NHL Playoffs Picks, Tuesday 5/15: Kings Coyotes Game Two WCF
NHL Playoffs Picks and Predictions, Tuesday 5/15: LA Kings at Phoenix Coyotes, Game Two Western Conference Finals
The LA Kings thoroughly impressed me in Game One. It was a dominant game over a good team and I didn’t see it coming. The Kings disrupted the Phoenix Coyotes’ defensive system that had held up in the first two rounds of the NHL playoffs, scoring four goals (including an empty netter) and pelting Mike Smith with waves of shots. Now, I put my faith in the defensive coaching ability of Dave Tippett to prevent another disaster for the Phoenix Coyotes on home ice in Game Two of the Western Conference Finals.
Last night, the Devils were dominated by the New York Rangers in Game One of the Eastern Conference Final. It was a frustrating game to watch, compounding my frustrations with betting sports while in Colorado. I’m tired of this state. I look forward to watching a Stanley Cup game in either Phoenix or LA on my road trip, and I really hope NJ is in it. I have faith that they too will bounce back.
LA Kings at Phoenix Coyotes (+110)
Mike Smith allowed three goals, but he also allowed the Coyotes to stay in the game despite being dominated throughout. He faced 20 more shots than Jonathan Quick and made 19 more saves. In addition, Quick allowed an absolutely hilarious goal from center ice and was out of position on a centering feed from behind the net for his other goal. It was a very shaky night for the Kings netminder, but he was good enough to win and solid when he needed to be. After all, his team never trailed. Still, it looked like Smith was much better than Quick in Game One, his team just let him down.
Jonathan Quick will likely not gift the Coyotes two more goals in Game Two. The Kings can set a record for road wins in the postseason with another dominant game in Phoenix. They’ve clearly got the more skilled offensive players and the goalie advantage the Coyotes have right now is slim. Phoenix did little offensively, with at least one of their two goals coming in fully-preventable fashion. Where does Phoenix go from here? The Kings were dominant in every phase of the game. Save for a shot handcuffing Jonathan Quick from center ice, the Kings could have really blown out the Coyotes to open the series.
I think the Coyotes will rebound in Game Two. Mike Smith will keep them in the game long enough to chip away at the Kings and finally sustain pressure. They need a clean, crisp game offensively because they lack the skaters to create on their own. What they do have working in their favor is veteran leadership, chemistry, and Dave Tippett’s system. They’ll get back to the fundamentals that got them through the early rounds and silence a sizzling LA Kings team. Look for Shane Doan and Ray Whitney to settle the Coyotes down and find a way to get them back into this series.
The Coyotes desperately need a win in Game Two – otherwise the franchise may miss out on Game Five’s revenues.
Coyotes 3 – Kings 2
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