Adjustments needed on Kings power play
The Kings finished the regular season with six power-play goals in their last two games, then scored two power-play goals in Game 1 against Vancouver. It’s been sliding away since then. The Kings went 1-for-4 on the power play and 0-for-8 in Game 3. That’s a bit misleading, given the actual power-play time, but the Kings had only five shots on goal in 12 minutes, 23 seconds, of power-play time, and often struggled to even bring the puck out of their own zone. Given the adjustments that take place within a series, I asked Darryl Sutter whether the Kings needed to re-adjust on the power play, or whether they simply needed to execute better…
SUTTER: “No, we have to make some adjustments, and we have to make sure some of our top guys are on the same page.’’
Question: On entries, in particular? Is that a focus?
SUTTER: “That’s all anybody does, is practice entries. Don’t forget, we’re both great penalty-killing teams. It’s a good reason that they’re able to be a really good penalty-killing team, is because of time spent in the zone. If you actually watch it and break it down, both teams pretty much do the very same things, up ice and outside the blue lines. With entries, how often do you actually enter with speed? How often do you do it? A lot of it is about recovery, and then teams do kill differently in their own zone, so you try to make sure you take advantage of it.
“It’s an issue for us because of the number of penalties the other team has taken. Other than that, it’s not that big an issue, because quite honestly our power play has been been that good all year. So, it’s not someone dropping in something. The most important way to score goals in the playoffs, whether it’s power play or not, is to get the (stuff) pounded out of you in the front of the net, and somebody shooting the puck there. If you’ve got a better analogy than that one…there isn’t. If you watched St. Louis and San Jose last night, St. Louis scored three goals, and they’ve got Patrik Berglund standing in front of the net and guys shooting the puck from the point and an old veteran sliding around and who knows how to score. If you look at the goal he scored last night, it’s very similar to the overtime goal he scored to win a Stanley Cup.
There’s no secrets or miracles. The Boston Bruins won the Stanley Cup last year, and I remember that it was a focus of the TV broadcasters in Game 6 and 7. It wasn’t about who was going to win the Stanley Cup. It was about (how) the Boston Bruins hadn’t scored a power-play goal for a month. But, jeez, they won the Stanley Cup.’’