Originally posted on Next Impulse Sports  |  Last updated 5/16/12

For some crazy and inexplicable reason, I’ve seemed to notice a resurgence of interest in the LA Kings lately. Since I’ve proudly proclaimed myself to be a Kings fan for the last 15 years, many people have been coming to me with a barrage of questions about how this has happened. Right now, the cool new thing in LA is to be a Kings fan, and while my first instinct is to be annoyed with these people for previously telling me that “hockey is lame” or “the Kings will never come close to winning the cup,” I’m too damn elated to waste my time with I told you so’s. Instead, I figured I’d do my part as a good citizen and provide some of the bandwagoners with some important Kings knowledge to at least make it sound like you know what you’re talking about.

Much like we’ve seen all throughout this postseason, game two of the Western Conference Finals was completely dominated by the LA Kings. In the 4-0 Kings victory, the Phoenix Coyotes learned that there is no solution for Jonathan Quick and that stifling the deep and powerful Kings offense is just not that easy. The Kings have unquestionably been the best team in the 2011-2012 playoffs, being the first # 8 seed to knock off a # 1 and # 2 team back to back. They have a perfect road record of 7-0 this postseason, and have tied an NHL record with nine consecutive playoff road wins dating back to last season.

The beauty of this Kings team lies in its depth. That word “depth” is one that you hear often in the playoffs because it’s unlikely for a team with only one successful top line to keep advancing. The Kings have three lines that score on a consistent basis. The top line of Brown, Kopitar, and Williams have dominated with 36 points this postseason, but they are getting lots of help from the Carter, Richards, and Penner line (25 points), as well as the King, Stoll, and Lewis line (12 points). The simple fact that Jarrett Stoll is centering the third line is reason enough to call this team “deep.” On any other team, he would likely be placed in a top six forward role. He is consistent in the faceoff circle and puts a ton of focus on mastering the little parts of the game. Let’s also not forget about the 18 points that have been recorded by the Kings six defenseman.

That takes care of the offensive side of things. If anyone had expected the Kings to be in the Western Conference Finals, they would have probably attributed it to a strong defense. Fortunately, the Kings haven’t had to sacrifice their defensive game in order to give life to the goal scoring. The penalty kill has been outstanding, giving up only three power play goals in 11 playoff games (all to the Vancouver Canucks). When I watch the post-game interviews, I keep hearing these teams on the losing end saying that they haven’t yet played their best hockey. There’s a really simple reason for this: The Kings aren’t giving these teams a chance to do that. With the way that they have been able to shut down Vancouver, St. Louis, and in these last two games, Phoenix, it’s unlikely that any team will be able to play “their best hockey” against them.

Another strength of the Kings has been their ability to get under the skin of the opposition. Dustin Brown draws more penalties than anyone I’ve ever seen. Somehow, as a group, they’ve managed to cause teams to take stupid and unnecessary penalties, thus putting the Kings in a position to gain momentum, regardless of whether or not they’re scoring on the power play. At about halfway through game 2, the Coyotes got frustrated and completely lost their cool. Shane Doan boarded Trevor Lewis and got a 5-minute major penalty and a game misconduct. Mike Smith got pissed and hacked Dustin Brown with his goalie stick for no apparent reason, and then came Martin Hanzal with a vicious act of boarding against Dustin Brown, which got him ejected from the game and suspended for Game 3.

It will be interesting to see how the Coyotes will handle the absence of Hanzal in the lineup. Game 3 is tomorrow night at 6pm PST in Los Angeles. I’m anticipating a good fight or two and of course, another Kings victory. We’ll see if the Coyotes have what it takes to fight back, but at this rate, I’m not sure if any team will find a solution for the Kings. Here are some highlights from Game 2:



Article found on: Cosby Sweaters

Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Report: Yankees close to trading Aroldis Chapman

WATCH: Dontrelle Willis' great reaction to Giancarlo Stanton home run

Reports: Sale cut up throwback uniforms with knife in protest

WNBA withdraws fines for teams that protested gun violence

Ezekiel Elliott: ‘Evil NEVER prevails’


Orioles, Padres reportedly talking trades of Melvin Upton, Cashner

Le’Veon Bell reportedly missed ‘several’ drug tests

Report: Islanders looking at locations to build new arena

Top five takeaways from this year's NBA Summer League

NCAA rules that hanging out with Drake is violation

WATCH: Justin Bieber arm wrestle Sixers center Joel Embiid

Report: Royals didn't invite Johnny Cueto to White House visit

Solo not taking any chances with Zika virus while in Rio

Rays reportedly demanding Profar in pitching deal with Rangers

Facebook doesn’t know the difference between Liverpool and Arsenal

Report: Teams asked about Wade Davis, asking price very high

Aussie Rules Football player accidentally kicks, breaks own leg

Former Arkansas football assistant trolls Bobby Petrino on social media

Could Clayton Kershaw's injury hinder trade talks?

Spurs strike a new deal with NBA stalwart Manu Ginobli

George makes return to Team USA following leg injury

Why the Clippers shouldn't break up their big three

White Sox pay homage to Bo Jackson’s bat-breaking skills with bobblehead

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

WATCH: NBA jersey sponsors that need to happen

Expansion draft playing heavy hand in the current NHL offseason

WATCH: Pop & Timmy have a guys' night out

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker