Before we take a first look at the second-round series against St. Louis, here’s a bit of a look back at the series in total.
Before the series, I identified three aspects that I thought might define the series. They were: 1) The goalie matchup. 2) Whether Jeff Carter or Daniel Sedin would have more of an impact, returning from injury. 3) The special-teams battle. How did they turn out? 1) Quick won the goalie battle, although Roberto Luongo was not bad in the first two games and Cory Schneider was very good in the final three games. 2) Each team scored three power-play goals and the Kings scored two shorthanded goals. The fact that the Kings played the Canucks even on the power play, and were plus-2 overall in special teams, was huge. 3) Carter and Sedin each had two points, although Sedin played only two games. Carter was essentially a non-factor. Sedin gave the Canucks a huge Game 4 boost.
What were some other factors, not predicted before the series? 1) The Kings went 2-0 in one-goal games. They were essentially a .500 team in one-goal games in the regular season, which was a big reason why they underachieved. 2) Twice in the series, the Kings allowed the first goal but rallied to win. In the regular season, they allowed the first goal 37 times and won only eight of those games. 3) Late in the regular season, the Kings at times looked a little wobbly in the third periods. In this series, they outscored the Canucks 7-2 after the second period.
Finally, a couple multi-media things. First, my pal Howard Berger did an outstanding job on his blog, in which he captured some great images from Game 5, including a sequence of photos of a grieving Canucks fan. Click here to check it out. Also, click below for Jarret Stoll’s game-winning goal, as presented on TV and radio with two great calls, followed by a full-game recap from KingsVision.