NHL Playoffs 2012: Los Angeles Kings Are Four Wins Away from Cup Glory
The Los Angeles Kings don't seem to care about any team standing in their way.
Top-seeded Vancouver: check. No. 2 St. Louis: check. No. 3 Phoenix: check.
After a teeth-gritting, temper-flaring 4-3 overtime victory in Phoenix in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals, Los Angeles continued its Cinderella run in the playoffs.
The Kings are 12-2 this postseason and are a perfect 8-0 on the road, a feat that had never been accomplished before.
It's no secret that the Kings have what it takes to win it all. They've gotten contributions from everybody on the ice and their mix of crafty veterans and feisty youngsters has put them in a league of their own.
Not to mention they have a Vezina trophy finalist between the pipes.
Jonathan Quick was tremendous for the Kings in the conference finals, something he's done consistently all season long.
Tuesday night was the only time this postseason Quick had given up three goals, but had 38 saves along the way.
The Kings have complimented Quick's phenomenal play in net with a flurry of shots game after game.
Los Angeles out-shot Phoenix in every game of the series and made Coyotes' net-minder Mike Smith work for every save.
At this point, the only way to stop the Kings is to let Quick get bored and catch him off-guard with an unlikely goal.
In the series, Los Angeles out-shot Phoenix 203-132 and put more than 40 shots on goal in three out of five games.
The Kings' relentless attack gave Smith nightmares. His excellent season finally came to an end at the hands of a pesky divisional rival.
Dustin Brown has been the stone in the proverbial shoe to his opponents all postseason long. His big hit on Daniel Sedin in the first round set the tone for the Kings' momentum for the duration of the postseason, and their gritty play has been ignited by his will to get under the skin of his opponents.
With the Rangers and Devils series tied up at two apiece, the Kings will get at least one week to rest as they watch the beasts from the east fight till the death for a piece of the best from the west.
The Rangers' first two series went to seven games and will have played at least six more games than the Kings if they advance.
The Devils have flown under the radar this postseason with their sixth-seeded squad. In the postseason, however, seeds seem to be as irrelevant as any regular season statistic.
Just ask the Kings.
Will the Kings win the Stanley Cup this year?
Los Angeles is in a position nobody figured it would be in.
Let me stress the "nobody."
A team that finished the regular season with nine wins out of its last 14 games just to make the playoffs is the closest it's been to tasting the sweet nectar of Lord Stanley's Cup since 1993.
Instead of Barry Melrose's mullet and Wayne Gretzky's finesse, this Los Angeles Kings team has Darryl Sutter's bitter-beer face and Brown's toughness.
With the Lakers and Clippers both bounced from the postseason, the entire focus of Tinsel Town shifts to the Kings.
In a city that has 11 NBA Championships and five World Series, the Kings are only four wins away from bringing the first Stanley Cup to the City of Angels.
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