The Los Angeles Kings barely made it in to the playoffs this year with 95 points and a 40-27-15 record, but now they’re being picked by some analysts as the new favorites to win the Stanley Cup.
Well the Kings are currently 8-1 to start the playoffs. They haven’t lost a game on the road. They just swept the second best team in the west, the St. Louis Blues. Oh, and they also beat the best team in the NHL, the Vancouver Canucks, in five games to start the playoffs.
The Kings are only the third 8th seed to advance past the second round (Edmonton 2006 and Montreal 2010), and they’re the first team to ever eliminate the number 1 and 2 seeds.
The Kings are on track to win the whole thing if they can keep up they way they’ve been playing.
Now, the whole team has played exceptionally well this whole playoffs, but there are two players that stick out the most.
Captain Dustin Brown and Goaltender Jonathan Quick.
Dustin Brown just had an average season with 22 goals and 32 assists in 82 games, but he’s really turned it on in these playoffs with 6 goals and 5 assists in 9 games. He’s been the perfect captain in these playoffs. He’s putting goals on the board, he’s making plays, and he’s as physical as they come, attacking some of the other teams best players. You couldn’t ask for much more from Dustin Brown right now.
Jonathan Quick has been the undisputed MVP for the Kings, not only in these playoffs, but throughout the regular season. The majority of people say that he is the soul reason why the Kings were able to squeeze themselves in to the playoffs. Quick is currently first in the playoffs with 8 wins, second in save percentage with .949, he’s second to Cory Schneider, the Vancouver goaltender who got knocked out of the playoffs by Quick and the Kings. Quick is also second in goals against average with 1.55, Schneider again is ahead of Quick in that category.
Quick is also one of three finalists for the Vezina Trophy, awarded to the best goaltender in the league later on in the summer after the playoffs. He finished, in the regular season, 5th in wins with 35, 5th in SV% with .929, 2nd in GAA with 1.95, and 1st in shutouts with 10.
Those aren’t the only two weapons the Kings have, but they are currently the most notable contributors to the teams success.
If you have watched at least one of their games during these playoffs, you’d notice that every player does what they’re assigned to do. The play makers are making plays, the snipers are scoring goals, the grinders are grinding, the defensemen are defending, and their goaltender is keeping the puck out of the net.
It’s amazing what happens when everyone does what they’re supposed to do on a team.
The Kings are a scary team right now, and it seems like everyone is pulling for them. Even myself, a Stars fan, is pulling for the Kings in these playoffs.
I’d kind of like to see the Phoenix Coyotes advance to play the Kings because they’re virtually the same type of team, they’re also from the same division, and it’d be nice to see Quick face off against Mike Smith who has caught fire as a goaltender in these playoffs.
But of course it’d be great to see the Kings play the Nashville Predators in the next round because you’d get to see Quick face off against Pekka Rinne, one of the other Vezina Trophy finalists.
If you haven’t been paying much attention to the Kings these playoffs, I highly advise you to start doing so, it’s some of the best hockey you’ll see right now.