GLENDALE, AZ - MAY 13: Goaltender Jonathan Quick #32 of the Los Angeles Kings looks on prior to Game One of the Western Conference Finals against the Phoenix Coyotes during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Jobing.com Arena on May 13, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona. The Kings defeated the Coyotes 4-2. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Game 2 Western Conference Finals. #8 Los Angeles Kings at #3 Phoenix Coyotes, Game 1, 9:00 Eastern, NBC Sports and TSN. LA leads 1-0.
If the Coyotes want to stay in this fight, this is a must win game. The Kings are on far too strong a roll right now to give the Coyotes much room to come back from a 2-0 series deficit. Led by the team captain Dustin Brown, Los Angeles has been propelled by an offensive jaugernaut missed during the regular season. The Kings penalty killing unit has also helped as they're enjoying a 24-consecutive kill streak. Perhaps, though, the biggest asset LA has is its ability to play on the road. The only time the team has lost so far in the playoffs, in fact, was Game 4 in the first round. If they win tonight, it will mark their 7th straight road win, which will match the record set by the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010.
Phoenix continues to rely on goaltender Mike Smith to carry them through their games. It can't go on like this. It's time the rest of the team steps up to help their goalie out, or this series will end as quickly as LA's previous two.
I know that I could very well be jinxing the Kings by writing all of this, but it has to be said. Right now, LA looks like a team on a mission, much the way the Avalanche did back in the Mission 16W days. At 9-1 so far in these playoffs, the Kings may not need much more than 16 games to hoist the Cup.