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Kings pull major comeback against Sharks

Anze Kopitar provided an offensive spark in the Kings' major turnaround.
Anze Kopitar provided an offensive spark in the Kings' major turnaround.
Photo by Ezra Shaw

Coming back from being behind three games to none remains a notable, rare act in professional sports. It has never happened in the NBA, only once in MLB, and only a few times in the NHL. Well, add one more example of it for hockey, because the Los Angeles Kings have overcome that huge deficit to win their series with the San Jose Sharks.

Man, when this series began, the Sharks looked so good. They won the first two games 6-3 and 7-2. With Jonathan Quick in net for the Kings. They then won game three at home. All they needed was one more win, and they could not get it. In fact, they never even really got all that close. They lost game seven at home by a score of 5-1, although two of those goals were late and of the empty net variety. Still, only one game of this series was decided by less than three goals.

It is encouraging for the Kings that they managed to beat the Sharks without getting great goaltending for Quick. When they won the Cup, he had to carry the team. This year, so far, that hasn't been the case. They instead got big performances from Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams and Marian Gaborik, the last of which could be this year's Jeff Carter. Yes, they fell behind three games to none, but that doesn't matter now. They are in the second round, and they are facing the Ducks for Southern California supremacy.

As for the Sharks... what can be said? People always talk about their playoff problems, fair or not, and this adds about a million liters of fuel to the fire. They had this series, and you have to say they blew it. I'm not going to say they "choked" or "couldn't handle the pressure" or any of them, because that's silly. They did, however, squander a huge opportunity as their offense fell apart and their goaltending struggled. This is an old team in some ways. Will they make big changes? They don't need them, but can they react rationally after their season ended like this?

This may not have been the best first round series, but it is the most interesting in how it played out.