Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau and Ducks defenseman Francois Beauchemin will blog for The Times occasionally throughout the Stanley Cup playoffs. Today, Boudreau gives his general thoughts on the Kings-Coyotes and Rangers-Devils series.
Hello, hockey fans!
Looking at the L.A./Phoenix series, it looks to me that Phoenix gave it everything they had in the first two series, but maybe this is as far as they can go. Taking nothing away from them, they have worked as hard as they can, but L.A. is really impressive. The Kings aren’t getting weaker, they are getting stronger.
If you are Phoenix you need a couple of breaks. You need something good to happen for you.
You need a bad goal to go in your favor, something that gives you some sort of hope. If you can sneak out a win in Game 4, you never know. You know they will try hard. I think the key for them is to try to get a two-goal lead. If they could somehow get it to Phoenix and win a second game, the pressure would shift. But there is a reason coming back from 3-0 has only happened three times in hockey, never in the NBA, and only once in baseball. It’s tough to do.
The Kings were so good in the last five minutes Thursday night, that said it all. They are hungrier than hungry. They never let Phoenix out of their own zone. It was amazing to watch. The Kings are so pumped up. They are getting great effort out of their third line, and they have a lot of guys that aren’t necessarily big names right now, but they will be in five years.
Meanwhile out East, the Devils/Rangers series has been good -- a tough, hard-fought series between two teams that don’t like each other. It’s not like the Rangers have outplayed everybody. To me it’s their goaltender and a tremendous will to win. The fact that they survived two seven-game series is a testament to that.
New Jersey has lost Game 1 in all three series but bounced back all three times. That shows you a lot about their character.
It will be interesting to see the Kings play the East winner, assuming they do win the West. Because to me, they look unbeatable right now.