As soon as the matchup was confirmed had California natives been talking up a storm for the matchup between the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks in this years NHL playoffs. The crowd was responsive, loud and everything you’d expect in a playoff atmosphere no matter what sport it may be, however with the local rivalry in play it definitely had that extra spice. Though by the end of the game all the hype was only half of what was to be expected.
Now if wine can increase in value as time goes on then there are some players who also run into a “vintage” year, and for this years playoffs, Kings Gaborik had a goal that gave an overtime victory to the Los Angeles hockey team. This is not going to thrust him into a first ballot hall of fame, but for this game he might as well been. Maybe it was all the hype when Gaborik slapped the puck out of the air with his stick and into the back of the net with 7 seconds to go, but it almost felt as if they had won the Stanley Cup and the local crowd made it feel that way too.
Though if felt as if the Anaheim Ducks were the better team for most of regulation, you could feel the ‘old dog’ ways of the LA Kings backed by the suburb display of Jonathan Quick as goalie. The Kings just dug down deep and did the dirty work that is needed in playoffs, in which this game reminded me of their efforts in the recent championship year.
The weather outside the building also has an effect on the game, this was due to the air conditioning failing to keep inside the building cold enough for the ice. Snow was building up on the ice (too small to see on tv) which caused to puck to not handle as easy. The Kings are a slower team, and these are the kinds of conditions that play in their favor.