Here we are trying to do our best impression of the “three keys to the game” for last night’s 3-2 overtime victory over the Vancouver Canucks. Hope you enjoy them:
1.) The Kings are the Stanley Cup Champions
It’s a weird thing to hear, even now. Take Alain Vigneault’s quote from last night: “We emptied the tank and our guys did what they had to do against the Stanley Cup Champions.” The Kings need to remember that they are going to be hunted all season long and will likely get their opponent’s best game. Every night. So when Nail Yakupov slides halfway down the ice in celebration after tying a game late or when the Blackhawks come out and post four goals on the Kings in the first 22 minutes of a game, these guys need to remember that they will be tested every single night. They may be beginning to understand that.
2.) Got Carter?
It’s easy to forget that Jeff Carter was a trade deadline pickup for these Kings just last season. The Kings went 11-5 after acquiring Carter and then 16-4 in the postseason. For those of you doing the math, that was 27-9 with Carter in the lineup (not including this season). It’s not just about Carter, of course, but his addition adds a new dimension to this team’s forward corps giving opponents two potent lines to try and stop. By the way, Carter has now scored in the last three games and leads the team in goals.
3.) Comeback Kids
It should not be discounted that the Kings came back from two goals down against a very good Vancouver team. In fact, the last time they made such a comeback was back in October 2010 against the Minnesota Wild, that’s more than two years ago. If you remember correctly, these same Kings last year were dead in the water when the team got more than one goal behind because of anemic offense most of the season. It’s a great sign that these Kings feel like they can come back from a 2-0 deficit.