Before this season, the Los Angeles Kings had been to the Stanley Cup Finals just once since 1967.
But that was then and this is now, and if this was the first time you saw the Kings play, you would think they had been doing this for years.
The Kings—who last reached the finals in 1993—only won one playoff series in the past 17 years until this season. They became a laughing stock of the league and they had the fewest points (95) of all Western Conference playoff teams this season.
Heck, they didn't even enter the playoffs on a hot streak.
That's what makes the Kings' postseason run so amazing. They've gone 14-2 in the playoffs, knocking off the first-seeded Vancouver Canucks, second-seeded St. Louis Blues and the Phoenix Coyotes, who ended the regular season on a five-game winning streak.
But it's not just players like goalie Jonathan Quick who have stepped up. Everyone has.
Jeff Carter, who had the deciding goal for the Kings in Game 2, said via ESPN, "I don't think I've ever been on a team like this where everybody is locked in. Everybody knows what they need to do to go out on the ice and get it done."
Of course, it's not over yet.
The Kings have won both games in overtime by the score of 2-1, and the series could have easily gone the other way. The New Jersey Devils know they still have a shot to win the title.
But you get the feeling that these Kings won't fold. History would suggest that they would crumble before our eyes, but these Kings look like a team ready to defy history.
Then again, maybe it is the very history of the franchise that will propel the Kings to a victory in Game 3 and win their first championship.
This team has already shown in this postseason that the past is the past, and they are tired of being viewed as bottom dwellers. They will prove it in Game 3 before their loyal fans.
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