By Allan Muir
Drew Doughty knows he'll be targeted by the New York Rangers when Game 4 gets underway tonight. He can also look forward to playing with a bull's-eye on his back when the Kings square off against the San Jose Sharks next season.
With Los Angeles holding a 3-0 lead in the Stanley Cup Final, Doughty was asked on Wednesday to reflect on what it took for his team to climb out of an 0-3 hole in its first round series against the Sharks. His response was not particularly flattering.
"Once we won that first game of the San Jose series, we kind of had a feeling we were going to come back and win that series," Doughty said. "You could see it in their eyes and their team and their captains and leaders that they were worried about us coming back. So we don't want to give these guys any life."
Somewhere, Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau are wondering why their noses just started bleeding.
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It sounds harsh, but it's also a fair indictment of the Sharks and how they responded after the Kings found life in a series-extending Game 4 win. San Jose lost that series as a team, but the inability of its leadership group to stabilize the situation and win at least one of those final three games highlights the obvious need for change in that organization (and explains all those Thornton trade rumors).
Say this about the Kings: The Rangers may knock them off tonight, but their leaders know how to apply the brakes and turn the car around before it careens over the cliff.