limit, only to fall in overtime. I figured they couldn’t match their performance, especially with Jarret Stoll on the sidelines thanks to a one-game suspension.

Guess I was wrong.

Jesse and I discuss the Kings’ surprising domination of the Sharks in the current episode of The Hockeywood Insider. Jesse goes to a rare place and actually admits he might be wrong about the Kings’ chances about winning the series. We talk about all the top performers of the game, including Jonathan Quick, Drew Doughty, Jack Johnson, et al… We also read an email all the way from a Kings fan in Scotland! Phenomenal!

Don’t forget, you can subscribe on iTunes, so you can get the podcast before anyone else does. And don’t forget to like the show on Facebook. The Hockeywood Insider, dedicated to bringing you fresh hockey conversation that you just can’t find anywhere in SoCal!

Playoff Game 2: Kings, Quick render Sharks toothless in shutout

Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty (8) smiles after scoring against the San Jose Sharks as he is surrounded by center Oscar Moller (9), left wing Kyle Clifford (13), and defenseman Alec Martinez (53) during the second period in Game 2 of a first-round NHL Stanley Cup playoffs hockey series in San Jose, Calif., Saturday, April 16, 2011. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick (32) and defenseman Jack Johnson (3) celebrate after they defeated the San Jose Sharks 4-0 in Game 2 of a first-round NHL Stanley Cup playoffs hockey series in San Jose, Calif., Saturday, April 16, 2011. Johnson scored in the first period. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)Game 2: Kings 4, Sharks 0


To peep out all the videos online about this game, check out today’s Hockeywood Dailies. Also take a listen to the Game Two edition of The Hockeywood Insider podcast.

Anze Kopitar out with a broken ankle, Jarret Stoll suspended one game, reports of John Zeiler back in L.A. The outlook for Game Two didn’t look very good for the Los Angeles Kings. Until something remarkable happened…

The team found their swagger.

To be honest, they always had it. Game One’s result was disappointing, sure. But the Kings were right there, matching the Sharks in goals, and sent it to overtime. They played what I thought was the perfect game in Game One, matching the high-octane offense of the Sharks with their now trademark scrappiness and defensive prowess.

But I was wrong. Game Two was perfection personified. And the hero of the day was goaltender Jonathan Quick, who stood on his head in Game One with 42 saves, turned around with another stellar effort, turning away all 34 shots to earn his first playoff shutout. And while doing that, he joined some heady company.

According to the stat guys on Fox Sports, the Kings have registered six playoff shutouts. Terry Sawchuk in 1965 against the North Stars, Rogie Vachon in 1976 against the Atlanta Flames, then Felix Potvin registered three (twice in 2001 vs. Colorado and again in 2002 vs. the Avs.)

It was Quick’s second shutout against the Sharks in HP Pavilion, where the Kings won’t have to win again if they take all three games at Staples Center. But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves.

Quick was a big reason for the win, certainly. But the entire team shout get credit for their defensive play. At the final count, the team had 22 blocked shots, which means Quick could have easily faced over 50 shots. Led by Drew Doughty, who also scored two goals, the Kings are sure to have plenty of sore ribs Sunday morning.

Speaking of Doughty, how good was he and fellow defenseman Jack Johnson? Someone had to step up in the absence of Kopitar, and who thought it would be Doughty? Starting off the season, it looked as if he was finally going to hit his sophomore slump.

Guess he was just biding his time until the playoffs. He led the Kings once again in ice time, had two goals and two assists. Pssssst, hey Dean… you know what you need to do if he keeps this up, right?

And for the second game, the Kings’ power play reared its’ head. To me, that was the most confounding thing about the Kings this season. Their power play percentage was just crap. Their defensive game was solid, but they couldn’t put the puck in the net. It got so bad, some fans were jokingly considering petitioning the NHL to allow a team to wave off a penalty.

Two guys had quiet games but their presense was felt throughout the game. The first was Dustin Penner. Playing on the line with Dustin Brown and Michal Handzus, Penner looked more comfortable out there and actually got into the shooting mode. He also had no giveaways and played well.

Kyle Clifford also tallied his first playoff goal, got an assist on Doughty’s second goal and also got a roughing penalty. Clifford is slowly turning into a force right before our eyes, although the seemingly ever-present shiner under his left eye never seems to heal.

The Kings head back home with the series tied, 1-1. Hmmmmm, when have we seen this before? Oh yeah, that’s right. The Kings will get Stoll back, but the same questions remain. Who is going to step up in Game Three? Will Drew Doughty continue his torrid pace in the postseason? Can Dustin Penner find his touch? Can Ryan Smyth and Michal Handzus continue to be a handful? And can L.A. do the unthinkable? We shall see.

