I love this time of year. The coming of Spring denotes not only the start of a new Baseball season, but also the beginning of the NHL second season.
Tonight is Game 1 for the Kings, and I am beyond excited. Heck, my emotions are bouncing off the walls in anticipation of tonight's match-up between the Kings and San Jose Sharks.
It's a reprise of last years playoffs. These two teams met each other in Round 2 last year, as the Kings beat San Jose by taking advantage of home ice and winning every game at the Staples Center.
This year, San Jose has home ice advantage, and I suspect we'll see much of the same game play we witnessed last season. They'll be checking each other at every opportunity. Skirmishes along the boards will no doubt be frenzied.
San Jose will attempt to use their speed to coax the Kings to play a run-n-gun style. They clearly have the better brand of forwards - like sparkly crystals with a luster that is difficult to scratch. The Kings will try to continue their disciplined play centered around defense and puck possession. They have the best goalie in the NHL, and have a defense that gave up the fewest goals in the entire league.
We are about to witness a majestic battle between two foes that have no love for one another, and I think it's safe to say that the hard feelings that exist will not be satisfied when the dust settles.
All I know is that the Kings are a scrappy bunch. They will scratch, claw and fight for every inch.
So, get ready to be entertained with the best hockey you can imagine.
BTW, the Sharks are already whining and complaining about Kings Captain Dustin Brown; as if he's the son of satan and hockey's version of Yasiel Puig. All I gotta say is STOP crying and just play!
Finally, I'll leave you with the below tweet from Adam Bretz.
This year's Kings were the 5th best possession team in the #fancystats era. They're in good company. pic.twitter.com/CgDZwWjyfx
— Adam Gretz (@AGretz) April 15, 2014
Puck possession stats is the key sabermetrics stat in hockey, and fortunately the Kings rule in that department. Of course, anything can happen in the playoffs, but this sure does put a smile on my face. You'll know things are going well for the Kings if you notice that they are winning face-offs and can control the pace of play by skillfully managing the puck.
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