2013 NHL Playoffs: 5 Reasons Los Angeles Kings Won’t Repeat
5 Reasons Los Angeles Kings Won't Repeat
The Los Angeles Kings won their first Stanley Cup in franchise history last season. The Kings won the series against the New Jersey Devils, 4-2 becoming the only eighth seeded team in North American sports to win a championship.
Founded in 1967, the Kings have only won their division twice and made one appearance in the Stanley, prior to the 2011-12 season. In their first appearance in 1992-93, the Kings lost in five games to the Montreal Canadiens.
It was an obvious surprise for most NHL fans that the Kings even made it all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals. On Dec. 12, the Kings fired Terry Murray after four seasons as the team's head coach. A week later, Darryl Sutter was was hired to replace Murray. It isn’t common that a team which replaced a head coach during the season goes on to win the Stanley Cup.
The Kings Stanley Cup win was definitely a Cinderella story, coming from down in the regular season to put on a clinic during playoffs. They finished the regular season in eighth place, however fought all the way to the finals and went on to win the whole thing. It is something that sports fans world wide love to see, unless they beat your team.
After taking 45-years (44 playing seasons, due to cancelled 2004-05 season) to win the team's first Stanley Cup, it will be difficult to repeat the success the following year. It is not often in any sport to repeat, but even more difficult in the great game of hockey.
Jonathan Quick is Human
One of the keys to the success of last season Los Angeles Kings team was the outstanding play of goaltender, Jonathan Quick. The former UMass Minuteman, posted a 1.95 GAA and a .929 save percentage in 69 regular season games. While in the playoffs he managed to be even better, posting a 1.41 GAA and .946 save percentage.
In 2012-13, the Stanley Cup ‘hangover’ seems to be effecting Quick or he is just showing that he is actually human. This season the net-minder has posted a 2.59 GAA and a .895 save percentage, a below par season so far in 17 games.
Chicago Blackhawks and the Western Conference
The Los Angeles Kings would have to complete another underdog win, in order to repeat in 2012-13. The Chicago Blackhawks are playing outstanding hockey at the moment and are far ahead in the standings over every other Western Conference team. Other teams, including the Vancouver Canucks will also be tough to get through.
Only four-points separate third from 11th place in the West, a small losing streak can put a team from the top five to out of the playoffs all together. In the lockout shortened season, the Kings will have to be even better than last season.
The Eastern Conference
When and if the Los Angeles Kings get through the Western Conference, the Eastern Conference will be sitting there wait for them.
The Montreal Canadiens, Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins are not going to be easy teams to beat, if the Kings seem to get to the Stanley Cup Finals. The East has been a battle all season and in order for the Kings to win it all, they need to beat some tough competition.
It Hasn’t Been Done in 15 Years
Finally, a team hasn’t repeated as Stanley Cup Champions in 15 years. The Detroit Red Wings were the last team to win in consecutive years, in 1996-97 and 1997-98.
It took the Los Angeles Kings 45-years to be able to hoist Lord Stanley’s Cup over their heads and now they are going to do it two-years in a row; highly unlikely.