May 4, 2012
NHL Playoff Debate: Are the Kings the Best Team in the West Right Now?
The last time the NHL saw an eighth seed become a legitimate Stanley Cup contender was back in 2006, when the Edmonton Oilers defied all odds and advanced all the way to the finals, only to fall to the Carolina Hurricanes.
Now, seven years later, it appears another eighth seed is poised for a long playoff run.
The Los Angeles Kings, who were nothing more than average during the regular season, have been as good as any team throughout the 2012 playoffs. And if they can continue to play the way they have over the past several weeks, there’s no reason to believe they can’t win it all this spring.
First LA took down the Vancouver Canucks, outplaying the President’s Trophy-winners in virtually every facet of the game. Now they hold a 3-0 lead over the St. Louis Blues in the West Semis and are on the verge of their first trip to the conference finals since 1993.
To put that in perspective, Drew Doughty was 3 years old at the time.
If the Kings do in fact beat the Blues and advance to the third round, they will have defeated the two league’s best teams in the regular season, begging the question: Is the most difficult part of their playoff journey already over?
Assuming the Kings don’t blow a 3-0 lead to St. Louis, the only team standing in their way of the Cup finals will be either Phoenix or Nashville—neither of which are slouches, but neither of which are all that intimidating, either.
Not compared to the Canucks or Blues, at least.
Then comes the final test, but if the Kings can dominate No. 1 and 2 seeds in the West in consecutive best-of-seven series, there’s no reason to believe they can’t take down the likes of New York, Washington, Philadelphia or New Jersey.
So, now it’s your turn to have a say…
Are the Kings currently the best team their conference? Can they win it all?
Discuss in the comments section below.
Read more NHL news on BleacherReport.com
- Los Angeles Kings Must Live Up To Abilities To Win Tight Playoff Race
- Los Angeles Kings: 3 Reasons They May Be the Team to Beat in the West
- L.A. Kings: Playoff Bound 2012
- Daniel Sedin: How Will Canucks Star’s Concussion Affect Playoff Race in West?
- NHL Playoff Predictions 2012: LA Kings Will Cruise Past St. Louis Blues