Can the Kings grind out low-scoring wins?
After spending a chunk of time yesterday going through the hefty stack of NHL media clips, I learned a couple things. One, yes, there are actually a couple writers who have picked the Kings to win this first-round series. They are among a tiny minority, but they do exist. Two, almost every writer who offered an analysis of the series brought up one name when discussing the Kings’ chances: Jonathan Quick. The common theme was some variation of, “If Quick steals some games, the Kings might have a chance.” The prevailing thought is that in order for the Kings to be competitive with San Jose, they will need to win games by a score of 2-1, or something similar. That thought is certainly not unreasonable, but it’s also nothing new. Given the way the Kings like to play, and their system, it’s pretty much always their design to try to win games 2-1. Whether they accomplish it, of course, is a much difference story. In that context, though, Quick was asked whether he felt as though he was sort of the hinge to the series, given that most believe the Kings will need to win low-scoring games…
QUICK: “No, not at all. We’ve been playing like that all year. We’ve got to get dirty goals. Even if we have those guys in the lineup, it doesn’t change how we play the game. It’s the same system. We need guys to chip in and score by committee, and that’s something we’ve been doing all year.”
Question: You’re known for your tough criticism of yourself. How do you think your season has gone?
QUICK: “Well, I guess I would say that my season isn’t over yet. … The only thing I can really comment on is that we got to where we wanted to go to. Maybe we didn’t exactly end up where we wanted, but we got to go where we wanted to go, after 82 (games). Now we’ve got a challenge ahead of us, in the next couple months. Hopefully that’s how long it lasts. This is where we want to be.”
Along a similar line, Terry Murray talked about the way the Kings will need to play against the Sharks in order to have success…
MURRAY: “We have to play the team game. It’s a matter of staying on the right side of the puck when you don’t have possession of it. That covers a lot of areas, but that is so important, especially against an attack team that comes with four or five almost every rush. They’re a real good counter team, and individually they’ve got some guys that can do some things and dangle you one-on-one. So it’s very important to play on the right side of the puck.”