What is it about the L.A. Kings and playing in Game 7s in these Stanley Cup playoffs?
For the third time this post-season, the Kings will be play in a series pushed to a deciding seventh game. They dispatched the San Jose Sharks and Anaheim Ducks in the opening two rounds. Now standing in the way of a berth in the Stanley Cup Final is the defending Stanley Cup championship team, the Chicago Blackhawks.
According to the NHL, the Kings are only the third team in the league’s history to play all 21 possible games through three rounds of the Stanley Cup playoffs since all four rounds went to the best-of-seven format in 1987.
The Blackhawks trailed 3-1 in the series, but have since rallied to force a Game 7 on Sunday thanks to their victory over the Kings on Friday.
“If we have to play 28 games this year to win, that’s what we have to do. We’re using all our lifelines so far. We plan on getting the job done yet again,” Kings forward Justin Williams told reporters.
“I think most guys on our team treat Game 7s as an opportunity, an opportunity to do something special, an opportunity to prove yourself, an opportunity to advance and get the better of a team that you battled with for six games. It’s going to be no different tomorrow. We obviously have a huge bone to pick with them. We’re going to leave it all out there because there’s no more after that.”
When it comes to elimination games, both the Blackhawks and Kings have been clutch – to the point where they’re almost unbeatable.
The Kings are so far 6-0 in these playoffs when facing elimination. Apart from their experiences in Game 7s this year, they have a number of players who have been in similar situations throughout the course of their careers.
Take the aforementioned Williams for example. Williams is 6-0 in Game 7s, as are Marian Gaborik and Mike Richards, according to the NHL. In those six games, Williams has six goals and 12 points.
He came up big again when the Kings ousted the Ducks in the final game of the second round.
“I just think what it does, it can take you away from the anxiety. I don’t look even look at it like it’s Game 7. I look at it we have to do everything we can do to beat Chicago, just like last night, just like the night before,” said Kings head coach Darryl Sutter.