Usually when the Pittsburgh Penguins are eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs, I will not follow the other teams as they try to win the big prize. The loss of the Penguins will stay with me pretty much until the start of the next season but this season has been different. There is a team waiting to see who they will meet in the finals and they have my attention and imagination. They are the Los Angeles Kings and I am rooting for them to win it all.
Right now the Kings are benefiting from having the best goalie in the play-offs in Jonathan Quick, a solid defensive game led by Drew Doughty and very balanced scoring in which Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown, Dustin Penner, Mike Richards and Jeff Carter have all stepped up to lead the Kings to an amazing 12-2 record. Los Angeles has not just been good or great….they have been freaking dominant!
The Kings right now seem to be a team of destiny and are now the favorites to win the Stanley Cup. They are completely firing on all cylinders, have the power play and penalty killing performing at a high level, played a very physical game to make sure the other teams will not be comfortable when they face them and have found scoring depth that will make them a nightmare to play.
There is something special going on right now in Los Angeles that I am actually enjoying. Wayne Gretzky, Luc Robitaille, Rob Blake and Kelly Hrudey could not lead the Kings to this dominant posture. That is part of what makes this story so compelling, as Dustin Brown, Anze Kopitar, Drew Doughty and Jonathan Quick not only potentially could but……they did.
It’s funny, as I never thought I would see the day I would be rooting for the Los Angeles Kings in the Stanley Cup final but I am. I am not a fan of the New York Rangers or New Jersey Devils at all (maybe due to them being direct rivals of the Penguins) but that is not the only reason I want to see L.A. win.
They have won me over and truly are a “feel good” story that has come out of a NHL play-offs that has had more than it’s share of questionable hits and poisonous post game interviews. Even though I have been extremely upset at the Pens losing, disgusted by what I have been seeing on the ice and tired of all the antics of players and coaches with the press……the Kings somehow have me cheering for them.
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