Los Angeles Kings left wing Kyle Clifford, center, celebrates with right wing Wayne Simmonds (17) and center Brad Richardson (15) after Clifford scored past San Jose Sharks goalie Antti Niemi (31) during the third period in Game 2 of a first-round NHL Stanley Cup playoffs hockey series in San Jose, Calif., Saturday, April 16, 2011. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
• AP: Doughty leads Kings past Sharks in Game 2

The Sharks took too many undisciplined penalties and were unable to generate many good offensive chances against Quick, drawing the ire of their usually supportive fans who booed the home team sporadically throughout the game. Antti Niemi allowed the four goals on 23 shots to lose for the first time in four postseason starts at the Shark Tank.

• LA Times: Kings power up to tie series with Sharks

Drew Doughty tied a club playoff record for defensemen by recording four points in a 4-0 victory over the Sharks that tied the teams’ first-round playoff series at one game each and was a reminder of the dominant force he has too rarely been this season.

• LAKings.com: Never a Dought as Kings beat Sharks

Drew Doughty had two goals and two assists, Jack Johnson had one goal and one assist and Kyle Clifford had a game-clinching goal early in the third period as the Kings evened the series 1-1 heading into Tuesday night’s Game 3 at STAPLES Center.

• Mercury News: Sharks stumble to 4-0 loss to Kings in Game 2

Instead of playing the kind of hockey that vaulted them to the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference over the past three months, the Sharks on Saturday night looked more like the disjointed squad that struggled through early January.

• NHL.com: Kings even series by beating Sharks 4-0 

The Stanley Cup Playoffs can turn into a coming-out-party for a player who has been performing under the radar -– not that Drew Doughty hasn’t already earned a reputation as one of the NHL’s elite defensemen in just his third season.

Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick (32) trips up San Jose Sharks center Logan Couture (39) during the third period in Game 2 of a first-round NHL Stanley Cup playoffs hockey series in San Jose, Calif., Saturday, April 16, 2011. The Los Angeles Kings defeated the San Jose Sharks 4-0. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
They said it


“I was definitely a little more motivated. I was a little upset when I messed up on that one goal in the first game. Not that I was going to over-do it and try to make up for it too much, but I definitely wanted to, and I thought i played a good game tonight. We’re just really looking forward to taking this momentum back to L.A.” – Drew Doughty, on his game, coming off Game 1.

“We know what kind of character we have in this locker room. With a couple guys out, we’ve still got to do the same thing, even if they’re in the lineup. That’s when our team plays best, is when we play from our system, strong defensively, and then we get our chances from there. The power play had some great opportunities and scored a few big goals for us early on. It’s only one win. We’ve got a long way to go. We’re looking forward to Game 3.” – Jonathan Quick, on the Kings’ effort.

“Our m.o. is, we want to be a good defending hockey club. I think you’ve got to be a good defending team in order to win in the National Hockey League during the regular season, and it becomes highlighted even more in the playoffs. This was a game that we needed that back end to step up and really do a job for us. Quick, those seven guys back there, did a tremendous job, moving pucks whenever the opportunity was there, just getting out of trouble. At the other times, big penalty kills, blocking shots and just everybody dug in. Scuderi with his big stick. Mitchell, he’s got the same kind of stick, tremendous range, and I thought discouraged a lot of shots. They were able to break up a lot of passes through the seams.” – Terry Murray, on the Kings’ defensive game.

“I’m disappointed in our team. It’s hard to find two or three guys who really competed at the level they needed to. We need to be better in a lot of different areas.” – Sharks coach Todd McLellan, on his team’s effort.

“We had dumb penalties in the first. We saw them all and the replay on all of them and they were all pretty stupid. Whether it’s being too pumped up or not, you have to control your emotions out there. Two power-play goals, that isn’t very good.” – Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle, on the Sharks’ defensive breakdown.

Doughty dominates as Kings filet the Sharks in shootout

Here’s the NHL On The Fly’s analysis of the game.

Here’s an exclusive look at the Kings’ post victory locker room walk for the Kings.

Here’s the No. 1 Star of the Game, Drew Doughty, talking about the Kings’ shootout win.

Here’s Jonathan Quick’s reaction to posting his first-ever shutout in the playoffs.

Here’s defenseman Rob Scuderi, talking about the game.

Here’s coach Terry Murray’s postgame presser.

