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Can the Kings continue to get away with falling behind?

Jun 5, 2014, 10:56 AM EDT

Jonathan Quick AP

After the Los Angeles Kings overcame an early 2-0 deficit to defeat the New York Rangers in overtime, the buzz phrase was, “We don’t want to make a habit of that.”

That was defenseman Willie Mitchell, per LA Kings Insider, but goaltender Jonathan Quick and forward Justin Williams offered almost identical quotes.

We’re in June though and you could argue that the Kings have long since made falling behind early a 2014 playoff habit, to the point where the comebacks that have stemmed from it have become the foundation of this team’s identity. From losing the first three games of the playoffs against the San Jose Sharks to falling behind 2-0 in the first period of Game 7 against the Chicago Blackhawks, we have consistently seen the Kings end up in a position where they either need to dig themselves out of series or individual game holes.

So far they have stepped up. They’ve won all seven of their potential elimination games. They have conceded the first goal in 12 of their 22 games, and been behind after one period in 10 contests, but they have strong 5-7 and 4-6 records in those scenarios respectively. To put that into context, a team trailing after one period has gone on to win about 29% of the time in the 2014 playoffs, compared to the Kings 40% comeback rate.

At some point though, will this all catch up with them? Will they pull off comebacks right up until the point they lift the Cup or will the New York Rangers be the team that finally makes them pay?

“If you make a habit of that, sooner or later it’s going to bite you in the you know what,” Mitchell said.

Perhaps they’ll finally break the habit. Maybe they can win the Cup without digging themselves out of another sizable hole first.

Related:

Kings know they got away with one

  1. nyking1963 - Jun 5, 2014 at 11:28 AM

    The score of the game doesn’t matter to the Kings. They continue to play their game and have confidence in themselves that they will overcome whatever the deficit is.
    You go down 2-0 early…with almost 50 minutes of hockey remaining, why would you or anyone think they’re out of a game at that point?
    Unless the Rangerss can figure out what no other team has been able to figure out..which is how to break their will, they will roll thru this series the same as the otehrs. how long it will take is the only question.

    Go Kings!

  2. patthehockeyfan - Jun 5, 2014 at 11:37 AM

    I missed most of the first half, arriving home to see the score 2 – 0 Rangers. My first thought: Good! The Kings have them exactly where they want them.

    Hard to say whether the trend will continue; however, relying on this so-far empirical evidence, I’m not worried.

    Look up the word ‘resilience’ in the dictionary, and you’ll find an LA Kings’ logo depicting it.

  3. dontbsuchapuss - Jun 5, 2014 at 11:59 AM

    Someone should have asked quick if his luck is going to run out soon mouthing off to the other team and hiding behind his defense. I hope the kings drop the next four to shut them up luck only works for a short while

    • patthehockeyfan - Jun 5, 2014 at 12:00 PM

      dontbesuchapuss

    • nyking1963 - Jun 5, 2014 at 12:07 PM

      serious?
      Worry about your own team..Quick’s a Stanley Cup winner and a Conn Smythe Trophy winner.
      You really think he’s just lucky… Would you also say that about Lundqvist?
      Both are world class goalies…
      I guess this is the 1st time you’ve watched Quick and the Kings..otherwise you wouldn’t have said such a foolish thing.

      Go Kings!

    • patthehockeyfan - Jun 5, 2014 at 12:21 PM

      P.S. Quick has NEVER hidden behind his defense. I’ve seen him go after opposing players, and at least once, he had to be pulled off of a guy he was going after. He’s as physically combative as any player on his team.

      • bmy0913 - Jun 5, 2014 at 12:40 PM

        Haha yeah, as evidenced by him completely backing down from Crawford in Game 7 when he was shaking the gloves to drop. Not saying dude isn’t a top goalie, I totally feel you there. But he didn’t do himself any favors. His play aside, I do find him to be a bit mouthy. I’m pretty certain that if the average size of his team wasn’t like 9’7″ he probably would be a little less combative, let’s be fair.

      • cybernetikghost - Jun 5, 2014 at 4:23 PM

        Quick has the type of personality he does because he constantly has players taking runs at him or getting under his skin because he has the reputation of being hot headed. He stands his ground and won’t rely on the refs to police the game. I honestly think he would have fought Crawford if there was at least one other fight already going on, otherwise it just doesn’t make sense, Quick had more to lose than Crawford.

  4. 34defense2014 - Jun 5, 2014 at 12:43 PM

    Rag’s fans are nervous!!!! They came out of the gates flying!!’ Until the Kings figured out how to neutralize there speed! Kings in 5

  5. joey4id - Jun 5, 2014 at 12:45 PM

    One thing is certain. The Kings didn’t play their best 60 minutes last night. The Rangers certainly know they dropped one, and that the Kings game is going to go up a notch or 2. Sutter juggled the lines last night to get the boy’s legs going. Expect to see Sutter go back to the lines that brought them where they are. Can the Rangers be better than last night? Yes if they can play a perfect game. Missing; Rick Nash! I hope they enjoy their time off at Shutters in Santa Monica. Stay out of the sun boys. Pretty uncomfortable to play hockey with a sunburn. Eh!

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