Waking up with the Kings: April 29 - LA Kings Insider

Darryl Sutter is often asked during the regular season whether a tightly contested game had a “playoff feel.” He’s pretty quick to laugh at such suggestions, and for a good reason. There’s very little from the regular season that’s able to match the fear, intensity and explosion of nervous energy inherent in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and Monday night’s game tested every dimension of the emotional capacity of those in attendance. The Kings’ ransom? They’ll get to do it all over again on Wednesday. The season is reduced to one game, and with no carryover of momentum from game-to-game, per Darryl Sutter, what Los Angeles was able to accomplish over the past week has little bearing on a Game 7. The toughest challenge is yet to come.

485355981HH00027_San_Jose_S

Controversy! Game 6 was not without it. I can’t read the minds of the officials, but my interpretation of Justin Williams’ game-winning goal is that Rule 69.6 was not applied. Part of that rule states “In the event that a goalkeeper has been pushed into the net together with the puck by an attacking player after making a stop, the goal will be disallowed.” The goalkeeper was not pushed together with the puck into the net. Only the puck found the net, which leads me to believe that the rule could not be applied. Because referee Chris Lee announced to the crowd that “It’s not a reviewable play,” I’m led to believe that the contact was deemed more to be a judgment call over whether there was interference with the goaltender. That’s not reviewable, so the call on the ice must stand. There was no question as to whether there was an intent to blow, because there wasn’t – Lee appeared to see the puck the entire time.

Noah Graham / National Hockey League

The Kings etched out another strong start but led only 1-0 after 20 minutes. It was a first period similar to the one that produced a 2-0 lead in Game 5, but credit Alex Stalock for minimizing the damage and keeping the Sharks within striking distance. There were a pair of first period two-on-ones that the Kings were unable to capitalize on that ultimately didn’t matter because of the third period surge, though they certainly led to the rising blood pressure of those in attendance. Until San Jose’s late unraveling, Stalock was excellent.

San Jose Sharks v Los Angeles Kings - Game Six

Matt Irwin stepped into the series for the first time and played quite well. Known for his heavy shot, the well-built, two-way defenseman logged 18:43 of ice time and finished tied with a team-high four hits. There was one particular moment in the second period where he managed a gap well in the neutral zone and stepped up to eliminate the time a Kings puck carrier had while attempting to gain the offensive zone. He doesn’t have the foot speed or the dynamic all-around versatility that Marc Edouard-Vlasic has, but he’ll be more than serviceable if called on again and as a reliable “seventh” defenseman more than capable of providing quality minutes in a variety of situations.

485355981NG011_Sharks_Kings.JPG

Drew Doughty and Anze Kopitar were the Kings’ best players in Game 6, and their extended 5-on-3 penalty kill with Willie Mitchell was outstanding. Key blocks by Mitchell and Doughty sustained the kill, and even though the Sharks scored shortly after a follow-up penalty kill on a dubious high sticking call against Doughty, the game’s trajectory would have changed greatly if not for the collective effort to kill off the two-man advantage. I’ll have an update on Mitchell from Toyota Sports Center today.

485355981HH00007_San_Jose_S

Rules for Blog Commenting
  • - No profanity, slurs or other offensive language. Replacing letters with symbols does not turn expletives into non-expletives.
  • - Personal attacks against other blog commenters, and/or blatant attempts to antagonize other commenters, are not tolerated. Respectful disagreement is encouraged. Posts that continually express the same singular opinion will be deleted.
  • - Comments that incite political, religious or similar debates will be deleted.
  • - Please do not discuss, or post links to, websites that illegally stream NHL games.
  • - Posting under multiple user names is not allowed. Do not type in all caps. All violations are subject to comment deletion and/or banning of commenters, per the discretion of the blog administrator.
Alec martinez

#27 | 6′ 1″ | 210 lb | Age: 29

Born: July 26, 1987
Birthplace: Rochester Hills, MI, USA
Position: D
Handedness: Left

Bio

Bio: Martinez was drafted by the LA Kings in the 2007 Draft, while playing for Miami University. He has since become a two-time Stanley Cup champion and the 17th man in Stanley Cup playoff history to score the Cup-winning goal in overtime.

VIEW ALEC MARTINEZ POSTS
Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left

Bio

As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

VIEW ANZE KOPITAR POSTS
Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right

Bio

Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

VIEW DREW DOUGHTY POSTS
Tyler Toffoli

#73 | 6′ 1″ | 200 lb | Age: 24

Born: April 24, 1992
Birthplace: Scarborough, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

Toffoli is a Canadian professional ice hockey forward, drafted by the Kings in the second round of the 2010 Draft. Toffoli scored his first career NHL goal in his second game in a 4–0 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes in 2013. He was also named the 2012–13 AHL All-Rookie Team.
VIEW TYLER TOFFOLI POSTS

Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

VIEW JEFF CARTER POSTS
Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left

Bio

Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.

VIEW JONATHAN QUICK POSTS