Stanley Cup Final 2012: Why the Los Angeles Kings Are the Best 8th Seed Ever

Isaac SmithAnalyst IJune 7, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 06:  Anze Kopitar #11 of the Los Angeles Kings and teammates celebrate Drew Doughty #8 (not pictured) power play goal in the third period of Game Four of the 2012 Stanley Cup Final against New Jersey Devils at Staples Center on June 6, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Kings must get another win against the Devils to win the Stanley Cup, but regardless of whether the Kings get that win, they are the best eighth seed in NHL history.

Since 1994, when the NHL shifted to the current "1 vs. 8" format, no eighth seed has ever won the Stanley Cup. The lowest seed to win the Cup was the fifth-seeded New Jersey Devils in 1995.

The 2006 Edmonton Oilers are the only eighth seed since then to make it to the Stanley Cup Final, and they actually trailed 3-1 in the series before losing Game 7 to the Carolina Hurricanes.

The L.A. Kings find themselves in a position that no eighth seed in NHL playoff history has ever found itself: leading a Stanley Cup Final 3-1 going into Game 5.

But winning playoff games on the road seems to be nothing new for the Kings; their road record stands at a perfect 10-0.

Those 10 wins tie a playoff record for most road wins in a single postseason, and their 12 consecutive road playoff wins (dating back to last season) are also a playoff record.

Unfortunately, the Kings home record (now 5-3) is not quite as impressive. Their home play has let them down in Game 4s (1-3) during these playoffs, but they have not yet had to go to a Game 6. interviewed King's forward Dustin Penner after the game:

It's a good lesson for us, and a good lesson for the media and the fans because everybody, I think, was maybe putting the cart [in front] of the horse, to an extent.

It will now be time to see whether the Kings—who haven't really faced adversity so far in this playoff run—can answer the bell in Game 5 and avoid having to come back home for Game 6.

The Kings have never won an NHL championship since entering the league in 1967. But one complete 60-minute game would give them a chance to bring Lord Stanley's Cup to Los Angeles for the first time in franchise history.

Can the best eighth seed ever find a way to get the job done?


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