It was a swift conclusion to the 2013 NHL season for the Los Angeles Kings when they lost Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals. The defending champions were taken out by a Chicago Blackhawks team that has been the best in the whole league all season long and in all honesty, Los Angeles has nothing to be ashamed of. I think the only team that could have beat Los Angeles the rest of the way was Chicago.
When you examine this past series, you have to consider that the Kings have been bad on the road all postseason. They had lost a lot of 2-1 games, which is what happened in Game 1 against the Blackhawks. The Kings lost three games by one goal in this series including the double overtime clincher for Chicago. Jonathan Quick was great yet again just like he was last year. It is strictly the fact that the team ran into a better opponent.
Will the Kings be back here again next season? There is no doubt in my mind that we will be seeing Los Angeles close to a championship again next year. Quick is proving every game that he is one, if not the best, goaltenders in the NHL. There aren’t many free agents on the roster so it is basically going to be the same team again. That should put a lot of fear into the other teams in the Western Conference.
Chicago won’t be the same team next year because of free agency, so there is a very strong chance that we will be seeing the Kings playing for another championship soon.