5 Reasons the Los Angeles Kings Have to Be Confident in a Cup Victory
Now, Los Angeles has become the "feel-good" story of the NHL and is representing the Western Conference in the Stanley Cup Finals.
The Kings have defined postseason dominance by winning 12 of their first 14 games. Even more impressive is the fact that they are a perfect 8-0 on the road.
They made easy work of the Western Conference's top-three seeds and now have a matchup with the New Jersey Devils.
A Healthy Jeff Carter
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An ankle injury at the end of March sidelined Jeff Carter for the end of the regular season, but his presence in the postseason has been felt by the opposition.
Carter had five points in the Kings Western Conference Finals against Phoenix, including a hat trick in Game 2.
When on the ice, Carter is as dangerous as any forward on the Kings roster.
The Kings traded for Carter from Columbus in February in exchange for defenseman Jack Johnson.
Carter has gelled well with the other Kings' forwards this postseason and when healthy has the ability to change a game with one flick of the wrist.
Los Angeles is hoping Carter can pull some shades of his old Philadelphia days when he scored 46 goals in the 2008-09 season.
In the postseason, anything is possible.
Martin Brodeur Isn't What He Used to Be
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Even though he just turned 40, Martin Brodeur still remains an elite goalie in the NHL.
Despite his success which is nearly impossible to match on any spectrum, the 2011-12 season was not one of Brodeur's finest.
He only played in 59 games this season and failed to crack the top 10 in every goalie statistic.
Brodeur's numbers have been better in the postseason, but he has yet to face a team with the kind of relentless attack the Kings have put on game after game.
The Kings have already gotten the best of goalies like Luongo, Elliott and Smith. Why should Brodeur be any different?
Kings Have Played Less Games
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Los Angeles has made quick work of its opponents so far needing only a total of 14 games to reach the Stanley Cup Finals.
The Devils have played four more games than the Kings have and although both teams don't play until Wednesday, the Kings will be the far more rested team.
It could ultimately come back to hurt the Kings, but so far it hasn't. So why should the Stanley Cup Finals be any different?
New Jersey Has Home-Ice Advantage
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Now nine times out of 10, home ice-advantage benefits the team playing at home. No secret there.
However, the Kings are a perfect 8-0 on the road this postseason, a number that the Devils have to be concerned about.
Los Angeles has come out of the gates in full force in the playoffs to try to silence the visiting crowd. In their eight postseason road games, the Kings have scored four or more goals six times.
Don't expect L.A. to let up on the accelerator against New Jersey either.
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The importance of Jonathan Quick being in net for the Kings can not be overstated.
All season long their offense has heard that their goaltender had to bail them out. Maybe that's why they have decided to come alive in the playoffs.
Make no mistake: Quick is the real deal.
He has continued to play outstanding while his offense has found life. Quick has been the one reliable player for Los Angeles the entire season and his stats reflect that of a possible Vezina-Trophy winner.
He ranks first amongst postseason goalies in save percentage and goals against.
His stats have been far better than his counterpart, Martin Brodeur.
With the Kings clicking on all cylinders at the most crucial time, Quick will be the most important part of the equation in helping Los Angeles raise its first Stanley Cup in franchise history.