Los Angeles Kings vs. San Jose Sharks Preview

Los Angeles Kings ml +100

This series clearly has nothing to do with raw talent anymore. Game 1 demonstrated that grit and defense could make up for the absence of finesse players, as the Kings were able to force the game to overtime while many thought they would be steam rolled.

Game 2 was a vivid reminder of how the Sharks have typically played in the playoffs since the lockout. If it was not for their past, I would say that Game 2 was just a bad game for San Jose, but seeing that their last few early exits (apart from last year) were a result of absence of physicality, intensity and heart overall on behalf of the sharks, I will say that the Kings take over from here on.

The Kings had a chance to figure the sharks out over the last two games, and it is clear that they are getting very comfortable and familiar with them. It does help that there is nothing intimidating about the way the Sharks play in the playoffs, and they have the same core personnel from their last few unsuccessful runs. Momentum will be on LA's side, as they head home to the Staples Center. They will also be receiving Jarret Stoll back from a one game suspension.

The Sharks are still playing decent defense, but their forwards are clearly coasting in most situations where they should either be chasing the puck or forechecking. They do not realize that the game continues when they don't have the puck. They play good when they have the puck, but LA has done a good job containing them, forcing them to the outside and limiting quality shots.

Goaltender, Jonathan Quick has been displaying amazing rebound control as well. As for LA's offense, their forwards are forechecking well and showing character, but they also now realized (even more than before) that some of their more offensive weapons are on the point in Drew Doughty and Jack Johnson (who accounted for all four goals in Game 2), and now Jarret Stoll that he's back on power plays. There w...

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