For the most part, people have referred to the current St. Louis Blues – LA Kings series as the most evenly matched pairing of the first round. Many have also called it the best and/or most competitive matchup being played in either Conference. But not Mark Spector of Sportsnet. After Jonathan Quick’s 1-0 shutout in Game 3 on Saturday night, the Edmonton-based journalist thumbed out the following tweet:
Can I say that LA-St. Louis is a travesty? Bad for the game, over-coached, awful to watch. Can they both be eliminated?
— Mark Spector (@SportsnetSpec) May 5, 2013
That came after three games decided by one goal, including an overtime affair in Game 1.
On today’s MayorsManor show he’ll try to explain his position – and to do so, he’ll stir the ghost of Patrick Roy’s goalie equipment, remind everybody of the Jacques Lemaire years in New Jersey, mix in a little Dallas Stars history, bang on the Edmonton Oilers and even rattle off a few stats.
In the end, you decide if he’s right…
If you’ve missed any of our recent shows, here are some links to get you caught up:
Jonathan Davis of Fox Sports and Joe Yerdon of NBC’s Pro Hockey Talk – Playoff predictions and NHL Awards
2013 Playoff Preview with Jim Fox and Dennis Bernstein of The Fourth Period
MayorsManor Live Radio with Helene Elliott – she sets the table for Game 2 in St. Louis
MayorsManor Live Radio with Kelly Hrudey – Will he cry during his speech?
MayorsManor Live Radio with Jeff Carter – one of the most popular shows this year
A full list of other Kings related guests who have joined us recently – including Drew Doughty, Matt Greene, Alec Martinez, Dustin Penner, new LA assistant coach Davis Payne and dozens more – can be found here.
Thanks for listening!
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JOCELYN Z says
This guy needs to evolve! As a fan of the game… and a KINGS FAN -albeit by only for a couple years especially during the “ugly years” where the KINGS WERE SCORING 7,8,9, and LOSE… I’ll take the games today where we see great defense and nail-biting offense! Re; Goalie Equipment – i kinda agree making the equipment smaller; goalies are getting better, bigger and defense has also been better in front of net, so they do not need to have all that protection.
In the end, you’re right he was sounding like HITCHCOCK in a press conference.(more like a closet la kings fan)
They’re two defensive teams playing tight games. Put the Kings up against the Ducks or Hawks and you’ll get more wide open, high scoring games. Ratings increase when the game is exciting. Whatever way you can make the game exciting ie. close games, more goals, physicality…make it happen. Trap defense is just a style of defense imployed by certain teams. You can’t really do much to change it.
One of the best football games was a Harris/Dempsey led 3-0 win against the Bradshaw/Harris led Steelers at the Coliseum. Low scoring, hard hitting hockey is OK by me.
Old hat stuff. A much ado to get attention. Good point as to the size of goalie pads however.
Just reading the tweet I was about to blast the guy, but in the interview he kind of backed off on that a bit and explained it a little better. I’m not saying I agree because the Kings/Blues series has been the best series so far but I’m not totally against what he’s saying.
He wants scoring; then, he likes shutouts as much as the next guy. Then he hates goalie pads, then he wants the nets bigger, but he’s against it….
This guy did so much backtracking that I have absolutely no idea what he wants (other than wanting to see three teams in the Western Conference Semifinals).
Fact check: the last time Rob Scuderi was credited with five block shots in a game was, Oct. 15, 2011 vs. Phi.
I think you’re missing the point Mayor. Yes, this series was closely contested, physical, competitive, close, nail-biting, especially if you’re a fan of one of the two teams, it was very exciting just because the games were close and all fans care about is winning the games.
But from a neutral perspective, Spector is right, this series was the personification of how the NHL game has declined in recent years with the evolution of team defenses, the evolution of gap control, the always-backcheck, always chip-it-out, always dump-it-in, never turn it over at the blueline or try anything creative style of play.
The physicality of this series was wonderful, but what used to make NHL hockey great was that it had it all. When the Red Wings played the Avalanche in the late 90’s, there was still plenty of physicality, but there was also Sakic, Yzerman, Forsberg, and Federov dangling all over the ice, scoring goals all by themselves, end to end rushes. Back then, skill players could take over a game or a series. You didn’t need four amazing lines just to have a few players get lucky every game and score enough goals. There was enough room out there for players to go end to end and make amazing, highlight reel plays.
Not the case lately in most series. When Anze Kopitar or Jeff Carter has a great series, it’s because they’ve gotten the puck behind the defense (usually by dump and chase) often enough and been able to cycle enough that they’ve gotten a great quantity of scoring opportunities by going low-high kicking the puck out to their defensemen because the other team collapses to the net on defense and that’s the only place where space is, and then you just have your defensemen shoot it 50 times a game and hope it deflects in enough times to win the game.
That’s how teams are forced to play now with the way the NHL game is coached/played now, which has served to really shrink the ice and make the current NHL ice surface size too small, where in the past it wasn’t because the game wasn’t played so tight as it is now. You won’t any spectacular plays anymore. When was the last time Kopitar went end to end and scored a 2007-2008 era Ovechkin type of goal? Hell, when was the last time Ovechkin managed to do that? The game has tightened up so much since then, almost no one can manage that, especially in the playoffs. Crosby had one nice goal vs the Islanders because Hickey misplayed him, but even that was more of a strength goal, getting by one defenseman. It wasn’t end to end spectacular skill, or an amazing passing play.
In the current NHL game, dump and chase, backchecking, shot blocking, and board battles rule the day. That’s 75% of the game right now. Skill, creativity, and flowing passing is missing. Essentially the balance of the NHL game, which used to be this perfect confection of skill and physicality, has slid way too far to the physicality side. Now that’s all we have. The people that want to see some skill mixed in, like Mark Spector, or the people who simply remember how it used to be (and that’s hard for a lot of people because when you see something in front of your eyes every day, sometimes it’s hard to remember it was ever different because why would it be? It’s the same sport), are RIGHTFULLY disappointed.