In the coming days MayorsManor will have a plethora of playoff coverage leading up to the first game – notes, interviews, analysis, etc.
To kick things off, here are five tidbits to keep in mind…
* Anze Kopitar – it’s the name that will probably come up more often than any other until this series is over…and he’s not even going to have one minute of ice time. Interesting point though, Kopitar didn’t have a single goal versus the Sharks in five games played against them this season.
* Justin Williams – he wasn’t expected back this early, but it looks like he’ll be playing vs. the Sharks – which, of course, could be a huge boost for the Kings
* Goaltending – the Kings enter the playoffs this season with a completely different set up in net than what they had last year. Jonathan Quick is the number one goalie. But, but, but…if he struggles at all or if the team needs a different look, Jonathan Bernier is there to jump in. The players and coaching staff has plenty of confidence in him too, especially after he went 4-0-1 in March.
* Sharks captain Joe Thornton has played 50 career games vs the Kings. He scored in the last one a few weeks ago. However, that’s 10 goals total – his fewest against any Pacific Division team (compared to 19 vs. Phoenix, 16 vs. Anaheim and 14 vs. Dallas).
* The Kings can win on the road. They have balanced scoring. They core says they learned from their series with Vancouver last season. They have a solid goaltending tandem. Their defense can be stifling. I’ll take the Kings in six games.
Game 1 – at San Jose, Thursday
Game 2 – at San Jose, Saturday
Game 3 – in Los Angeles, Tuesday 4/19
Game 4 – in Los Angeles, Thursday 4/21
Game 5 – at San Jose, Saturday 4/23
Game 6 – in Los Angeles, Monday 4/25
Game 7 – at San Jose, Wednesday 4/27
Kings vs. Sharks Preview with Joe Thornton – his visit to MayorsManor earlier this season
Paining by Numbers with Ryan Smyth – he looks back at his 1,000 games in the NHL