If you had asked me if I thought it was possible for the Los Angeles Kings to pull off a sweep of the St. Louis Blues, I would have said absolutely not. Possible, but virtually impossible. Sweeps are not easy to come by. Most teams at least put up somewhat of a fight and get a game in.
The Blues did not even whimper. At times, they virtually handed it to the Kings by taking dumb penalties and making it more difficult on themselves.
So the Kings have now defeated last year’s Western Conference winners (the Vancouver Canucks) in five games and the team that placed second in the Conference this year in four games.
Kings fans are ecstatic. The Staples Center owners are ambivalent. Sure, you get at least one more round of games with fans pouring into your building paying lots of money on concessions and parking. On the other hand, you have to continue to juggle not one, not two, but three teams sharing the building for playoffs. Given the financial playoff of Lakers, Clippers and Kings all in the their postseasons, the logistics nightmare is worth it.
The Kings get to rest a bit while everyone else finishes up their series. They also get to remind themselves that there is still a ways to go. Having only reached this point once in their 45 year history, they can certainly appreciate how hard it takes to get there. The last time the Kings saw the Western Conference Finals? 1993.
A good portion of the current team were mere toddlers back then.
Certainly the Kings are peaking at the right time and having Jonathan Quick in net has not hurt them one bit. In fact, Quick continues his Vezina trophy nominated ways in the post season. He remains stingy in giving up goals and makes the saves that are needed to not only keep his team in it, but that stymie the opposition. 1.55 goals against average and .949 save percentage in the post season are making him a strong contender for the Conn Smythe, should the team get that far.
In the next round, the Kings will meet either the Nashville Predators or the Phoenix Coyotes. The Coyotes are leading that series 3-1 and can finish off the Predators on Monday.
A series between two Pacific Division rivals would be a lot of fun to watch.
A fellow Ducks fan said it best. “Enjoy it Kings fans….success and dominance like this can be fleeting.”
Having experienced this just a few short years ago – it sure is fun while it lasts.