Here’s Kyle Clifford, Jonathan Quick, and Terry Murray, talking to Fox Sports.From the other side of the aisle, here Sharks goaltender Antii Niemi.

Here’s Sharks alternate Patrick Marleau and his comments as to what went wrong.

And Sharks head coach Todd McLellan’s postgame comments.

THI’s Playoff Special Game One: CBS Sports’ AJ Perez

The Hockeywood Insider: Playoff Special Game OneThe Kings came –>thisclose<– to snatching Game One away from the San Jose Sharks on Thursday. And it’s because of their impressive game that Jesse is claiming a moral victory in Game One. And I happen to agree.

We kick off the Kings’ Stanley Cup Playoffs with our first of hopefully many exclusive podcasts recapping every Kings’ playoff games.

For Game One, we are joined by CBS Sports’ NHL blogger AJ Perez. We discuss the surprising play of Justin Williams, the steadiness of Jonathan Quick and whether or not the Kings’ Jarret Stoll will get suspended or fined for his hit on Sharks D-Man Ian White.

Don’t forget, you can subscribe on iTunes, so you can get the podcast before anyone else does. And don’t forget to like the show on Facebook.

It’s the Hockeywood Insider, bringing you exclusive postseason interviews you won’t heard anywhere else. Game Two is Saturday!

Playoff Game 1: Kings leave it on the ice in Game One

Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick (32) and right wing Wayne Simmonds (17) lies on the ice after San Jose Sharks center Joe Pavelski, not shown, scored the winning goal during overtime in Game 1 to win 3-2- of an NHL hockey first-round Western Conference playoff series in San Jose, Calif., Thursday, April 14, 2011. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

San Jose Sharks left wing Ben Eager (55) and Los Angeles Kings left wing Kyle Clifford, left, get into a fight in the first period of Game 1 of an NHL hockey first-round Western Conference playoff series in San Jose, Calif., Thursday, April 14, 2011. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
Game 1: Sharks 3, Kings 2 (OT)


To peep out all the videos online about this game, check out today’s Hockeywood Dailies.

For the first time in their 20-year history in the NHL, the Kings and the Sharks squared off for a postseason tilt of sudden death hockey. And despite all the negativity heading into the game, many Kings fans were anxious to see if the team could shock the world and upset the heavily, heavily favored Sharks.

Then they went out and allowed a goal within the first 30 seconds of the game. So much for that.

Granted, the quick strike by the Sharks’ Dany Heatley was discouraging, and you could tell the Kings really didn’t know how to respond from such a rapid score.

The good thing about letting a goal in so early is the ability to finally get your head past it and start focusing on the game. In the Kings’ case, it took them all of the first period and the better part of the second period to shake off the nerves and look comfortable on the ice.

How out of sorts were they? In the first period, they were granted a four-minute power play, when Ryan Crowe hammered Dustin Brown. How many shots did they register with the man-advantage? None. Zero. Zip. Zilch.

Ouch.

The Sharks kept taking runs at the Kings’ Justin Williams, back in the lineup after missing nine games with an injured shoulder. But Williams didn’t seem to mind the extra attention he was being paid. That is playoff hockey, and if you aren’t getting hurt, you aren’t play hard.

Jarret Stoll was playing hard when he ran Sharks defenseman Ian White into the glass. He wasn’t called for the infraction, but White soon left the game and didn’t return. Considering Stoll is not that kind of cheap shot artist, I doubt he’ll get anything more than a slap on the wrist.

But as I said earlier, the second period was an entirely a different story. In the first, L.A. could only muster three measly shots, in the second, they outshot San Jose 16-9. It was in the second period that the formerly injured Williams made his presence known. he had a nifty pass to Brown to tie the game at 1-1. Then, he scored when he tucked the puck behind Antti Niemi to make it 2-2.

Williams played over 20 minutes, had six shots on goals and looked like a man on a mission to try and carry the team on his bum wing. But Williams at 75 percent wasn’t good enough to push the Kings over the hump. With the exception of Ryan Smyth’s four shots, no other player had more than two. Yikes.

The game stayed deadlocked the rest of the way until they got to overtime, a position that was familar to them. But instead of playing for the tie and decide the game in a shootout, which they deftly did this season, they returned for a fourth frame. By then, they were too gassed to keep up with the ponies of San Jose. And at the 14 minute mark, Joe Pavelski slapped a shot past Jonathan Quick to clinch Game One.

But…

This game was a statement game. Every journalist I came across proclaimed this matchup to be lopsided. I even heard a suggestion that it’ll only take three games to eliminate the Kings. To those writers and talking heads I can say one thing: the Kings are not a pushover team.

