Some quick thoughts from the NHL on TSN panel on Sunday night.
The size and skill of the Los Angeles Kings was too much for the Phoenix Coyotes to handle in Game 1 on Sunday.
Dwight King, who is a big boy, had two goals and Dustin Brown also chipped in with a goal. In the third period, Anze Kopitar had a shift for the ages in which he battled for the puck and then kept control of it for a significant amount of time. An effort like that really wears down the opposition, and it had that effect on the Coyotes.
Kopitar and Brown had 13 shots on goal between them. When you combine their play with that of linemate Justin Williams, who crashed the net on a consistent basis, that trio was the Kings' most dangerous line.
Bad Blood Ready To Boil?
The New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils are a natural rivalry to begin with, but the teams played six regular season games and in five of the six games they fought two or more times.
On Dec. 20, Michael Rupp and Cam Janssen dropped the gloves three seconds into the game and then it was Brandon Dubinsky and David Clarkson about a minute later.
They went one game where they didn't fight, but then one game later on Feb. 7 there were two separate fights just two seconds in.
Then the last time these teams met (Mar. 19) there were three simultaneous fights right off the hop.
Conventional wisdom says that we're not going to see a line-brawl to start the Conference Finals between the Devils and the Rangers – and I don't expect that we're going to see that – but when you've got that much animosity in the series, there could be carry-over elsewhere.
Two of the primary guys that do the heavy lifting in that regard for New Jersey – Eric Boulton and Janssen – haven't been in the line-up during the playoffs, but there is seems to be an edge to this series before it begins.