Join us as ProHockeyTalk and NHL.com once again collaborate for a Stanley Cup finals live chat — this time, Game 6 from the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
NHL.com’s Dave Lozo, Dan Rosen and Corey Masisak will be joined by the entire PHT crew — Mike Halford, Jason Brough, Joe Yerdon, James O’Brien and Ryan Dadoun — for the pregame chat (starting at 7 p.m. ET), which will be followed by an all-PHT chat during the game (8 p.m ET).
Let’s do this dance…
Held silent for most of the series, Kings captain Dustin Brown sounded like a confident man prior to Game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals at the Staples Center.
“I feel tonight’s the night for this team,” Brown told Mayor’s Manor. “It’s not about me or any other individual on this team. It’s about the team coming in ready to play and I think if we throw our ‘A’ game, I like our chances.”
The Kings are probably less than thrilled about losing consecutive games, but there is a silver lining — they get another opportunity to hoist Lord Stanley’s mug in front of the Los Angeles faithful. No team has won the Stanley Cup on home ice since the Anaheim Ducks did it at the Honda Center in 2007.
If the Kings are to win it tonight, they’ll certainly need better performances from their best offensive players. Brown has struggled throughout the Cup finals, going pointless in four of five games (he’s also mired in a nine-game goalless drought.)
Anze Kopitar has also struggled. Los Angeles’ leading postseason scorer has zero shots on goal over the last two games and just two shots in his past four — while never a true volume shooter, Kopitar had been firing pucks plenty through the first three rounds: 15 in five games against Vancouver, 14 in four games against St. Louis and 19 in five games against Phoenix.
Through five games of the Stanley Cup finals, Kopitar has six all told.
Heading into his third consecutive elimination game of the Stanley Cup finals, Peter DeBoer said the pressure prior to Game 6 is no different than before.
“I think it’s the same feeling as when we were down 3-0,” he said after New Jersey’s pregame skate. “Like I said, I think the hockey world pretty much wrote us off, and I think we feel we’ve played with no pressure because of that.
“I don’t think that’s changed because all of a sudden it’s 3-2 now.”
DeBoer’s right in saying the hockey world wrote the Devils off…but to be fair, the hockey world was right to do it. Nobody expected this to get to Game 6 , and that isn’t a surprise — New Jersey is just the third club to win two straight after falling behind 0-3 in the Stanley Cup finals, and the first to do it since 1945.
(In ’45, Toronto led Detroit 3-0 before the Wings rallied to win three straight — only to lose Game 7. In 1942, Detroit led three games to none before Toronto ripped off four straight wins, for the first and only 0-3 comeback in Cup finals history.)
That said, the Devils keep insisting this isn’t about making history, but rather winning the Stanley Cup. The Kings, too, also aren’t interested in making history.
“Game 4 was a new situations for fans and a lot of players,” L.A. captain Dustin Brown said. “We have a lot more calmness about us today.
“I feel tonight’s the night for our team.”
According to Dan Rosen of NHL.com, Zach Parise confirmed he twisted his left ankle late in Wednesday’s Game 4 win over the Kings.
Parise also re-iterated that the ankle is fine.
“It just twisted a little bit, but it’s OK,” the Devils captain explained, before telling reporters he hadn’t watched replays of the incident.
“My brother watched it and he said, ‘I don’t know how you didn’t break it,'” he added.
The incident occurred late in the third period when Parise fell awkwardly into the boards. He was grimacing in pain upon leaving the ice, but did not miss a shift and participated fully in Friday’s practice.
Despite Parise’s claims of feeling fine, the actual condition of his ankle remains a mystery. Rosen reports Parise “did not have any noticeable swelling,” which contrasts a report from Mike Vorkunov of the Star-Ledger claiming the ankle was “noticeably puffy.”
Parise is scoreless in the Stanley Cup finals and hasn’t recorded a point since Game 5 of the Rangers series.
Here’s Darryl Sutter talking to the media after Los Angeles’ 3-1 loss to New Jersey in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup finals:
And here’s the transcript, in case the laughter and scoffing kept you from understanding what he said:
Q. What was the difference tonight?
COACH SUTTER: Not much. Pretty much overtime in the third period, same as first two games.
Q. Was there a breakdown on the Elias goal? If so, what happened there from your perspective?
COACH SUTTER: Which goal?
Q. Elias’ goal.
COACH SUTTER: Henrique’s goal? It’s a turnover. Misplay between the defensemen. Not a coverage play. Can’t make those long passes and think you can get away with it.
Q. Game 4 has been somewhat of a problem for you guys. You’re 3-3 now when you can close out a series.
COACH SUTTER: Awesome. Close out a series in Game 4 (laughter). It’s the Stanley Cup Final. Game is the very same as the first two games.
The presser was destined to go off the rails when Sutter had to figure out which goal — the Elias or Henrique one — the reporter was talking about. Doomed from the start, really.