Only one win above .500 at the 33-game mark, the Kings enlisted Darryl Sutter to permanently supplant Terry Murray on December 22. A 25-13-11 run translated to a .622 winning percentage and a rampant recovery en route to the eighth and final seed in the playoff bracket.
Los Angeles has utilized its playoff passport to go on a historic 12-2 tear to the Campbell Bowl, a run to the finals not seen since the Anaheim Mighty Ducks posted an identical three-round record in 2003.
Since expansion began in 1967, three teams have won the cup with the help of a midseason coaching replacement.
Sutter’s Kings are the fifth to have reached the finals under such circumstances. And as recently as 2008-09, two others went directly from a playoff no-show to a conference finalist.
In chronological order, the six most impressive coaches who hit the ice sprinting with their new teams are as follows.