There's been a lot of talk about how Los Angeles Kings' comebacks are historic ones, because they've come back from multi-goal deficits in their last three games. It's a fun little factoid, but it obscures the larger picture, here: the Kings have simply been the best team in these playoffs, and the New York Rangers aren't even close to as good.
Look, the Rangers are a good team. They have an enviable top six set of forwards, decent depth, a couple stud defencemen and a world-class goalie. Top to bottom, however, they're simply no match the Kings and their possession game.
Not many of the Kings' goals so far have been considered of highlight reel quality, but that's because the Kings are less reliant on rush goals than a lot of other teams. They'll hem you in and pound away at the net until a puck dribbles in off someone's back or a rolling rebound is tapped home, and all the while, they're wearing down your defenders.
What we've seen so far has been Kings hockey to a "T", but to chalk it up to "style of game" is silly. "Playing our game" or "their game" is a dumb way to look at this. "Playing our game" in Toronto means getting goals off the rush because the team can't get out of its own end for longer than ten seconds before going right back to defending. The Kings, on the other hand, aren't playing a different "style" so much as they're attacking on the rush and they're cycling the puck, and they use their point men well and their forwards all know how to go to the net. It's not a different style per se, it's just doing everything right. In a sense, the Leafs have their own style, it's true: they do each of these things about half as well as the Kings.
Let's chat about some hockey links:
Kings-Rangers recap from NHL.com
Box score and other info available there as well.
Yeah, the Kings are better than the Rangers.
Why, yes they are. Jeffler looks at the pros and cons of such a move.
30 Thoughts: Thornton unlikely to want to go to Toronto
Additional thought on a thought: Friedman reports that the most likely candidates to be Randy Carlyle's assistant coaches next year in Toronto are a couple of the Marlies coaches. You'll have to forgive me if I'm pessimistic about things changing when another Dave-Nonis-approved set of coaches come to "change" things. Wouldn't that just be more status quo?