L.A. Kings: 10 Best Postseason Performers in Team History

Erik PaulCorrespondent IApril 21, 2011

L.A. Kings: 10 Best Postseason Performers in Team History

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    The Los Angeles Kings have never won a Stanley Cup, but that doesn't mean there haven't been some Kings who have starred in the playoffs.

    With only one Stanley Cup Finals appearance in franchise history, there's a bit of a skew in representation towards the best team the Kings have ever had.

    Without further adieu, here are the 10 best Kings in Stanley Cup Playoff history.

10. Felix Potvin

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    Felix Potvin only played 20 playoff games as a King, but he owns the best career goals-against average and save percentage among all Kings playoff goalies.

    Potvin was also part of the 2001 Kings who pulled off one of the biggest upsets in team history over the heavily-favored Detroit Red Wings.

9. Marty McSorley

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    Marty McSorley was never a prominent offensive player, but his play as "Wayne Gretzky's bodyguard" was very helpful to the Kings' getting goals.

    When Gretzky was informed that he was going to be traded in 1988, one of his prerequisites for approving the deal was that McSorley be shipped to Los Angeles with him.

    In the 1993 run to the finals, McSorley put up 10 points and delivered a crushing hit on Doug Gilmour in Game 1 of the Conference finals that set the tone for the series.

8. Dave Taylor

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    Part of the Kings' famous Triple Crown line with Marcel Dionne and Charlie Simmer, Dave Taylor spent his entire playing career with the Kings.

    Taylor is third all-time in Kings playoff scoring with 59 points, and second in games played with 92.

7. Steve Duchesne

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    Steve Duchesne is the scoring leader among defensemen in Kings' playoff history. Duchesne's consistency was very impressive: He put up 39 points in 43 games from 1986 to 1992.

    It would have been interesting to see if Duchesne could have made the difference in the 1993 Playoffs.

6. Kelly Hrudey

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    The man who backstopped the 1993 Kings' team finds himself at No. 6 on the list for that performance.

    Kelly Hrudey's stats were far from spectacular—10-10 record, 3.52 goals against average, .887 save percentage—but he came up with key saves when the team really needed it, much like Grant Fuhr used to do for Edmonton.

5. Marcel Dionne

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    Marcel Dionne is arguably the best player in NHL history who never won a Stanley Cup. He is certainly the best to never have advanced past the second round of the playoffs.

    Still, Dionne had 20 goals and 43 points in 43 career playoff games for the Kings, so it's hard to say it was his fault that he never got past the second round.

4. Bernie Nicholls

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    Bernie Nicholls boasts the second-best playoff points per game of any King with more than 10 career playoff games, thanks to posting 37 points in 34 games.

    Nicholls was traded to the New York Rangers for Tomas Sandstrom and Tony Granato in 1990. Losing the one-two punch of he and Wayne Gretzky at center hurt the Kings for the following three playoff seasons.

3. Tomas Sandstrom

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    Part of the return in the Bernie Nicholls trade paid off for the Kings in 1993, when Tomas Sandstrom scored 25 points in 24 games during the Kings' run to the finals.

    Sandstrom and Luc Robitaille flanked Wayne Gretzky, forming the best line of the 1993 Playoffs.

    Sandstrom ended up fourth all-time in Kings playoff scoring, with 45 points in 50 career games.

2. Luc Robitaille

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    "Lucky" Luc Robitaille is the Kings' all-time playoff goal-scoring leader, with 41 in 94 games. Robitaille was a key part of the Kings' 1993 Cup finals run, scoring 22 points in 24 games and playing on the Kings' top line.

    Robitaille also returned to Los Angeles and helped the Kings upset the Detroit Red Wings in the first round in 2001. He ended his career in second place on the Kings' postseason scoring charts.

1. Wayne Gretzky

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    It shouldn't come as a big surprise to any Kings fans that Wayne Gretzky is the top playoff performer in the team's history.

    Gretzky ended up with 94 career playoff points in only 60 games with the Kings, including a dominant performance of 40 points in the 1993 Playoffs. It was the fourth-highest scoring single playoff in NHL history, behind two of Gretzky's Edmonton seasons and Mario Lemieux's 1991 Conn Smythe Trophy-winning effort.

    The most legendary moment Gretzky had as a King came in Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals in 1993. He scored a hat trick and added an assist in what he would later call "The best game I have ever played."