The Los Angeles Kings coughed up a 4-0 lead in the 2011 playoffs, but there was still the sense that the St. Louis Blues were doomed to go to the Staples Center down 2-0 after that wild first period. Aside from an early second period tally, the Blues never really seemed to have a shot as the Kings won 5-2 to take that 2-0 series lead.
Let’s get to the questions.
- Are the Kings the best eighth seed in ages? They came into the regular season with plenty of hype and finished the regular season scalding hot. As much as the Blues and Canucks might have regrets, Los Angeles deserves credit for making good on those expectations – even if they’re doing so later than expected.
- Is 2012 the year that casual hockey fans know the name Anze Kopitar? He scored two goals and was simply too much for the Blues tonight.
- If Jaroslav Halak isn’t good to go in Game 3, can St. Louis trust Brian Elliott to get the job done? If not, should they go with untested prospect Jared Allen or reach deeper into the minors?
- Going deeper, what exactly must St. Louis do to get back into this series? Are they already toast?
- Here’s one area of obvious improvement: the power play. Sure, the Kings are 0-for-9 in the series themselves, but they’ve just been killing time in many cases. Lou Korac points out that St. Louis was 0-for-9 in Game 2, 0-for-12 in the playoff series and a stunning 0-for-23 including the regular season. Oh yeah, they’ve also allowed three shorthanded goals in this series … so that’s not good.