Were the LA Kings Keeping a Secret?
With tonight’s win over the Phoenix Coyotes, the Kings have a playoff record of 10-1, following a round 1 win over the #1 seed Vancouver Canucks and a second round sweep of the surging St. Louis Blues. The Kings are also 7-0 on the road this postseason. They have two players over ten points in their 11 games and the hottest goaltender in the league right now with a GAA of 1.59 and a .947 save percentage. So what is the Kings secret?
If they played this well all season then they would have strolled into the playoffs as the #1 Seed, President’s Trophy winners and Cup favorites. The Kings started their year with a solid record of 12-8-5, but December is where it all fell apart. In December, LA was 7-6-2 and January was no better at 5-2-4. Coming into February and March, the Kings were in the mix with a slew of other teams like Chicago, Phoenix, Detroit, San Jose, Dallas Colorado and Calgary. Every day a new eighth seed was crowned and no one fan or analyst could predict who would advance come April. With a 6 game win streak coming at the end of March, LA looked like a shoe in but still struggled to hold on to that final playoff berth.
With an barely above average season and just making the 8th seed in the Western Conference, where has LA come from? They are playing like they are the #1 seed in the League are are rolling through the competition, currently with a 2 games to 0 lead over the #3 seeded Coyotes. While Quick is in the running for the Vezina Trophy, with an astounding season manning the crease, tallying a league leading 10 shut outs, he has been the base for the surging Kings. They are on their way to taking down all 3 of the top seeds and conference leaders in the West this postseason. So were the Kings keeping a secret from the League this season? Were they hiding their true potential, and sneaking into the playoffs just to shock the world and keep the bulls eye off their backs?
Is this feat feasibly possible for the Buffalo Sabres? LA only had one more win than us this season and had less offense. The biggest difference is the Goal Differential of a +15 for the Kings and a -12 for Buffalo. Can the Sabres do the same vanishing act as the Kings next season? Could we play similarily(hopefully better) than this season, stats wise, and just turn it on in the postseason and tear through any team in our way? Let’s just hope.