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.