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Stanley Cup Playoffs 2012: Red-Hot LA Kings Will Roll to the Title

Chris Trapasso@ChrisTrapassoAnalyst IMay 19, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 06:  Drew Doughty #8 and Dustin Brown #23 of the Los Angeles Kings celebrate a 3-1 win and a 4-0 game sweep of the St. Louis Blues in Game Four of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Staples Center on May 6, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Kings have the necessary momentum and team make-up to be the first No. 8 seed to win a Stanley Cup title. 

They have absolutely steamrolled through this year's playoffs, compiling an 11-1 record while seemingly unaware of their underdog status. 

After a 2-1 Game 3 win in Phoenix, they're a game away from reaching the Cup final, where they figure to wait for the winner of an Eastern Conference Final that has the looks of a six- or seven-game series.

In the NHL, dominant regular-season clubs aren't locks for anything in the postseason. An increase in physical play and the potential of many fortuitous bounces give lower seeds a legitimate chance. 

"Getting hot" at the right time can make teams with records that flirted with .500 more intimidating than a Presidents' Trophy winner. 

That's precisely what's happened with the Kings over the last month. 

Their assortment of talent has come together at the perfect time and made them unstoppable, much like what happened with the New York Giants in the NFL.

The Giants' talent was there all along, and everything clicked when it needed to. They rode a hot end to the regular season to a 9-7 record and a Super Bowl title. 

Look at the Kings' roster—it's lined with stars, the right number of role players and a top-notch goaltender. 

They're not a group of massive overachievers who have won on luck alone this spring.

Dustin Brown's an elite right winger, even if most of the East Coast isn't fully aware of his play-making abilities. Anze Kopitar dazzles with nifty puck-handling and snipes with a booming shot. Jeff Carter and Mike Richards are wily veterans who have experienced the rigors of the bruising Eastern Conference playoffs. 

Guys like Jarret Stoll and Dustin Penner have vital playoff experience. 

Drew Doughty was a member of the gold medal-winning Canadian national team at the 2012 Winter Olympics. 

Jonathan Quick is an up-and-coming stalwart in net. 

This is not to say the New York Rangers or New Jersey Devils aren't talented and veteran-laden—they are. 

But have they been as steady this postseason? Will they be as fresh when one of them reaches the Cup finals? 

No. 

The Kings have an abundance of skilled players, are oozing with confidence and have made the 2012 playoffs look relatively easy. 

They've been on a historic run this point, and in a few weeks, will cap off everything by hoisting the Cup. 

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