Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Kings (6) v. Canucks (3) - Round 1 Preview

During the Olympics Ryan Kesler was my fucking hero.  But now that he's on the other side, facing my beloved Kings, I can't stand the guy.  I can't stand reading and listening to discussions about how good the Vancouver Canucks are and how they're definitely going to be competing for the Cup this year.  Maybe I've been paying attention to them with blinders on all season long, but I don't understand the love affair with that team.  They've got some great players and maybe on paper they look amazing, but watching them play I see a team that will be packing their bags and heading off to golf trips after the first round.

The Kings are definitely outmatched in goal.  Despite Luongo's terrible outing against the Kings earlier this month there's no question he's a far better goaltender than Jonathan Quick.  And it definitely doesn't help the Kings that Quick hadn't done very well during the post-Olympic stretch, having won only 4 games during that time frame.  Erik Ersberg and Jonathan "already a fan favorite" Bernier have played better lately than Quick, but since it would be absolute madness for anyone but Quick to start in net, let's hope he plays out of his mind.  He may not be a Roy or a Luongo or a Brodeur, but he can be solid and can steal games.  I don't think anyone thought Cam Ward would outduel Martin Brodeur during Carolina's Cup run in '06 so it's definitely possible for Quick to be just good enough to win this series.

The Kings have a lot of depth among their forwards.  When the top line (Kopitar-Smyth-Williams) isn't producing then someone like Scott Parse is putting away a couple goals.  It'll be interesting to see which players fill out the fourth line.  Will the Kings take the physical route and play Raitis Ivanans to beef up the lineup or gain some speed and grit with Richard Clune or go with playmaking and put in Parse?  The 4th line is always a crap shoot, but at least the other three lines are pretty badass. I wouldn't be surprised if Vancouver tries to shut down Kopitar, Smyth, and Williams so it'll be up to guys like Brown, Frolov, Stoll, Handzus, and Simmonds to carry the team.  I get weak in my knees just thinking about our 2nd and 3rd lines....*swoon*!  

I have a lot of confidence in the Kings defense as long as Peter Harrold isn't in the lineup.  Drew Doughty will most likely be paired with a Sedin twin and if he can shut down Ovechkin, he can shut down anyone.  And if you count Handzus as a defenseman, there goes another Canuck powerhouse.  Jack Johnson has been looking better and better with each passing game so hopefully he turns into full JMFJ mode instead of getting bitch slapped by Vancouver.

The Kings can beat Vancouver in a 7-game series.  They can and they will.

See what your fellow Kings fans are saying about this series:

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