The Los Angeles Kings, the NHL's road warriors, have taken care of business where they are now expected to win. Now, they have to avoid being overconfident and losing their advantage while playing at home.
Strange as that might sound, it's true. Over the past couple seasons, the Kings have overachieved on the road and underachieved at home. That has only been magnified in this postseason, as the Kings have a 7-0 record on the road and a 3-1 record at home.
The Kings, up 2-0 in the Western Conference Finals after Tuesday's victory over Phoenix, will host the Coyotes in Game 3 on Sunday night. A No. 8 seed -- as the Kings are -- has no real reason to be overconfident in any situation, but the Kings are saying all the right things heading into Game 3, that they won't let up off the gas pedal.
"I know you will probably will want to roll your eyes when I say
this," Kings winger Dustin Penner told reporters after Game 2, "but we haven't played our best game yet. That's the mentality you want to have in the playoffs, is that you're never satisfied.
"You can always be better, and you have to have that mentality, where you want to keep on improving until you've finally finished, until you have reached your goal."
Coach Darryl Sutter, famously hard-nosed, isn't likely to allow any back-patting in the locker room, and with good reason. Game 2 was only a 1-0 game when the Coyotes started to unravel because of penalties, and the Kings were able to score two power-play goals to put the game away. The Kings will expect a better 5-on-5 game from the Coyotes in Game 3.