Kings hope for tighter play around both nets
Getting the puck to the net, and getting bodies around the net (and the puck) is always an emphasis for any team, but the subplot seemed even more important in Game 4. The Kings recorded 22 shots on goal but had 23 others miss the net, which is a far-too-high ratio. Even on the shots the Kings did get, too often there was little traffic around Martin Brodeur, to make things tough for him. By contrast, the New Jersey Devils did a better of making Quick think about things other than the puck. The Devils toed the line, as some folks believed that goalie interference should have been called shortly before Patrik Elias’ goal. Jonathan Quick, though, said he didn’t think the Devils were trying to disrupt him to any greater extent than they did in the first three games…
QUICK: “No. Same thing as the first few games. Traffic, bumping me, stuff like that. That’s every team’s plan, for the most part.‘’
Question: Frustrating when (contact) directly leads to a goal like the first one in Game 4?
QUICK: “You know, you’d like to see the calls go both ways. Sometimes they don’t. It’s a quick game; stuff happens. Move on. Zero-zero series right now. Trying to win Game 1, that’s all it is.’’
As for the high number of missed shots in Game 4, Anze Kopitar said, “You have to give yourself a chance. When the opportunity comes, you have to hit the net and make the goalie work. There are some small details to improve, but it’s going to take 20 guys and we’re going to have to put together a solid road games.’’
Darryl Sutter, in a tangential way, also referenced goalie play when asked about the Devils trying to gain confidence and the Kings trying to retain it…
SUTTER: “Well, I don’t think our team is going to struggle with confidence. We’re not concerned with their confidence, and they’re not really concerned the other way, right? So I don’t think that’s really an issue. I think it’s the Finals, and that’s why they’re here. You know, like we tell the players — I said it to you guys (also) — really, the series could be 2‑2 or 1‑3. There hasn’t been a gap in it. You look at the first two games, six periods of 2‑1 hockey. The other night is 1‑1 with just a few minutes left. There’s not enough of a gap. You look at the third game, the shutout game, there’s no score (until the) second period, you know, you score the two. There’s not enough of a difference in the series. Brodeur was awesome, I think, the other night. We need, probably, Jonathan to be that tomorrow.’’