Kings Sweep and Devils Are Proving Too Much for Flyers

7 May

”It’s a special group, and we knew that all along this season,” said Kopitar, the Slovenian star who had assists on both of Brown’s goals. ”Maybe we didn’t break out when we would have liked to, but I think we’ve peaked at the right time, and that’s the most important thing.”

You can say that again.  The LA Kings have become the first team under the current playoff format to eliminate both the #1 seed and the #2 seed as the 8th seeded team.  They did it with only 1 loss in 2 rounds.  Talk about peaking at the right time.  Remarkable.

You gotta love Dustin Browns compete level.  Right before the trade deadline his name was mentioned in trade rumors.  What did he do?  He goes out and gets a hat trick against my beloved Blackhawks and hasn’t taken his foot off the gas since.

How about Johnathan Quick?  Who is playing better than the Milford, Connecticut native?   Mike Smith?  pppffftttt!  I’d take Quick over Smith any day.

Little trivia note-Jonathan is married to Jaclyn Backman.  Jaclyn is the sister of New York Islanders forward Matt Moulson.

This is only the second time in franchise history that the Kings will play in the Conference finals.

”You heard the rink today, how loud it was,” said Quick, who has a .949 save percentage in the postseason. ”It means a lot more to (the fans) than it does to us. It’s a great deal, a big push, by us to win four in a row against a team like that. They were great all series long … but you heard the fans, how loud they were the last two minutes there. It gives you goose bumps.”

The Kings made their only previous trip to the conference finals in 1993, when Wayne Gretzky and Luc Robitaille propelled Los Angeles past Toronto and into their only Stanley Cup finals, a loss to Montreal. The Kings won just one playoff series in the ensuing 17 seasons before routing the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Canucks in five first-round games last month.

”I can only imagine how happy Kings fans are right now,” said Brown, who has never played for another organization. ”They’ve been through a rough stretch, and to win on home ice, that’s huge for everyone in this room. It’s nice to see the fans get jacked up as much as they could. They haven’t an opportunity to celebrate like that at home.”

Since it looks like the Kings will be playing the Coyotes in the next round it’s time for Eric Cartman again!

In the East how about those New Jersey Devils?  Another one that not too many people saw coming.  They are playing like a….team.  What else can you say?  They are getting contributions across the board.  Their best players are their best players and Marty is ageless.

What a way to celebrate your 40th birthday.

”You kind of shake your head a little bit that you’re at a level that you’re having fun and be able to compete in the league that you always wanted to play and still be able to keep going,” Brodeur said after the Devils moved within a win of their first conference final since 2003.

”I know I don’t take anything for granted,” the three-time Stanley Cup winner said. ”I really appreciate every moment. Especially this year has been awesome for me. Getting older, seeing other kids grow up and do their thing and become superstars.”

The Devils have made the Flyers look ordinary, and Philadelphia has more to worry about than just its 3-1 series deficit.

Leading scorer Claude Giroux put a questionable hit on Zubrus minutes after the New Jersey forward scored the go-ahead goal late in the second period. Giroux’s status for Game 5 on Tuesday night in Philadelphia might be in question.

”For me, it looks like the textbook hit that they’re trying to take out of the game,” Devils coach Peter DeBoer said.

Zubrus, who lay on the ice for a couple of seconds while Giroux went to the penalty box for 2 minutes, said it’s up to the NHL to look at the play.

Giroux seemingly wasn’t worried.

”It was quick play. And hockey is a quick game. I think I should be fine,” Giroux said.

In Giroux’s favor is that Zubrus got up and scored 2 goals.  Since he wasn’t hurt too bad, and for some reason that has a major effect on the discipline, I don’t think Shanny will come down too hard.

In winning their third straight, the Devils outshot Philadelphia 43-22, and Brodeur even picked up an assist on Zubrus’ final goal on a night as he became the first goaltender to appear in an NHL playoff game as a teenager and a 40-year-old.

That’s incredible.

But I guess we can’t count out the Flyers yet.  They have shown recently that they can come back when down from a series.



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