Kings

Boyle: Time to 'finish these guys off' in Game 6

Boyle: Time to 'finish these guys off' in Game 6

April 25, 2011

SHARKS (3-2) vs.
LOS ANGELES (2-3)
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Coverage starts at 6:30 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet California.

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Home ice hasn't meant much in the all-California series between the San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings.

Each team has won twice as the visitor, and now the Sharks, who won the opener at home in overtime, are back at Staples Center with a second chance to close out the series Monday night.

"We had the one opportunity that we missed," Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle said Sunday. "We can't really think about Game 7. We've got to finish these guys off and just play our game."

The Sharks will start Antti Niemi in goal in Game 6, despite him getting pulled Saturday night for the second time in the series. He allowed three goals on the Kings' first four shots of their 3-1 victory in San Jose.

"He's ready to go back in and we have a ton of confidence in him," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. "Any time he's had a bad game he's come back. The thing with him is he hasn't had two within a five-game span in a long time. He'll need to polish it up, just like the rest of us do."
RELATED: McLellan going with Niemi in Game 6

McLellan blamed defensive breakdowns for the Kings' first two goals, although he didn't defend their third goal by Dustin Penner, who had been scoreless since March 13, two weeks after he was acquired from Edmonton.

"I've got to stay on top of the crease when they get the puck. That's pretty much all I can take from the game," Niemi said. "Just be a little bit more challenging when they've got a chance to shoot. It takes just careful preparation and getting ready and not thinking about it too much."

Los Angeles is sticking with Jonathan Quick, who made a franchise playoff-record 51 saves to extend his team's season for at least one more game.

"It's not a number I'm concerned about," Kings coach Terry Murray said of the shots. "It's the Grade A, quality chances that are the ones I really focus in on and that number was not too bad."

The Kings staved off San Jose comeback behind Quick's steadiness and their defense, which has been a strength all season and which forced the Sharks to shoot mostly from the perimeter.

"Mentally, it's a little bit easier to stay sharp because you're constantly getting action. On the other hand, it's a little more demanding physically," Quick said. "Yesterday was more of a physical challenge than mental."

Quick bounced back after getting shelled for 12 goals in the Kings' two losses at home.

RATTO: Sharks, Niemi uncomfortable once again

The Sharks will be looking to get off to a fast start, something that has eluded them so far while getting outscored 8-1 in the first period of the series.

"I can tell you it's not a lack of preparation or want or effort. I'm seeing all those things," Boyle said. "It seems across the board teams are scoring in bunches, not just our series but other series, too. So if they do score, it's very important for the next shift and the shift following that, you just got to pick it up a little bit, be a little better."

The same could be said about Penner, whose physical presence and skills kept him in the lineup despite his lack of impact in the series. He played on the Kings' fourth line with Kevin Westgarth and Jarret Stoll.

"I'm giving him an opportunity here to back away from having to shut down a (Joe) Thornton line and the checking part of the game," Murray said. "He's capable, but the game is just not there right now. With a different look, it's an opportunity to kind of get your game together and have some success and certainly not the same threat coming at him as a Thornton line."

Having faced each other 11 times so far, including a split of six regular season games, there are few ways either team can surprise the other.

"Now it does come down to execution, it comes down to attitude," Murray said. "You really have to get into your own head as a player of making sure you're paying the price to compete. That's where we need to be even better."

A victory by the Kings would force a seventh game Wednesday night in San Jose.

"We're a really good road team. Right now that means nothing because we have to win at home," Quick said. "All we're focused on is playing at home in front of our crowd and giving them something to cheer about. We want to give them something to go home happy about."

After loss to Nuggets, it's clear Kings need to fix problem on the glass

After loss to Nuggets, it's clear Kings need to fix problem on the glass

SACRAMENTO -- Light in the rear. It’s a term the Sacramento Kings coaching staff has used since the beginning of training camp to describe the bigs on the roster. On Monday night at Golden 1 Center, the team’s lack of strength inside was on full display as the Denver Nuggets crushed them on the glass.

“I think we’re 29th in the league for rebounding, so that’s a little bit of our makeup of how our team is made,” Dave Joerger said following the Kings’ 114-98 loss.

Joerger is close in his assessment, but off by a few spots. His roster ranks 26th in the league in rebounding overall and 28th on the defensive side of the ball. It’s become an achilles heel for a team that has a few glaring weaknesses.

“When Willie (Cauley-Stein) and Kosta (Koufos) aren’t in there to snag every rebound, we have to get in there and help Zach (Randolph) and help Skal (Labissiere),” veteran Garrett Temple said. “Skal’s a little undersized in terms of weight and Z-Bo will put his body on people, but some people might be able to out jump him.”

On a normal night, Temple is right. Randolph and Labissiere struggle to put up big numbers on the glass. But against the Nuggets, it was Koufos and Cauley-Stein that combined to grab nine rebounds in 51 total minutes of action.

Randolph and Labissiere didn’t fair much better, finishing with 10 boards between the two of them in 38 minutes with the starters. Between the Kings’ four bigs, they were out rebounded by the Nuggets bigs by a final of 34-19.

The Nuggets came into the night a top 10 rebounding team overall and the second best offensive rebounding team in the NBA at 11.8 per game.

It’s not just the bigs that struggled to grab boards for Sacramento. Without Buddy Hield, the club’s best rebounding wing, the Kings’ were dominated 49-34 overall in rebounding, including 14-5 on the offensive glass.

“The first shot, it’s a good contest, we did everything right, except get the rebound,” rookie point guard De’Aaron Fox said. “And then they get an open shot off a second chance shot. If we can complete a lot of plays with the rebound, we’ll be okay.”

To Fox’s point, the defensive possession doesn’t end until the rebound is secured. Sacramento was outscored 19-6 on second chance points. In a 16-point game, those numbers loom large.

“Us guards, we know we have to help our bigs,” Fox said. “We know our bigs are athletic. We know they do what they do, at the end of the day, other team’s guards are helping their bigs rebound and their bigs aren’t alone.”

Outside of the four bigs, none of the other seven players to see action had more than three rebounds. It’s an issue that has to be addressed as the Kings move forward.

“There are some instances that really bothered me,” Joerger said. “We had some guys leaking out, standing at half court and that I won’t have.”

The Kings have a day of practice on Tuesday to try and sure up some of their issues. Some of the problems stem from inexperience, but some of the issue comes down to energy and effort.

It doesn’t even get easier on Wednesday. The Los Angeles Lakers rank second in the league in rebounding at 47.5 boards per game. On the plus side, they also give up the 28th most rebounds in the league.

Klay Thompson randomly interviewed on local NYC news about scaffolding

klay-celebrating-ap.jpg
AP

Klay Thompson randomly interviewed on local NYC news about scaffolding

With a big break until their next game, the Warriors spent a couple days in New York City.

Klay Thompson spent part of his Monday walking around the city.

And as only Thompson could, he wound up appearing on a local news report. But he wasn't talking about basketball. Not even close.

Courtesy of Twitter user @MP_Trey, Thompson was interviewed on Fox 5 NY to talk about ... scaffolding.

"I usually observe if the piping and stuff is new. Sometimes, you know, something looks like it's been there a while, I try to avoid that," Thompson said in the report.

You can watch the odd video here: