How many of you barfed when you heard Willie Mitchell was injured and would be replaced by Matt Greene for Game 7? Just me? Greene was a straight-up liability in Games 1 and 2, failing to clear pucks when he needed to and routinely blowing coverage outside the crease. But you know what? Greene did his job tonight. Blocked shots, boxed guys out during rebounds, and cleared the puck when necessary (save one or two times which caused me to regurgitate the donuts I was shoving into my mouth to keep from grinding my teeth into a powdery dust). I gotta give it to him, he played a helluva game.
But you know who was my first star of the game... besides Quick (for robbing Marleau in the second period and single-handedly keeping the Kings in the game for pretty much the entire… game) and Kopitar (for his dangled game-winner and feeding Brown off the opposite board for the empty-net insurance goal)?
Tanner Fucking Pearson. He played out of his mind and had one of the sickest feeds to Toffoli for the third goal. Don’t get me wrong, Toffoli finished like a champ, but it was Pearson’s speed, hustle, vision, and touch which led to that goal. Since getting the nod in Game 3, I’m positive everyone who hasn’t been watching the Kings on a regular basis has been like “Woah, who is this kid?!” He’s got “Chris Johnson breakaway” speed and his vision/hockey IQ is off the charts. Regardless of what happens in the rest of the postseason, I’m looking forward to his development next season. I mean, he’s definitely earned himself a spot on the squad next year, right? Am I seeing things?
But as much as I want to credit the Kings for executing when necessary, blocking key shots, clearing away critical rebounds, and never giving up, tonight’s loss is less about what the Kings did and more about what the Sharks couldn’t do. Going 0 for 6 on the power play is not gonna win you shit. [Wait…….. THAT’S JAMIE KOMPON’S MUSIC!!!] Erasing Games 1 and 2 from your memory, you have to know that Quick is going to return to form, especially after getting the shutout in Game 5 and only allowing 1 goal in Game 6. So you have to capitalize on the power play and the refs today were handing out gifts, left and right. Granted, the elbowing penalty against Couture was a sweet embellishment by Muzzin, but it seemed like the refs were getting swayed by the hometown crowd by the second period. Credit to Jim Fox for calling hooks when there were hooks and not losing his cool. Had San Jose scored on any of those touchy-feely hooking calls, I would’ve thrown my throwback Miller Lite can through my friend’s $6 billion TV. And yes, Miller Lite is my drink of choice, obviously.
As much as I’d like to spend the next five hours trolling Sharks fans, it was a damn good series and I’m just happy the Kings fought back and prevailed. There’s no use repeating the same “choke” jokes when a team has literally suffered its most crushing defeat in franchise history. So, I guess that’s where I draw the line. Anyone who knows me knows that the Sharks are my absolute least favorite hockey team BY FAR – more than the Canucks, way more than the Ducks. But I reserve five hours of trolling on a Wednesday night for one franchise and one franchise only: FUCK THE CELTICS.
And now, your LA Kings Cup Run Chart:
Much love till my next post.