"Gotta love that pumpkin, Jeremy!" (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images for NHLI)
Doc Emrick: Hello everybody and welcome to Newark, New Jersey, home to Stephen Crane, who as you all know was the author of the Red Badge of Courage. Today we will be purchasing some fruit and I'm joined here by Ed Olczyk. What are the keys to buying fruit today, Eddie?
Ed Olczyk: Well Doc, it's gonna be real important for us to make sure we're checking for bumps & bruises and that we're making sure we pay before we leave.
Doc: Sage advice as always, Edward. First up we have the pear, which comes from the germanic word pera but I don't think we need to hold that against them. This pear right here i-
Pierre McGuire: One of the most underrated fruits in this fruit stand has to be the pear, right Edzo?
Olczyk: ...Yeah, I'd have to agree with that, Pierre.
Doc: That was the voice of Pierre McGuire, who is joining us between the stands. Now let's take a look at this pear.
Olczyk: For all you kids at home, the thing you're going to want to look for is size, color... oh and look right here, this pear is extremely discolored. Clearly this pear is third-pairing at best, an-
McGuire: That pear has to know that it's the wrong color! Really put itself into a bad spot in the front there, eh Edzo?
Olczyk: (*sigh) ...I'd say you're right, Pierre.
Doc: Well I can't argue with you two there. And wha'ts this over here? It's a liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiime!
Olczyk: And what a lime it is, Doc! Check out the color, the size; small for now, bu-
McGuire: THIS YOUNG LIME IS GROWING IN FRONT OF OUR EYES! I witnessed this lime on the farm down in Durango, Mexico and I knew this kid was going to grow up to be a MONSTER. Look at the way he-
Olcyzk: -Watch where you're going Pierre, you're going to-
Doc: -Pierre has knocked over a watermelon cart! One watermelon falls, and another, and GREAT SAVE BY OLCZYK!!!! Oh my goodness, what is going on???
Olczyk: Well I saw it falling an-
McGuire: You can see wha-
*5 seconds of silence
So far the 3 biggest keys to this series have been:
1) The Kings' top line has been dominating. Kopitar rules, we all know this. He's +4 thus far with 2 goals and a pretty consistent domination in the offensive zone (game 1 here, game 2 here). Last game saw Ken Hitchcock move David Backes away from Kopitar, which is something I thought I'd never see. It'll be interesting to see if Sutter pursues that match-up in LA or if he simply doesn't care who the Blues put out against Kopitar. So far it hasn't mattered.
2) Disrupting the goaltenders. Both goaltenders are very solid within the defensive schemes their coaches put in front of them. Elliot, though, has looked uncomfortable with the pressure put on him inside the blue area of the ice that Terry Murray loves so much. The Kings are making him move, basically, and that isn't Elliot's strong suit.
Quick is kind of the opposite of Elliot; while Elliot is a positional goaltender who has to work in scrambles, Quick is a natural scrambler who has had to work at getting his positioning under control. So far the Kings have done a pretty good job at keeping the Blues away from Quick, but when they have gotten through Quick has been up to the challenge.
3) Ryan Reaves hasn't played. Clearly the Blues are getting pushed around because they don't have Ryan Reaves in the line-up. They better play him and play him a lot. C'mon, Blues, you guys pussies or something? Yeah, I thought so.
Prediction: Kings win, 2-1. Goals by Doughty & Kopitar.