Los Angeles Kings: Sturm Shows Up, Kings Dismantle Sharks

The Los Angeles Kings have returned from the holiday break in full force. 

After a stellar start to the season, a mediocre November and a solid start to December, the Kings finally look like they have turned a corner.  Is the team ready for the playoffs?  Probably not.  Does the team look good?  Absolutely.

In a game that was set up for disappointment, the Kings showed why they are considered one of the favorites to lift the Stanley Cup this coming summer. 

The San Jose Sharks had won the four games prior to the holiday break, and they finally looked like a team that could seriously challenge for home-ice advantage in the playoffs.  It appeared as though the Sharks had turned over a new leaf and were ready for action.

Terry Murray and the Los Angeles Kings knew this game was going to be looked upon as a test.  Going up against a divisional rival is always tough.  Going up against the San Jose Sharks is especially tough due to their rough playing style and sheer size.

In the first period, the Kings came out flying.  It looked like men against boys.  The Kings were skating circles around the Sharks, who just looked tired and worn out.  The drive, determination and skill shown by the Los Angeles Kings was so apparent despite the scoreboard reading zeroes.

If it wasn't for some spectacular goaltending from Antti Niemi, who finally looked like a No. 1 goaltender, the Kings could have had three goals in the first period.  Niemi used his entire goaltending arsenal to keep the Sharks in a game that they really had no business being in.

From a fan's perspective, it started become worrisome as the Kings were dominating the play, but they just couldn't break through.

The second period brought some of the most exciting hockey of the season to our attention.  The San Jose Sharks appeared to have ...

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