Thursday, May 31, 2012
The Kings Have Found The Formula For Road Success
In the NHL, winning games on the road is a hard thing to do, and winning games on the road in the Stanley Cup Playoffs is an even harder feat. With a 9-0 record on the road this postseason, the Los Angeles Kings seem to have gotten winning on the road down to a science.
When the Kings are on the road, they do the most important thing successfully, they take the home crowd out of the game. Once the crowd is neutralized, home ice advantage is practically none existent. The best way to take the wind out of the opponent's building is to score first, which the Kings have done in five of their nine away contests.
When the Kings do fall behind they answer quickly, and when they don't, they don't allow the home team to extend their lead. The Kings have yet to trail by more than one goal while on the road during these playoffs.
Once the Kings have the lead they shut their opponent down, and play token defense first, Kings hockey. The tight checking and suffocating defense that the Kings play make it hard for any team to claw their way out of any hole they may fall into.
The key to the Kings' play is that every player, lines one through four, play a 200 foot game. They fore-check hard, back-check harder and take care of the defensive zone first. Ultimately causing turnovers and mistakes which the Kings take advantage of.
After all that, if a team were fortunate enough to get through the Kings' first five, there is Jonathan Quick between the pipes, and we all know how that goes.
Once again, the Kings will put their undefeated record on the line when the puck drops for game two on Saturday. If the Kings are able to extend their record to 10-0 and head back to Staples Center with a 2-0 series lead they may have played their last road game this season.