I suppose I should know better than to doubt the Kings. I wrote them off after the lost their first three games to the San Jose Sharks in the first round. Of course, we all saw them storm back to win the final four games of the series to advance.
The question is how many times does a team get to come back from the brink of death? I thought the Kings used up their one get-out-of-jail-free card. And then seeing how they were thoroughly outplayed by the Blackhawks in Game 2 last night for the first two periods, I responded by turning to the Spurs-Thunder game.
So I didn’t see this spectacular save by Jonathan Quick that many are pointing to as the genesis of the Kings turnaround:
I didn’t see Justin Williams greasy goal at the end of the second period to cut the deficit to 2-1.
But as the basketball game went to halftime, I switched over to the hockey game as the third period got underway. And holy shit. For the first time since the Wayne Gretzky era, the Kings scored five goals in a period. Jeff Carter scored a hat trick and got an assist. For 38 minutes the Blackhawks were making the Western Conference Finals a mere formality. Then the Kings seemingly woke up and had a few things to say about that.
Here’s all of this in slo-mo:
For the first time since the Kings hoisted the Cup in 2012, I believe the Kings can actually win it again. I know the Kings probably won’t score five goals in a period again this postseason. Hell, the Blackhawks can still win this series.
But last night’s game left me with the first hope that the Kings can get back to the top, that it’s not merely a far-fetched prayer muttered by zombie-eyed fans. They can actually do it.