The Los Angeles Kings didn't get the memo that the NHL playoffs is all about sitting back and blocking shots these days.
They continued their postseason dominance on Tuesday night with a 4-0 win in Phoenix, opening up a two-game lead in the Western Conference Final, while also running their postseason record to 10-1 overall and a perfect 7-0 on the road.
The Coyotes lost their cool multiple times on Tuesday night and had the look of a team that is not only overmatched in this series, but one that's growing increasingly frustrated with its inability to slow down a Los Angeles team that keeps on attacking and dominating the puck.
During their Game 1 win on Sunday Los Angeles attempted an incredible 90 shots, more than any other team has attempted in a regulation game this postseason. They followed that up on Tuesday by directing 60 attempts at the Phoenix net. While Jonathan Quick gets a lot of the attention and credit, it's still all about possession for the Kings and it's a huge reason why they are just two wins away from clinching a spot in the Stanley Cup Final, and just six wins away from winning their first championship.
Some quick numbers on the series to this point:
- In two games the Kings have already attempted 150 shots to Phoenix's 94. This is what happens when one of the best possession teams in the league (Los Angeles) takes on one of the worst (Phoenix). The Coyotes have been in this position the entire postseason but were able to come out on top because Mike Smith outplayed his counterparts at the other end of the ice. Eventually their inability to keep the puck out of their own zone was going to come back and bit them. And right now, it is. In a big way.
- It's not much better at even strength as the Kings cumalative Fenwick rating (shots on goal plus missed shots for and against) is already a plus-30 through two games.
- The one player most responsible for all of this has been Anze Kopitar. He's played 27 minutes of even-strength hockey in this series and during that time Los Angeles has outshot Phoenix 28-7 and outscored the Coyotes 2-0. He also had two assists on the power play on Tuesday. Best player in the series right now.
With the way the Kings are playing right now, and with the way they've dominated the first two games, it's worth wondering if this series will see a Game 5. Especially if the Coyotes lose a couple of players to possible suspensions, as Shane Doan and Martin Hanzal were both ejected on Tuesday night for separate boarding incidents.
Also at Eye On Hockey