And the magical run of Los Angeles Kingscontinues. The Kings are headed to their second Stanley Cup Final, their first since 1993, after defeating division rival Phoenix Coyotes, 4-3, in overtime. Owners of Los Angeles Kings tickets are definitely feeling heaven as of this moment but they know that the journey is not over yet. Kings fans have been deprived of a Stanley Cup Finals for 19 years and of a title since the team’s inception in 1967.
When Los Angeles dismantled Phoenix in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals, they tied the league record for the fewest games played in the playoffs before reaching the championship round. Los Angeles played only 14 games so far, five games in the First Round, four in the Conference Semifinals, and five in the Conference Finals. During that 14-game stretch, the Kings outscored their opponent 41-22. With the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers already eliminated in the 2012 NBA playoffs, the Kings are the new darlings of the City of Angels.
Among the few NHL teams that improved during the playoffs, Los Angelesmay be the only one who peaked perfectly. They definitely had a great run during the postseason and many are already impressed by what they are showing. One is hockey legend Wayne Gretzky, who is considered by many as the greatest hockey player ever. Gretzky, who played for Los Angeles in the 1990’s and was part of the 1993 Finals team, sees that the 2012 Kings is better than the one he was part of.
Gretzky sees some similarities between the 2012 Kings and 1993 Kings, in terms of the fact that both started every series on the road. The 51-year-old Gretzky told that the team that made to the Finals run prior to this year believed in the coach as well as the system. What makes Gretzky believe that the 2012 Kings is better than their team before is that they have more depth. He even went further by saying that this year’s Kings is a legitimate contender that really deserves their Finals spot.
“Going into the finals this year, whether it’s the (New Jersey) Devils or the (New York) Rangers, I would tell you that L.A. is a good team and they’ll be ready to play. They’re firing on all cylinders,” Gretzky said.
The Kings’ run toward the Stanley Cup Finals is filled with a lot of players stepping up at the right time. There are the obvious suspects, Dustin Brown, Anze Kopitar, and Jonathan Quick but there is another one who is stepping up his play. Blueliner Drew Doughty is showing that he is worthy to be in the discussion of Conn Smythe Trophy with his teammates. The 22-year-old Doughty was definitely the best defenseman during the entire Western Finals. His great play throughout the five games was definitely a great sight to see, especially during the clinching game. His two points (one goal, one assist) was a big part of their Game 5 victory.
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