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Discuss: Kings stun Blues early, take 2-0 series lead

May 1, 2012, 12:01 AM EDT

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The Los Angeles Kings coughed up a 4-0 lead in the 2011 playoffs, but there was still the sense that the St. Louis Blues were doomed to go to the Staples Center down 2-0 after that wild first period. Aside from an early second period tally, the Blues never really seemed to have a shot as the Kings won 5-2 to take that 2-0 series lead.

Let’s get to the questions.

  • Are the Kings the best eighth seed in ages? They came into the regular season with plenty of hype and finished the regular season scalding hot. As much as the Blues and Canucks might have regrets, Los Angeles deserves credit for making good on those expectations – even if they’re doing so later than expected.
  • Is 2012 the year that casual hockey fans know the name Anze Kopitar? He scored two goals and was simply too much for the Blues tonight.
  • If Jaroslav Halak isn’t good to go in Game 3, can St. Louis trust Brian Elliott to get the job done? If not, should they go with untested prospect Jared Allen or reach deeper into the minors?
  • Going deeper, what exactly must St. Louis do to get back into this series? Are they already toast?
  • Here’s one area of obvious improvement: the power play. Sure, the Kings are 0-for-9 in the series themselves, but they’ve just been killing time in many cases. Lou Korac points out that St. Louis was 0-for-9 in Game 2, 0-for-12 in the playoff series and a stunning 0-for-23 including the regular season. Oh yeah, they’ve also allowed three shorthanded goals in this series … so that’s not good.
  1. rodgy10 - May 1, 2012 at 12:10 AM

    Blues don’t need to panic, still have a decent chance. They need to tighten up in the defensive end big time. Try not to give any more shorties up for the love of stanley!! Hopefully Pietrangelo can get back for game three, wouldn’t mind seeing Halak back as well. Game 3 will be a very physical game, you can book that !

    • polegojim - May 1, 2012 at 1:04 AM

      Sorry rodgy… YES, it IS time to PANIC… the Blues looked HORRIBLE…
      Men V Boys in that game.

      In 3rd, all they had left was to register hits…. and that won’t win them games.

      Can’t score PP 5-3, 5-4. Can’t make room in neutral zone. Can’t find room to skate in O zone… 0-2 AT HOME… they…..are…..done.

      • cardsandbluesforever - May 1, 2012 at 3:55 AM

        i agree bro- that was easily the worst i have seen the blues play all season, even before hitch took over.

        they are allowing themselves to get outworked in every aspect of the game. cant stop coughing up the puck, cant move through the neutral zone and for gods sake they didnt even get a single shot on quick until halfway through the 1st period.

        1st game they looked awesome in the 1st period. after that its been like a completley different team showed up to play.

        the goals arent elliot’s fault, the entire team hung him out to dry both games.

        if the blues want to have a chance to win this series they better learn to fight and fight with everything they’ve got or they are done.

      • polegojim - May 1, 2012 at 8:00 PM

        It freaked me out… just dumbfounded and unexpected.

        I picked Blues to Win the Cup out of remaining teams…OUCH

  2. royrodgers - May 1, 2012 at 12:13 AM

    Announcers for NBC were soooooooooooo St Louis,was Hayward born there?

    • hrudey - May 1, 2012 at 12:19 AM

      Hayward’s primary gig is color guy for the Ducks. It sometimes seems like he’d rather test drive cactus suppositories than say anything good about the Kings.

    • dannymac17 - May 1, 2012 at 12:23 AM

      Yea, it was pretty sickening to listen the pure hate they had for the Kings. Didn’t give them any compliments, and when they tried, it just sounded forced and unoriginal.

      And it took me 15 minutes to find out it was on CNBC.

    • polegojim - May 1, 2012 at 1:08 AM

      Funny… only thing good they could say when the game as FAR out of reach was…
      “That’s what you want to see from the Blues” – for hits
      “Now their bench looks alive” – for hits

      And they must have said that 100 times trying to comfort Blues fans.

      Last time I checked, goals and D win games, not hits… complete and utter failure.

    • oside760 - May 1, 2012 at 1:19 AM

      ya man they were giving no credit to the kings and just kept talking about how they liked how the blues were playing better, even though they were down by 4 goals. didn’t make sense

      • kingeringer - May 1, 2012 at 7:57 AM

        According to Hayward, anything positive the kings do is a lucky bounce, and the bench moral of the Blues is of greater note than anything on the ice while the kings dominated. NBC you must fire Hayward, its embarrassing to have homer announcers on a national telecast. Wake up! Hayward= fired!

      • fatfreddystubbs - May 1, 2012 at 11:16 AM

        Wow, couldn’t agree more. I watched the entire game, not necessarily as a Kings fan, but i am pulling for them because i wanna see a Flyers/Kings Final (trade seems to have worked out for both teams).

        Anyhoo, the way the announcer was talking from about mid-second period until the end of the game, I kept saying to myself “wait, the Blues are the team that’s DOWN 5-1 right now, right?”.

