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Discuss: Kings push Blues to 3-0 brink with 4-2 win

May 4, 2012, 12:41 AM EDT

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 03: Jamie Langenbrunner #15 of the St. Louis Blues and Mike Richards #10 of the Los Angeles Kings exchange punches in the first period in Game Three of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Staples Center on May 3, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. Langenbrunner and Richards both were given penalties for fighting and Richards was awarded an additional penalty for slashing. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) Getty Images

As deceptive as it might be to call the Los Angeles Kings the eighth seed in the West, it’s literally true. The on-paper talent and acumen behind the bench indicates they’re much more than that, but even so, it’s confounding that they crushed the Vancouver Canucks in round one and seem primed to do the same against the second seed in round two.

The series shifted to the Staples Center, yet that didn’t change much as the Kings bested the St. Louis Blues 4-2 to take a daunting 3-0 series lead. Let’s get the questions rolling.

  • Look, I know Jake Allen is thedefinition of “NHL-unproven,” but does Ken Hitchcock have any choice but to give him a shot? It’s not like inexperienced goalies haven’t surprised in 2012 (his name rhymes with Maiden Shmoltby.) So let me ask: should they go with Allen or play it safer with Brian Elliott -who doesn’t seem to have much confidence right now.
  • The Kings’ scoring differential through eight playoff games: 24-14. This is against the top two seeds in the West, if you needed another reminder.
  • The Los Angeles Kings opened up their second 3-0 series lead of the playoffs. They’ve also revealed a considerable “killer instinct” in answering Blues goals with resounding speed. Can they close out St. Louis quickly?
  • Speaking of which, can the Blues actually come back? What kind of odds do you give them?
  • Alex Pietrangelo collected an assist and a -1 rating in 26:34 of ice time. Maybe he’s not 100 percent, but Hitchcock used him quite a bit anyway.
  1. mclovinhockey - May 4, 2012 at 12:46 AM

    Kings will raise the cup

    • oside760 - May 4, 2012 at 1:06 AM

      i second that

  2. barkar942 - May 4, 2012 at 12:48 AM

    I was surprised, but happy, when they knocked off Vancouver.
    I am surprised, and honestly shocked, at what they have done to St. Louis thus far.

    • mickeyb21 - May 4, 2012 at 8:14 AM

      I think St. Louis is tired and the Kings are exploiting that at every opportunity. Hitch’s style made them work hard every shift all year. I don’t think they came into the season in the kind of shape necessary to sustain that for an entire season and postseason. This slow down started mid-March and has continued. King have played great and look to go far after this. Their stars are finally stepping up when it counts.

  3. whitebearshaman - May 4, 2012 at 12:55 AM

    SWEEP! Go Kings! Kings fan for 30 years. Never have I seen a more complete team play. If your a fan of hockey you would have to say that this could be the year for the Kings. GO KINGS! Life is good.

    • hines86for6 - May 4, 2012 at 1:16 AM

      Hoping for a Kings Predators west final.

      Two best teams in the conference.

    • beepa11 - May 4, 2012 at 8:27 AM

      Being a Wings fan all my life, this is EXACTLY what hockey is suppose to be, as demonstrated by the Kings. Detroit needs players to step up, as the Kings have done. I hope the Kings can close out the Blues this weekend, and rest up for the next round. Go Kings!!

  4. dannymac17 - May 4, 2012 at 12:58 AM

    The Kings are that good, not that the Blues are that bad.

    Kings have proven they have what it takes.

  5. oside760 - May 4, 2012 at 1:06 AM

    wow the blues are just awful. lol. GO KINGS!!!

  6. hrudey - May 4, 2012 at 1:06 AM

    On the point about answering opposing goals – the only time that the Kings have allowed consecutive goals to their opponent this postseason was the game 4 loss against Vancouver.

    This was probably Quick’s worst game of the postseason, and they still won comfortably. The Blues had some spurts where they were dangerous, and full marks for their effort, but they are still looking for an answer to either of LA’s top lines and it keeps coming back to a question mark in net for them.

    Hopefully the Kings can put together a full 60 minutes in game four and put this series to bed. Part of becoming a champion is learning how to finish an opponent – and there’s always last season’s series against San Jose if reminders are needed.

  7. blomfeld - May 4, 2012 at 1:28 AM

    NOW EVERYONE SHOULD LOVE THE LA KINGS ! …

    no different than everyone should love Elvis, horses and apple pie ! … we’ve done it again friends, just like I’ve been saying we would ! … so “God Bless” to everyone who’s commented here on this thread and praise be, for these are “good times” indeed ! …

    • danphipps01 - May 4, 2012 at 3:31 AM

      Did Quick look… I don’t know, “twitchy” to you? It seemed like he really had to force some of those saves, and he was scrambling around a bit in the few instances where the Blues actually created decent pressure around the net. It’s not like he was bad (though that first goal seemed fairly weak from where I was sitting), just… seemingly much less smooth and confident than he’s been up ’till now. Did you think he looked different tonight than usual?

  8. danphipps01 - May 4, 2012 at 3:21 AM

    So, who do they get to humiliate next? Will it be the Coyotes or the Predators receiving the next spectacular beatdown? And the most pressing question of all – is any team in the playoffs even capable of making it to game six against these guys, let alone taking them down?

  9. dawglb - May 4, 2012 at 6:58 AM

    I will throw up if Jeff Carter raises and kisses the Cup, this year. Until this point, the only cup he has held and kissed is Richards’.

  10. sjsharks66 - May 4, 2012 at 9:41 AM

    As a sharks fan I should dislike the Kings rite? I really don’t. They’re a great team. Im calling it rite now, they are winning the cup. It’s going to suck that the sharks would be the only California team without a cup, but we will get ours soon.

  11. bleedingteal4life - May 4, 2012 at 10:23 AM

    Obviously the kings pulled a fast one on the NHL, the players, and the fans. By having a mediocre season, they lead us to believe they were a pushover, and then BAM, they let the beast out. Bravo kings, you truly are masters of deception.

  12. gotdablues - May 4, 2012 at 1:14 PM

    i’ll start with this…blues fan. that being said, this was the one matchup that i did not want to see in the playoffs. i knew with the additions the Kings made this year they were poised to really make a strong run, and they have not disappointed. they have totally disrupted the blues game and i can only commend them on it. didn’t expect a sweep, but since it looks like that may be the case, i think the Kings win the cup this year.

  13. highlander24 - May 4, 2012 at 6:40 PM

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

    • blomfeld - May 5, 2012 at 12:52 AM

      GO KINGS GO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

  14. nyrangersfan - May 4, 2012 at 11:24 PM

    Rangers VS. Kings Stanley Cup Final.

  15. 1trojanlove - May 5, 2012 at 10:16 AM

    As a long time kings who remembers the 93 playoffs, I am cautious not to count my chickens before they hatch! Oh that stupid curve of the stick… The Kings look great and I glad they are staying in hotels to mimic road games! GO KINGS GO!!!!

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