NHL Playoffs: The Wild West is Won
Added by Jackie Daly on May 23, 2012.
After winning the Western Conference, the LA Kings await either the Devils or Rangers.
It seems as though, in the 2012 NHL playoffs, the Western Conference is just always a hop, skip and jump ahead of it’s Eastern counterpart, ready to get an early move on the next round.
The matchups in the West have been coming to an end well before anything in the East can get decided. This trend has continued through to the conference finals round, and the Western Conference already has their representative team who will compete for Lord Stanley’s Cup. This would be the Los Angeles Kings.
This whole time, the Kings have been tearing through each opponent they face. They came into the 2012 playoffs as the eighth seeded team, which means that they face the first place team in the conference quarterfinal round. They beat the first place Vancouver Canucks in 5 games, they swept the second place St. Louis Blues in the conference semis, and, just last night, in OT mind you, beat the Phoenix Coyotes in 5 games.
Now, as they advance to their first Stanley Cup Finals series since 1993, when “the great one” Wayne Gretsky was their captain, they have become only the second team in NHL history, since the new playoff format, to take down the top three seeded teams as the eighth place team, to advance to the Finals. The other team was the Calgary Flames in 2004. What’s ironic about the piece of NHL history information is Kings head coach Darryl Sutter just happened to be the coach of the Calgary Flames at that time. Coincidence? I think not.
I have given the Kings the name “the wrecking crew.” I don’t know where that came from (maybe I do; they are wrecking through all their opponents), but it seems that, in all my discussions about this team, that is how I reference them. I mean, it fits, right?
Now comes the wait.
The Eastern conference is tied at 2 games each with the New York Rangers and the New Jersey Devils. Whether the NYR and NJD series goes to seven games or not, which I think that it probably will, the first game of the Stanley Cup Final is not until NEXT Wednesday, May 30. The Los Angeles Kings have some major resting recoup time. They can focus, power up, and be ready for whichever team decides to be the beast of the East.
Based on regular season point totals, the team from the East will have home ice advantage throughout the Final series. Game 5 of NJD at NYR is tonight at 8 pm. The winner of tonight’s game will only be one win away from advancing to the Stanley Cup Final.