      • namriverrat69 - May 1, 2012 at 3:25 PM

        Hayward is a regular season announcer for the Ducks and as such he hates the Kings. I really liked the moment in the game when he said “that was a good save by the Kings goaltender”, as though he doesn’t know who Jonathan Quick is. At this point in the playoffs, especially since each team has sooooo many goaltenders and Quicker is an All Star, well. . .

        Lets just say he thinks Jonas Hiller is the best goal tender in the NHL and that’s the truth. He isn’t a homer, he is a Kings hater which is totally unprofessional as broadcaster. He should be fired for not doing his job as an objective observer.

    • johnmac56 - May 1, 2012 at 10:55 AM

      I agree. It didn’t seem like the announcers could say anything good about the kings, all I kept hearing was how the blues bench was sooooo quiet and then later all I heard was how the blues were picking it up. And they kept talking about how the first goal (in 31 seconds) made the blues lose focus.

      *** PLEASE GET SOME UNBIASED ANNOUNCERS ***

  3. blomfeld - May 1, 2012 at 12:52 AM

    WE PREVAIL AGAIN !
    _________________
    :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)

    friends … no longer can there remain any doubt that “ours” is not only a just and merited cause, but a “righteous” one too ! … tonight our big offensive guns were finally brought to bear and the result was sheer “devastation” for our foe … and then during the inevitable counter-attack, his efforts were “completely” repulsed by our rearguard savior Jonathan Quick ! … we’re happening man, no two ways about that ! … but as we head back to LA, it’s absolutely imperative that we continue to press home the attack with ever greater zeal, as this engagement is still far from won !

    in the meantime … GO KINGS GO ! :) … and please enjoy this delightful number …

    • hockeyknowledge - May 1, 2012 at 12:55 PM

      Yes the Kings played a lot better than the Blues, but seriously what’s with the dramatic victory celebration.

  4. highlander24 - May 1, 2012 at 1:02 AM

    GO KINGS GO!!!!!!!!!!

  5. namriverrat69 - May 1, 2012 at 1:17 AM

    I’ll have an order of toast please.

  6. oside760 - May 1, 2012 at 1:18 AM

    what is there to discuss?? the blues suck hahahaha. GO KINGS!!!!

  7. namriverrat69 - May 1, 2012 at 1:37 AM

    Actually, the Blues who are singing the blues didn’t come in 2nd in the Western Conference on a fluke. They are an excellent team. This is going to be a real fight from here on out. It seemed like the Kings were saying in your face with all the penalties in the 3rd period. It was like, I’ll fight you wtih one hand behind my back when they took all the penalties – especially the almost 2 minute 5 on 3 and the Blues still couldn’t score. Unbelievable. GO KINGS – KEEP THE PRESSURE ON.

    It wasn’t too many years ago that the physical hockey was played back east and western teams were considered finesse style hockey. Not any more>

  8. jkaflagg - May 1, 2012 at 3:34 AM

    Optimistic Kings fans, remember: we NEVER do anything easy…..and getting out on the road may be just what the Blues need, same way the Kings have thrived away from home ice expectations….still look for a tough series, although if Brian Elliot has truly woken up and remembered that he is Brian Elliot – it’s over

  9. comeonnowguys - May 1, 2012 at 8:54 AM

    Only shock is that it didn’t happen to the Blues in the first round.

  10. hrudey - May 1, 2012 at 11:47 AM

    The Kings only have two SHG this series – one by Greene, one by Kopitar. My only guess is that you’re counting Penner’s EN, but there wasn’t a power play then.

    In road games this postseason, the Kings have had 26 power plays and 26 penalty kills. They’ve scored 3 while on the PP, and four (allowing 1) while on the PK. They just need Washington to get eliminated and they’ll lock up road ice advantage throughout the playoffs, although of course now that they’ve held serve in St. Louis, they’ve got to try to steal a game (or hopefully two!) at Staples.

  11. capsfan19 - May 1, 2012 at 12:33 PM

    From a caps fan from the LA area!! Def rooting and for em and understand the announcer bias with my team. When we played boston, “RICH PEVERLY SCCOOOOREESSSS”, caps score- “oh and uhhhh i think alex semin just scored….”
    Either way i think its great. I predicted kings to go to the cup finals last october and nice to see them comin out of their shells. Have been a huge greene, quick, kopitar, stoll fan for awhile now!
    Hope we wouldnt have to play you cause kings always beat us! Go kings go!

  12. whitebearshaman - May 2, 2012 at 12:17 AM

    In all my years watching hockey,this was by far the worst broadcasting job I have seen. I have to admit I am a diehard Kings Fan, and would prefer to listen to the great duo of Jim Fox and Bob Miller. The sad thing is we are stuck with this god awful Hayward for (knock on wood) the next 2 games. NBC, please do something about the poor broadcasting job. It shouldn’t be better when it was VS network

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