The Kings sneaked into the playoffs as the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference, and the expectations were low.
Los Angeles had been very good defensively throughout the regular season, but the team was awful in the attack. The Kings were 29th in the league in goals scored per game.
Few gave the L.A. a chance against the top-seeded Vancouver Canucks, who had finished with the best record in hockey two years in a row.
But once the puck dropped in Game 1 of the series, it was clear that everything was different for the Kings. The offensive woes appeared to be gone as Los Angeles put away eight goals in their first two games against the Canucks.
If the Kings cap off this incredible run by hoisting the Stanley Cup trophy, they will rank above all the other surprise champions in professional hockey history.
The 2006 Carolina Hurricanes took a bumpy road to the finals, and the franchise had been a model of futility throughout its history. However, the team had a fantastic regular season, so it was not as unexpected as a potential Kings championship.
The 1993 Montreal Canadiens made a surprising run past Wayne Gretzky and the Kings to the team’s 24th Stanley Cup title, but they were a No. 3 seed and had Patrick Roy in the net. The current Kings title would be much more shocking.
The 1995 Devils were the lowest seed in NHL history to lift the trophy, going into the playoffs at No. 5. Obviously, as a No. 8 seed, the Kings would have the more impressive upset.
The Kings made a miraculous transformation when they entered the postseason and, against all odds, they have kept the momentum going. If they continue to play at the same level in the Finals, they will win.
If Los Angeles ends up hoisting the Stanley Cup trophy, other “Cinderella On Ice” stories just wouldn’t measure up to the 2012 Kings.