Obviously, that's no longer the case, as the two have unexpectedly slipped to 3-0 deficits in their respective series.
While the opponents have deserved each game they won, unnecessary mistakes and disappointing plays from the both teams have played a huge role.
The following takes a look at which players are to blame for the Canucks' unexpected situation, in no particular order.
Dan Hamhuis usually isn't a name you hear a lot during a Vancouver Canucks game, and that's a good thing.
He doesn't contribute offensively, but he doesn't make mistakes either; he's a solid defenseman.
In the first three games of the series, however, Hamhuis' name has come up on a few occasions, and not in the context he'd like.
In Game 1, Hamhuis caught an edge and fell, creating a 2-on-1 for Los Angeles, which forced Sami Salo into taking a hooking penalty. The penalty was the fourth in a row for Vancouver, and although the Kings didn't capitalize on the power play, the momentum was entirely in LA's hands. Hamhuis was also on the ice for the Kings' first goal, which tied the game at one.
In Game 2, as an errant pass came his way, Hamhuis chose to dive to hold the puck in rather than retreat defensively. He then failed to keep the puck in, sending Kings captain Dustin Brown in on a shorthanded breakaway, which put the Kings up 2-1.
In Game 3, Hamhuis high-sticked a King with just eight minutes to go in the third with the Canucks trailing 1-0. The timing of the penalty shifted momentum to the Kings at a time when the Canucks desperately needed to control the play.
Clearly something is off with Hamhuis' play. He'll need to figure it out by Wednesday if the Canucks want to avoid being the first President's Trophy winners to get swept in the first round.
Throughout the 2011-12 season, Chris Higgins has been a pleasant surprise for the Vancouver Canucks, as he continually proved he is worthy of the second line.
In the playoffs, it's been a different story. In the three games played thus far, Higgins sits alone at the bottom of the plus/minus department with minus- 3.
In Game 1, Higgins took a delay of game penalty in the first period to put the Canucks two men short. The Kings scored 10 seconds later to tie the game at one. Higgins was also on the ice (in no-man's land) for the Kings' go-ahead goal with just over three minutes remaining in the game, as well as the empty netter that sealed the deal.
In Game 2, Higgins was on the ice for the Kings' shorthanded goal to open the scoring. Although the turnover was a result of a miscommunication between Alex Edler and David Booth, Higgins was gingerly skating back to the defensive zone when the puck went in the net, while the rest of the players on the ice were doing everything they could to prevent the goal.
In Game 3, Higgins' play wasn't noticeably detrimental to the team, but his zero shots in 16 minutes of play didn't help the Canucks.
With the recent news that Daniel Sedin was on his way to Los Angeles, don't be surprised to see Higgins receive a demotion if Daniel is in the lineup on Wednesday.
For years, Ryan Kesler has been criticized for embellishing plays and going down easy. After the first three games of this series, even Canucks fans can't come to bat for him, as he appears to have put drawing penalties ahead of scoring on his priority list.
In Game 1, Kesler was in the penalty box when the Kings scored on the five-on-three, after taking an unsportsmanlike penalty. He then interfered with Dustin Brown while skating up the ice before going down. Although it appears that he caught an edge and went down, those who claim he dove are not easily dismissed. Either way, he should have been focusing on the puck rather than Brown.
Later in the game, Kesler tried to fake a butt end from the goalie. As you can see, Quick's stick never comes in contact with Kesler, which the referees realized and made the according non-call, but the Canucks scored on the play regardless. Kesler also won the face-off that led to the Canucks' second goal and was on the ice for the empty net goal to end it.
In Game 2, it was Kesler's errant pass that eluded Dan Hamhuis, leading to Dustin Brown's second shorthanded goal of the game. He also picked up an unnecessary roughing penalty with 10 minutes remaining in the third period with the Canucks down 3-1.
In game 3, Kesler embellished a crosschecking penalty from Willie Mitchell, which deserved a diving penalty in addition or instead of the crosscheck.
The Canucks will be in for a very short playoff run if Kesler fails to improve his discipline and start focusing on the game rather than drawing penalties.
Alexander Edler is usually the guy the Canucks can count on to be a force in the playoffs. He hits, he's solid defensively, and he scores. This postseason, however, Edler has not been himself.
In Game 1, Edler was on the ice for the first Vancouver goal and scored the second. The positives were overshadowed by the negatives, though, as Edler was also on the ice for three of L.A.'s goals and also picked up a delay of game penalty while the Canucks were already down a man.
In Game 2, Edler's careless drop pass caught David Booth off-guard, leading to a turnover and a shorthanded goal to put the Kings up 1-0. Edler was also on the ice for the power play goal that put Los Angeles up 3-1.
On Sunday night, Edler yet again showed a poor performance, as he failed to cover an open Dustin Brown when he scored the only goal of the game. In addition, Edler took an interference penalty early in the second and a delay of game penalty with just under two minutes remaining in the game, making a comeback nearly impossible.
Edler needs to return to the form we've gotten used to, and he needs to do it now.
When Maxim Lapierre came to the Vancouver Canucks, he had a nasty reputation of being one of the most undisciplined players in the game. To everyone's surprise, Alain Vigneault managed to keep him in check for quite a while, but that no longer seems to be the case.
Lapierre was the team leader in penalty minutes in the regular season by 36 minutes. But that stat was overlooked when Lapierre found success on the first line while Daniel Sedin was out with a concussion.
So far in the postseason, he has taken another lead in the PIM department, but this time he doesn't have the offensive contribution to make it excusable.
In Game 1, Lapierre was plus-1, picking up an assist on Alex Edler's goal, but he also made an undisciplined play when he received a charging penalty in the second period. Overall, Lapierre played well in this game.
In Game 2, Lapierre was floating in no-man's land when the Kings scored their fourth goal of the game, and he contributed nothing but a cheap crosscheck to Trevor Lewis after he had put the puck in the net. Twenty-three seconds later, he received a 10 minute misconduct.
Game 3 was surely Lapierre's worst of the series. In the first period, Lapierre's lack of discipline was evident when he took a roughing penalty. Later in the game when the Canucks were down 1-0, Lapierre received an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty when he attempted to interfere/hip-check Drew Doughty with the puck nowhere in sight. Lapierre's lack of discipline at bad times in Game 3 played a huge role in preventing Vancouver from gaining momentum and winning the game.
After the performance on Sunday, don't be surprised to see Daniel Sedin and Byron Bitz in the lineup Wednesday, while Lapierre watches from a distance.