Have two tough series taken their toll on the Kings?
Adam Burish seems to think so.
The San Jose forward told ESPN Chicago Radio on Tuesday that, during the second round, some of the Kings players looked like they were out of gas.
“They had guys as our series went on you could tell they were slowing down,” Burish explained. “I give them credit, they were hanging in there. They were tough.
“But this is the playoffs, this is hard.”
It certainly is.
Los Angeles has recorded 626 hits thus far in the playoffs, over 100 more than the next closest team (Boston, with 512). While hits are often a questionable metric — the criteria for one varies from building to building — it’s a pretty good indicator of how physical the Kings have played over the last 15 games.
Their Round 1 series against St. Louis was dubbed by many as a brutally intense affair (Dustin Penner called it “the most physical series I’ve been a part of,”) and the San Jose series was equally taxing — in Game 4 alone, the two teams combined for a whopping 89 hits.
This style of play has resulted in injuries, something L.A. didn’t encounter much during the 2012 Stanley Cup run.
Jarret Stoll missed almost the entire San Jose series with a concussion, and now leading scorer Mike Richards is on the shelf with a suspected concussion as well.
“The Kings last year, they didn’t have one guy injured the entire playoffs,” Burish explained. “To win you’ve got to have talent and you’ve got to have luck.
“And right now the Hawks look pretty darn good to me.”
Chicago leads the Western Conference finals two games to none. You can catch Game 3 from the Staples Center in Los Angeles tonight on NBCSN.