The LA Kings season ended on Saturday night with a 2-0 loss to the Edmonton Oilers in Game 7, their first loss in a playoff series’ seventh game since losing to the Colorado Avalanche in 2002.
Game story (here).
It was a tight game on the score sheet, but anybody who watched it could see that the Oilers dominated the play from the beginning, led by their captain and the best player in the NHL, Connor McDavid.
Neither team found the back of the net until late in the second period, when Cody Ceci buried his first goal of the playoffs. After that goal, you could feel the life sucked of the Kings squad, and you knew the inevitable was coming.
McDavid had one of the best players I’ve ever seen since becoming a hockey fan. Late in the third period, when he outmuscled Sean Durzi and buried the puck, that goal solidified the win for Edmonton.
Unfortunately, Dustin Brown’s final game of his career had to come in a heartbreaking game seven shutout loss, but in the end, he still finished his career as one of the best to ever suit up in downtown Los Angeles and has two Stanley Cup rings to prove it.
1. Jonathan Quick showed up when no one else didn’t
We can all admit that the effort level on Saturday was not what you would’ve hoped to see from the Kings in game 7.
The bright side, though, was watching Jonathan Quick finish off with a fantastic game, and it gives hope to the Kings that they will have a solid goaltender in net for the 2022-23 campaign.
Quick saved 39 of 41, suitable for a .951 save percentage and 2.55 GSAx.
2. McDavid isn’t human
Connor McDavid is built differently, finishing with 14 points in seven games played and SIX multi-point performances, becoming the second player in NHL history to do that in a single series.
He showed time and time again why he is the best player in the league and willed the Oilers to victory in these last two games to close out the series.
You just have to tip your hat to him, and I’m excited to see what’s next.
3. The Kings weren’t supposed to be here
You can say that you believed the Kings were a playoff team ahead of the season, but at the end of the day, the rebuild wasn’t finished to begin the season, and they weren’t favoured to be in the top-16 come April. But they were, and that is huge for this team’s confidence going forward.
“Small picture, we’re disappointed. We, I, on behalf of the group, said we’re in this to win it. We weren’t just here to gain experience and when you’re all in, and you want to win and you don’t, it’s disappointing,” Todd McLellan said in the post-game. “There’s a lot of water-filled eyes in there, grown men, that are feeling that way because we were all in and it stings right now.
“Now, there’s the other side of the coin, where the organization, four years ago, came up with a plan about transforming the team, changing the way we play, the identity of the group, bringing younger players in, relying on the older, veteran players and that was the positive throughout the year,” he continued.
All that McLellan said was the truth. The Kings weren’t there for the experience. They wanted to win, but now they know how it feels to lose when you’re in the playoffs, which will fuel their hunger.