Brian Engblom on Los Angeles Kings Impressive Run, and Breaks Down the Stanley Cup Finals
NHL on NBC analyst Brian Engblom joined Jeff Thurn on Monday’s edition of Overtime.
Engblom talks about how impressive the Los Angeles Kings have been in Game 7's in the 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs:
"It's extraordinary. I haven't seen a team like that in probably a generation. They just refused to lose and keep going. It really is extraordinary. They have so few, even in tense of lack of confidence being down two goals a couple of times I've seen it. Most teams would just wilt, and say, 'you know, it's not going to happen this year, or we will wait for the next game or whatever.' It just doesn't happen with them. (Kings). It's extraordinary to be around them. They don't know why they are the way they are. (laughs) And they don't have to. But they just get the job done plain and simple. I think if you go back to probably the Islanders team when they won their four Cups in a row, they did extraordinary stuff and come from behind victories and that's one of the great teams of all-time. So, I think you have to go back to a team like that to see so remarkable in their ability in being down, recover from losses, and in the end, win in them. Win the war."
The Kings won Game 7 in the first round against San Jose, 5-1 after being down 3-0. The Kings won the first two games in the second round, but lost the next three before winning Game 6 and Game 7 against Anaheim. In the Western Conference Finals against Chicago, Los Angeles lost Game 1, won three in a row, and then lost two in a row before closing out the series last night with a 5-4 overtime win.
Engblom's thoughts on what to expect when the puck drops on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. CDT in L.A.:
"Well, I think the Rangers are an interesting team to watch. They went through so much as a team, like I said. I think what really galvanized them was an unfortunate situation of Martin St. Louis and his mother passing away. Their emotional level galvanized the team and pulled them that extra push. Everybody wants to win, but it becomes such a hard grind. Most people don't understand how difficult it is to go through all those games, and series and play as hard as you can and body goes through so much. That gave them that emotional burst. They are still an emotional team, but that remains to be seen. Do they still have that drive or is it going to fade with several days off? Can they get back up to that level? I've seen that happen, where teams can't there or takes a game or two, and boy, if you lose those games, you are already behind the eight-ball in the series and it's tough. So, that will be an interesting question for me. What level will they be? Yeah, they will be rested, but they be rusted sort of thing? Have they lost their feel. They don't play quite of physical of game. I like defensive core. I think they are solid back there. They have enough skill guys and which ones can come through, and get the points for them? Martin St. Louis, you can pretty much always count on. Sooner than later, he is going to get you some points. Brad Richards has been great. Will Rick Nash have a series where he just really lights it up? He has been grinding hard and maligned a lot because it's easy to point to the numbers, and go where are the goals and assists? He's had a couple, but not to the level that people expect. But at the same time, he's killing penalties and doing a lot of great things, but he's got great skills, and will this be the series where he goes right over the top? As far as the Kings go, they have four lines, four center iceman that's really tough to match. Down the middle will be a tough match for the Rangers because when you have Anze Kopitar, who is one of the best in the business. Jeff Carter, whose outstanding. Jarret Stoll, who is one of the best defenseman forwards, and Mike Richards, who won the Stanley Cup and has won at every level he's played at, playing at a fourth line center is quite extraordinary. They grind you, are physical and are really fast on top of it."
To hear more Thurn’s interview with Engblom, listen below:
Thurn can be heard daily on ESPN 99.1 from 3 to 6 p.m.
For comments, or story ideas, email Sam at firstname.lastname@example.org, and follow him on Twitter @samtastad.