Stanley Cup Playoffs 2012: Why the LA Kings Won't Sweep the Phoenix Coyotes

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Stanley Cup Playoffs 2012: Why the LA Kings Won't Sweep the Phoenix Coyotes
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

The Cinderella story for the Los Angeles Kings has continued in the conference finals of this year’s Stanley Cup playoffs against the Phoenix Coyotes.

In two games against the Coyotes in Glendale, Ariz., the Kings looked absolutely dominant. After a 4-2 win in Game 1 of the series, the Kings frustrated Phoenix again with a 4-0 drubbing.

The Coyotes appear frustrated and overmatched. Inexplicably, the Coyotes' captain and team leader, Shane Doan, lost his composure.

Doan was ejected from Game 2 after a brutal hit on Kings forward Trevor Lewis earned him a five-minute major for boarding and a 10-minute game misconduct.

In addition, Coyotes center Martin Hanzal was also ejected for a boarding call. Sportingnews.com reports there will likely be a hearing to decide whether or not those two players will be able to play in Game 3.

Moreover, Coyotes goalie Mike Smith got in on the action with a two-minute slashing penalty after he hacked his stick down to the back of Dustin Brown’s right knee, which could have caused serious injury.

The Coyotes may seem overmatched thus far in the series, getting rubbed off the puck with relative ease, but those ejections and the frustration from Smith may be exactly what Phoenix needs.

No team likes to be blown out of their own building at home twice, so it’s no mystery as to why Doan, Hanzal and even Smith lost their composure.

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

However, their hard-nosed play, earning them two ejections and a slashing penalty, may light a fire under the rest of the team for the remainder of this series.

 

That’s why the Coyotes will not get swept.

The Kings have looked dominant so far, but the momentum, as crazy as it is to say, may be favoring the Coyotes.

Phoenix needed a reason (apparently a reason bigger than being in the conference finals) to get hyped up against this team. Well, they found that spark.

The Coyotes will be playing angry in Los Angeles after losing two crucial games at home. The Yotes just need to make sure that their anger contributes to aggressive play and goals scored and not more penalties and ejections.

Kings goalie Jonathan Quick has done everything short of stand on his head in this series. A shutout is a shutout, there’s no two ways about that.

However, if the Coyotes can channel their evident frustrations onto the ice in a positive way, it may not matter who’s in goal for the opposing team.

Mike Smith, although he has looked bad early this series, is a great goalie. The problem is that the Kings are simply getting too many offensive rushes.

Smith gave up three goals in the Game 1 loss, but he faced a gargantuan 47 shots (stopping a stunning 44 of them). Admittedly, you’re not going to win many hockey games when you surrender nearly 50 shots on goal.

Smith has the ability to be just as good as Quick has been, but the Coyotes defense needs to step up and give him some assistance.

The fire that Doan, Hanzal and Smith may have just lit could provide the Coyotes with the energy they so desperately need.

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