Stanley Cup Finals: Are The Los Angeles Kings Overconfident?
The Los Angeles Kings are two wins away from winning their second Stanley Cup in three years without ever having led for a single second in their series versus the New York Rangers.
Furthermore, according to many the series is already over now that the Kings are up 2-0 and actually some even believe it was over before it even started, so this has done nothing but cement their belief.
The Kings beat the Anaheim Ducks, San Jose Sharks and defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks (all in seven games) to make it into the finals, where they have now won Games 1 and 2 in overtime after overcoming numerous two-goal deficits in the process. Impressive to say the least, but if you ask me there’s also a bit of luck involved. There has to be when you win that many games that closely, you don’t do it without getting the majority of the bounces.
Now, I don’t want to take anything away from the Kings here, they are and have been a very good team for quite some time. I’m also a firm believer in that you make your own breaks so to say they’ve simply been lucky is not only unfair, it’s flat-out wrong.
The Kings have already been anointed as the definition of “resiliency” and rightfully so all things considered. They’ve also been compared to cockroaches but apparently in a good way, as in if there was ever a nuclear holocaust the only survivors would be the unsightly bugs and the Kings. They just don’t go away.
— NHL (@NHL) June 9, 2014
With such daily praise being sung about them and the Kings appearing unbeatable, it would be totally understandable if the Kings were overconfident headed into Game 3. But, from the sounds of it they are anything but overconfident as they prepare for the series to shift to New York. In fact, they actually sound a little pissed off with their recent play and if you ask them they’ll tell you they can and have to be better.
Here’s what defenseman Willie Mitchell had to say about the Kings slow starts, “We’re not happy with how we started these two games, at all. We’ve had terrible starts the last two games. No rhyme or reason for it. It’s not a place we want to be in, having to climb out of them all the time.”
Kings center, Jarret Stoll, who joined the Kings back in 2008 and has seen his fair share of ups and downs with the team, reiterated what Mitchell was saying. “We’re doing things that aren’t in our game,” said Stoll recently. “[Things] that haven’t been in our game for years here, and we’re getting away with it. We gotta be honest with how we’re playing. We know we got a lot more [to give].”
Defenseman Jake Muzzin, who has been an offensive force for the Kings this postseason, gave a theory as to what he thinks is going on, “It’s hard to explain but we’ve got a calm belief in here that we can win every game no matter what the score is and no matter what the situation is. The experience, the leadership, the guys around, guys making big plays when we need to make them and [Jonathan Quick] making big saves when we need him to is giving us confidence.”
So, while the Kings may in fact be confident in themselves, their game plan and their ability, it doesn’t appear as though they are overconfident or cocky even though they may have every right to be and that could spell bad news for the Rangers.
All quotes came courtesy of Greg Wyshynski/Yahoo’s Puck Daddy.