Three key aspects of the Kings’ 3-1 victory over the St. Louis Bllues...
1. QUICK HOLDS THE FORT
Late last month, Jonathan Quick expressed his appreciation at being nominated for the Vezina Trophy but noted, ``That’s not the trophy I set out to win.’’ At this point, the Kings should just hire a personal blacksmith for Quick. He should get any trophy that he wants. Eyebrows raised a bit in the first period when Kevin Shattenkirk whistled a shot into the corner of the net, but even that is a compliment to Quick, because it’s so rare when he allows a questionable goal. There were zero questions about Quick, though, in the second and third periods. He made a total of 20 saves and was brilliant, and even got a little help from Anze Kopitar on the Blues’ best chance.
2. THIRD-PERIOD MANAGEMENT
Kings fans in Staples Center had to be holding their breath at the start of the third period. The Blues were like a chainsaw in the second period, as they outshot the Kings 13-2 but somehow didn’t put a goal on the scoreboard. The Blues didn’t appear to have lost any momentum at the start of the third period, as they controlled the puck for the first two minutes and continued to threaten. The Kings, all of them, deserve credit though for the way they managed the third period. Despite the Blues’ aggression and desperation, the Blues totaled only seven shots on goal in the third period. Even in the final minute, Dustin Penner’s forechecking helped kill valuable seconds.
3. CAPTAIN LEADS THE WAY
Any number of players deserve credit for the way they played in Game 4. Jordan Nolan scored a huge goal, and the fourth line in general gave the Kings some (highly underrated) effective shifts at times when the Blues seemed to be taking control. Dustin Penner made a nice play on Nolan’s goal as well. The defensemen, as noted earlier, managed the third period well, in particular. Once again, though, the captain took charge. Dustin Brown now has six goals and five assists in nine playoff games. It’s not just the numbers. Brown is moving as though his skates are ablaze, and is playing as though he’s getting paid by the hit. He is, in a word, a leader.