Kings can’t let defense slip in playoffs again
From the Kings’ perspective, the Kings’ key to the series was summed up perfectly, in 124 words, by Dustin Brown today. It’s not about scoring goals; it’s about preventing them. Look at the Kings’ playoff series in the past two seasons. Two years ago against Vancouver, they scored 18 goals in six games and lost. Last year, they scored 20 goals in six games and lost. Why? In four of those 12 games, the Kings allowed either six or seven goals. That’s extraordinarily uncharacteristic for this group. A great recent example would be the game the Kings played against San Jose last Thursday. Was it exciting? Yes. Can the Kings regularly win those games? No. In the last 12 playoff games, the Kings have allowed an average of 3.75 goals per game. They can’t do that and win. A big part of that will be determined by how well Jonathan Quick plays, but as Brown said today, the Kings’ defensive game, overall, needs to be sharp against a high-scoring Vancouver team.
BROWN: “For me, it’s our defensive game. In a nutshell, why we’ve been so good in the last couple years has been our defensive game. Now we’re playing one of the better offensive teams. I don’t know where they rank, but they’ve got to be up in the top five. If we’re not on our game defensively, they’re going to pick us apart. The flip side of that is, we’ve got to find ways to get goals. But we’re capable of winning games 2-1, 1-0. It’s going to be really hard to win a game against the Vancouver Canucks if we’re giving up four or five goals. That’s just a fact. We’re not that type of team, where we’re going to trade chance for chance.’’