The Western Conference has a new champion in the Los Angeles Kings. The five game series between the Phoenix Coyotes and the Kings got nasty and heated at times. You can be sure that next season the division rivalry will have an even bigger edge to it, with hostilities continuing between the two teams.
For now, Phoenix will get to cool off (good luck in those 100 degree plus temperatures) until September. While the Kings appeared unstoppable and headed towards a sweep, the Coyotes had other plans. In the end, the Kings still finished them off in five games.
That will earn the Kings a one week respite to nurse any hidden injuries and prepare for the Stanley Cup Finals. They will need to refamiliarize themselves with that, as it has been 19 long and mostly futile years between visits.
The Kings will also need that time to figure out which city they will be visiting next. The New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils series was tied 2-2 as of Wednesday morning.
The Edmonton Oilers in 2005-2006 are the only other 8th seeded team to make it to the Stanley Cup Finals. Historically, teams who win the Cup are in the top seeds, but with the way the Kings are playing, anything is possible.
Los Angeles has been dominant on the road, which is a good thing because they will never have home ice advantage. Their eight consecutive wins on the road is an NHL record and they will want to keep it going in the next round as well.
As a Ducks fan, can’t wish them good luck. Only can say enjoy it now, because it doesn’t last forever. Just ask Dustin Penner.