When Drew Doughty got an odd tripping call with two minutes left in the game, I cried shenanigans. But the Kings did what they have been known to do well this season, they had a key PK as time elapsed in the game to force OT.

The way the team, and especially Quick, battled back and got right in the faces of their long-time opponents from NorCal. This was not a team that is going to be intimidated.This is not a team that is in awe of the gaudy numbers of the top line. There’s plenty of fight left in this squad, even without star center Anze Kopitar.

Scoring will still be an issue from here on out, but the questions about their heart were answered loud and clear Thursday night in the HP Pavilion.

Drew Doughty #8 of the Los Angeles Kings gets a penalty call for tripping Kyle Wellwood #20 of the San Jose Sharks in Game One of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the HP Pavilion on April 14, 2011 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
• AP: Sharks beat Kings 3-2 in OT in Game 1

Williams, who missed the last nine games of the regular season with a dislocated right shoulder, came up with the loose puck and tucked it into the net before Niemi even realized where the puck was. The Kings put up 16 shots in the final 14 minutes of the second period.

• LA Times: Kings’ determination is outdone by Sharks’ depth in 3-2 overtime loss in Game 1

This matchup of the Kings, who faded to seventh in the West, and the Sharks, who finished atop the Pacific Division and earned the No. 2 seeding, was closer than their regular-season finishes would suggest. They battled fiercely, playing the third period and overtime at a gasp-a-minute pace until the Sharks’ depth prevailed.

• LAKings.com: Kings dropped in overtime

Is it possible to be upset and satisfied at the same time? Relieved and concerned? Frustrated and hopeful? That’s where the Kings found themselves late Thursday night, in something of a playoff purgatory, not sure which way to go.

• Daily News: Kings fail to get early edge

The underdog Kings couldn’t quite steal Game 1 Thursday.  But to those who didn’t give them much of a chance against the heavily favored San Jose Sharks in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs, the Kings believe they showed they’re no patsies in a 3-2 overtime loss in front of 17,562 at HP Pavilion.

• NHL.com: Pavelski’s OT goal gives Sharks Game 1 win

The Sharks were down to five defensemen after Ian White took a hit into the boards from Kings forward Jarret Stoll and didn’t return. Stoll wasn’t penalized and McLellan said league officials were looking into the play.

Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick deflects a San Jose Sharks shot in the first period of Game 1 of an NHL hockey first-round Western Conference playoff series in San Jose, Calif., Thursday, April 14, 2011. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
They said it

“Really, in overtime it’s anyone’s game. We had some chances, they had some chances and they ended up winning. But as I said before the game, if you win this, you can’t get too high, and we’re not going to get too low right now. We played well. we came up short, but that just makes the second game a little bit more important.” – Justin Williams, on the game.

“We did a lot of good things out there. They’re a great hockey team, and we were one shot away. We had our chances. Niemi made a few big saves for them and, at the end of the day, they just got one more than we did. So we’ve got to refocus, get ready. It’s in the past at this point. We’ve got to learn from it and win Game 2.” – Jonathan Quick, on the game.

“He was a little low there. I don’t know what he was doing, if he was reaching for a puck or what. He was right against the boards, too, and he was a little low. I just finished my check on him, and it ended up pretty bad for him. I hope he’s all right. You hate to see a guy get hurt, regular season or playoffs. I definitely wasn’t trying to hurt him.” – Jarret Stoll, on his hit on Ian White.

“When you go into the playoffs, you’ve got to be able to hold your ground in different situations. You’ve got to be gritty at both ends of the rink, at the net. You’ve got to compete for your ice along the dot-to-boards. You’ve got to push. You don’t ever want to back down. That’s the kiss of death. The opposition is going to read that and come right after you. I really liked our compete. I liked our attitude about sticking with it. So we do feel good about coming back into Game 2.” – Terry Murray, on the Kings’ physical play.

Kings battle hard, but can’t avoid Shark bite in Game One

Here’s the NHL Network breaking down the Sharks narrow victory over the Kings.

Here’s Justin Williams talking after the game.

Here’s Jarret Stoll, who discussed his hit on Sharks defenseman Ian White.

Here’s coach Terry Murray’s postgame presser.

Here’s Jimmy Fox, joining the crew on NHL On The Fly.

Here’s Sharks captain Joe Thornton’s postgame comments.

Here’s Sharks head coach Todd McLellen’s postgame presser.

Finally, here’s the fight between the Kings’ Kyle Clifford and heavyweight Ben Eager.