Lady Luck must be on payroll with the Los Angeles Kings. Their late-season drop to eighth in the Western Conference aside, they've parlayed their third Stanley Cup playoff birth in as many seasons into a 4-1 series win over the top-seed Vancouver Canucks to set up a sweetheart matchup with the second-seed St. Louis Blues.
The Kings won three of four games this season against the Blues, a team to which they bear a strikingly close resemblance. Like St. Louis, LA replaced its head coach during the season, though Darryl Sutter's arrival didn't have quite as dramatic an impact on the Kings' fortunes as Ken Hitchcock's did on the Blues'.
Sutter merely kept the Kings from falling completely out of the playoff picture after they were picked to contend for the Cup, while Hitchcock transformed the Blues into one of the best teams in the NHL during the regular season and led them to their first win in a playoff game since 2004.
Of course, none of that matters anymore. Both coaches have their teams in the conference semis, thanks to top-notch netminding, solid defence and time scoring. Statistically speaking, no goaltending tandem was better during ...
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Article written by Josh Martin
NHL Playoff Predictions 2012: LA Kings Will Cruise Past St. Louis BluesApril 24th, 2012 by Josh Martin Leave a reply »