Kings poised to cap off great postseason run

781624.jpg

Kings poised to cap off great postseason run

It doesnt look like theres any stopping the Los Angeles Kings at this point.

Jonathan Quick is throwing up zeroes between the pipes en route to becoming the best US-born goaltender in the world (hope Tim Thomas and his 2014 Olympics hopes are paying attention), and it appears a foregone conclusion that the Conn Smythe Trophy is his.

Dustin Brown, Anze Kopitar, Drew Doughty and the trouble twins from the Flyers (Jeff Carter and Mike Richards) are becoming household names with giant postseason performances, and the Kings are absolutely rolling en route to the Cup. The Kings would match the 1998 Oilers with a 16-2 run through the playoffs if they can wrap things up in Los Angeles.

That, my friends, is domination.

"You never know. It's just the way it goes. You ride your confidence as far as you can take it. You ride your play, you ride your goaltender and you ride your guys that are going. We got everybody going, said Kings grinding forward Jarret Stoll. That's probably the best thing about our team, we're a team.

If you are going to beat us, you have to come through a lot of us to beat us. That's the way we feel. That's the way we're playing. Weve got one more to go.

Whether it gets wrapped up tonight at the Staples Center or subsequently in later games if the Devils can show some semblance of life, offense or deep-seeded emotion, Los Angeles has pushed through to another level in the NHL stratosphere.

The LA hockey club would finally bring a Stanley Cup to a franchise thats been waiting 45 years for this moment.

That being said the Kings need to finish things off before the spoils of victory are theirs; nobody hoists the Cup after slapping another hockey team around for three games.

The Kings need to become closers in a city where Hollywood deals are closed every day, but theyre not viewing win No. 4 as any different from the rest of the tight-knit series.

It doesn't count any more than the rest of them did. It's one game, so we're just going to play our game, work as hard as we can, try to be as prepared as possible and see what happens, said Quick. Its the same routine, as always. We're going to go about our
Business the same way, prepare the same way and try to be more prepared than they are.

The only shame of it all is that it was the Devils standing in the end against a Kings club thats clearly much better than the No. 8 that eked their way into the playoffs. LAs offensive depth changed for the better when Carter came aboard the Kings in February, and theyve gone 27-7-3 since swapping Jack Johnson for the Flyers scorer outcast from Philadelphia.

Granted, New Jersey is trying to win it all with a superstar in Ilya Kovalchuk thats clearly hurting and ineffective, but the Kings have two legitimate offensive forward lines, the best defenseman on either of the two teams and a dominant goaltender in his prime.

Thats a difficult combination to beat, and it looks like it wont be in the Cup Finals whether the Kings close it out tonight or in the remaining three chances theyll get over the next two weeks.

Former Bruins star Ray Bourque 'in unfamiliar territory'

bruins_ray_bourque_062516.jpg

Former Bruins star Ray Bourque 'in unfamiliar territory'

ANDOVER, Mass. — Former Boston Bruins star Ray Bourque, who's facing a drunken driving charge, says he accepts the responsibility of his actions.

Bourque was charged Friday night with operating under the influence of alcohol and following too closely. He posted bail and was released.

"For the first time in my life, I find myself in unfamiliar territory," Bourque said in a statement released Sunday. "I am not happy about the situation I put myself into."

Andover Police Chief Patrick Keefe said the 55-year-old Bourque was arrested about 11:30 p.m. after his Mercedes-Benz rear-ended a minivan in a construction zone in the city. No injuries were reported.

Bourque is to be arraigned in Lawrence District Court. Police haven't provided a date.

According to The Boston Globe, Bourque currently owns Tresca, a restaurant on Boston's North End.

"Everything is on track" with Bruins prospect Zboril

bruins-jakub-zboril.jpg

"Everything is on track" with Bruins prospect Zboril

Little more than a year after he was drafted in the middle of the first round by the Boston Bruins, some are whispering that 19-year-old Jakub Zboril isn’t going to live up to advanced billing. Clearly the Czech defenseman took a step back for the Saint John Sea Dogs after being taken 13th by the Bruins in last year’s draft, and dropped to six goals and 20 points in 50 games in the QMJHL while watching second round pick Jeremy Lauzon pass him by on the prospect hype chart.

Perhaps the more concerning thing have been the whispers about an erratic work ethic and bad habits in Zboril’s game, a couple of criticisms that haven’t exactly gone away since the Bruins signed him to a contract last summer following development camp. Bruins assistant general manager Scott Bradley was asked about those concerns with the young D-man as he heads into an important training camp with Boston this fall, and didn’t seem all that concerned about his first round pick being a “bust.”

“I think his offensive production was down, and that he struggled a little bit coming out of the gate” said Bradley of Zboril, who had 13 goals and 33 points in 44 games during his first season in the Quebec Major Junior League prior to getting drafted by Boston. “But he had a strong playoff. Everybody forgets that he’s a gritty guy, and a strong player that moves the puck. The thing that stands out about him are that his numbers are down from last year.

“But everything is on track with him. He’s going to come to camp and hopefully shines, and has a good year this year…patience.

“I think it’s great if the second rounders are on par with him: the [Brandon] Carlos and the [Jeremy] Lauzons. If you look at the whole of our draft last year you can’t rule out the first eight picks that they might play [in the NHL]. We’re excited. Donnie and I were at the Memorial Cup, and Lauzon raised our eyebrows every night that he played. You’d come away with a good feeling like this kid plays hard, plays the Bruins style, moves the puck and is tough. Obviously [you had to like] what Carlo did when he was brought in [to Providence] at the end. It just bodes well for what we have coming this year. Zboril and Lauzon are probably going back to junior, but Carlo is going to get a long look.”

The young Czech D-man is still at a point where his stock can still shoot higher than it’s ever been with a good showing at training camp, and a strong season for the Sea Dogs entering into his professional hockey career. But he can’t afford to go through another down season, or that talk of him being a first round bust is only going to get louder and stronger.