After watching the LA Kings go through my beloved Vancouver Canucks as if they were simply not there, they have begun appearing more and more like a team destined to win the Stanley Cup. Part of me wants to believe this because they beat my team and I would feel a little better if we lost to the Stanley Cup Champs (even if we did not put up much of a fight). Why do the Kings feel like one of those teams destined to hoist the Cup – they have everything they need to win:
1) They are riding a hot tender – Few goalies have been better than J Quick in these playoffs. He outdueled the other goalkeeper of the postseason (Mike Smith) in five games which were not really all that close. Quick is coming into his own at exactly the right time at has been the backbone of a team that had to make a major trade just to sneak into the playoffs.
2) Their offense has come alive at the exact right time – Adding Jeff Carter as a rental helped the Kings finally find some offense…but not much, at least until the postseason kicked off. Suddenly Dustin Brown and Carter and Richards and even Penner were lighting the lamp. The Kings were putting up 3 or 4 goals a night. Crazy.
3) A good draw – Playing the Devils in the Stanley Cup finals is a great East-West draw for the NHL (sure the Rangers would have been better) but the Kings have played well as a team while the Devils are a cobbled together cast of role players.
I think the Kings snag their first ever Stanley Cup.