Friday, May 18, 2012

Can Anyone Beat the LA Kings?

The Kings are 11-1 in the playoffs after beating Phoenix 2-1 last night. That'd be a remarkable run for any team in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. It's an even more astounding achievement for an 8 seed.

This is, however, no ordinary 8 seed.

The Kings allowed the 2nd fewest goals in the NHL. But unlike the team that allowed the fewest goals (St. Louis), the Kings did so using primarily one goalie. Jonathan Quick. Quick is the top Conn Smythe candidate by a significant margin. We all saw last year what a great goalie can do for a team on a Stanley Cup run.

The Kings don't score many goals. They scored the second fewest in the NHL, and were one of only two teams to score fewer than 200 goals. Only three Kings scored 20+, none scored more than 25, and only five scored 10+. They don't have marquee names, but they have some tough playoff style players. Dustin Brown, for instance. He has 15 points in these playoffs. Jeff Carter and Mike Richards have contributed. Dwight King, a 22 year old from Saskatchewan has scored 5 times in the playoffs. That matches his career regular season total (in 33 games).

The Kings have the formula. Epic goaltending, mistake-free defense, physical play, strong penalty killing, don't do anything to lose, timely scoring.

How do you beat them? So long as Quick, Brown, and Drew Doughty continue to play as well as they're playing, I don't think anyone can.

Photo Credit:
AP Photo

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