Kings experience game 4 hiccup
It might have been a disappointing game for the numerous Kings fans that jumped on the bandwagon, but for the die-hards, they knew the outcome of game 4 was bound to happen.
After taking a commanding three games to none lead in the Stanley Cup Finals, the Kings were unable to capitalize on the first of four opportunities to bring Lord Stanley's Cup to Los Angeles for the first time in the franchise's 45 years.
The Kings lost 3-1, giving the Devils a glimmer of hope in what many expected to be over before the game even started.
But I expected this. I've watched hockey for years, and the dominance of Martin Brodeur cannot be overlooked.
Arguably one of the best net minders in history, he was drafted 20th in the spring of 1990 and boasts 5 career goaltending records, including most Most career wins (656), most playoff shutouts (24), most minutes played (70,028), most games played (1,191) and most regular season shutouts (119).
Brodeur pitched a shutout after three consecutive games of watching an understudy, so to speak, in Jonathan Quick snatch the first three Finals games of his young, yet so far magnificent, career before the 40-year-old Brodeur added another to his Hall of Fame resume.
He stopped 21 of the 22 shots he faced, while Quick stopped 21 of the 23 shots against before being pulled with time winding down, only to watch the Devils add an empty-netter to ice the game.
This was a game that showed the Devils are able to score.
Their biggest problem is beating Jonathan Quick, and like the rest of the entire season, he has been brilliant.
Consider this a down game for Quick, but game 4's have been like that for the Kings.
The last time he gave up 2 goals or more was, oddly enough, game 4 of the Western Conference Finals. Oh yeah, that game was at home too.
These Kings, however, have been perfect on the road, taking a strict business approach and attacking on all fronts, something that was inconsistent during Wednesday night's loss.
Consider it nothing more than a hiccup in a near-impeccable run to the Stanley Cup for the Kings.
They've played 18 games since April 11, losing only three - each loss came in game 4.
While many would have loved the Kings to keep the Cup in Los Angeles instead of having to watch it travel back to New Jersey, I can take comfort in the fact that these Kings are a perfect 10-0 on the road this postseason.
Game 5 is slated for Saturday at 8 p.m. Eastern Time, televised on NBC, not the Sports Network the broadcasting company is attempting to promote.
As I saw Wednesday in Redondo Beach, Kings fans will flock to local favorite hangouts to celebrate a Stanley Cup victory.
Chants of "Go Kings Go" and "Lets Go Kings" will be heard all over L.A. for the next few days.
Yes, parts of this town have just begun to catch "Playoff Fever" - everyone wants to cheer for a champion - but if you're visiting the South Bay in the next few days, take a trip Saturday evening to either North End in Hermosa Beach or the Upper Deck Pitcher House in Redondo Beach.
These are just two of the bars in the area that will be packed with die-hard Kings fans.
As for me, I can't wait to watch a franchise I've watched since a boy hoist a trophy that has not yet been in their grasp.
All that remains is one.
Go Kings Go.
Photo courtesy of the Associated Press