Kings’ Success Is Causing a Few Conflicts
Having dispensed with the defending Stanley Cup champions in the Smythe Division semifinals, the Kings move on to a best-of-seven final series against Calgary, the team with the best record in the National Hockey League this season. Calgary went 54-17-9 for 117 points. Six of their victories were over the Kings.
Nobody said it would be easy.
The Kings won only two games in the eight-game series with the Flames. Both of the Kings’ victories were at the Forum. The Kings were 0-4 at the Saddledome, site of Game 1 Tuesday and Game 2 Thursday. Also the site of Games 5 and 7, if needed.
Game 3 and Game 4 will be at the Forum next Saturday and Monday.
A scheduling conflict at the Forum--a Laker playoff game scheduled for Friday, April 28, the night planned for Game 6--is causing some negotiations between the NHL and officials of the Kings and Flames.
It is possible that the Kings and the Flames would have to play Saturday, April 29, at the Forum and then fly out directly after the game to play Game 7 Sunday in Calgary.
The Kings’ sudden success is also causing problems on the broadcast side of things. Conflicts between King games and Laker games have also caused Prime Ticket to delay the Laker games on Tuesday (at the Forum against Denver) and Thursday (at the Forum against Sacramento) until after the hockey games, which will be shown live at 6:30 p.m. in Los Angeles.
Z Channel is showing a Clipper game live Tuesday and Game 1 of the Norris Division final series between Chicago and St. Louis delayed, following the basketball game.
When King and Laker games conflict, the radio broadcast of the Kings’ game automatically switches from KLAC (570), station of the Lakers, to KGIL (1260) and KORG (1190).
The few thousand tickets available for the Kings-Calgary series, tickets not already sold as Senate seats or as strip tickets for all possible King playoff games, went on sale Sunday morning at 9 a.m. All three possible games at the Forum were sold out before noon.
After the Kings eliminated the Oilers from the National Hockey League playoffs Saturday night, Wayne Gretzky was encouraged by reporters from his old hometown of Edmonton to comment on the satisfaction of prevailing over Peter Pocklington, the Oiler owner who sold him and then said that Gretzky had an ego the size of Manhattan.
Gretzky closed his eyes for a moment, shook his head, and then said, very carefully: “The last time I said a few things, I didn’t mean to upset anyone and yet I riled the people of Edmonton. After days of hearing things, I finally felt I had to say something, and I ended up looking like the bad guy.
“I don’t have any animosity toward Edmonton.
“I know that (Pocklington) said after they beat us in Game 3 that the people of Edmonton were telling him it was a good trade. Let’s see what they say now.”
Oiler goalie Grant Fuhr was obviously upset that there was no interference call on Kings’ captain Dave Taylor after Dale DeGray scored the Kings’ fifth goal Saturday night. Consensus in the Oiler dressing room was that Taylor knocked Fuhr down, in the crease, just before the shot.
The NHL rule on that, 62 (c) states: “A minor penalty shall be imposed on a player who, by means of his stick or his body, interferes with or impedes the movements of the goalkeeper by actual physical contact, while he is in his goal crease area unless the puck is already in that area.”
And 62 (d) says: “Unless the puck is in the goal crease area, a player of the attacking side may not stand on the goal crease line or in the goal crease or hold his stick in the goal crease area, and if the puck should enter the net while such a condition prevails, a goal shall not be allowed.”
The Oilers were also upset with an interference call on Jeff Beukeboom at 14:48 of the second period, followed, at 15:55, by a holding penalty against Craig Muni, calls that gave the Kings a two-man advantage and led to Bernie Nicholls’ second goal. They were being called “questionable” calls by the Oilers, not the kind that should be made in the seventh game of a series.
But, then, the Kings were upset that a goal by John Tonelli didn’t count because the goal judge didn’t see it. Had the game gone the other way, the Tonelli non-goal would have been the biggest point of contention.
STANLEY CUP COMEBACKS
Teams that have come back from 3-0 and 3-1 deficits in the Stanley Cup playoffs:
Year Round Teams 1942 Stanley Cup Finals Toronto 4, Detroit 3; Toronto led, 3-0 1975 Quarterfinals New York Islanders 4, Pittsburgh 3; Pittsburgh led, 3-0 1987 Division Semifinals New York Islanders 4, Washington 3 Washington led, 3-1 1987 Division Finals Detroit 4, Toronto 3; Toronto led, 3-1 1988 Division Semifinals Washington 4, Philadelphia 3 Philadelphia led, 3-1 1989 Division Semifinals Los Angeles 4, Edmonton 3 Edmonton led, 3-1
SERIES AT A GLANCE KINGS vs. FLAMES BEST-OF-SEVEN SERIES
Date Site Game 1 Tuesday Calgary Game 2 Thursday Calgary Game 3 Saturday Forum Game 4 April 24 Forum Game 5* April 26 Calgary Game 6* April 28 Forum Game 7* April 30 Calgary
* If necessary.
Times to be announced.