This phrase has been said a million times; not about the Kings but about the countless teams that don’t know they aren’t supposed to be good when they are shocking the world. The NHL sent out a memo TWICE to the LA Kings, pretty sure they didn’t check their inbox.
Back in 2012, the Los Angeles Kings had 3 opportunities to not only make the playoffs but win the Pacific Division. They decided to blow 2 of them and their entire season came down to one game. Their record was inflated because of a slew of OT and shootout losses and yet, somehow, they found a way to sneak into the playoffs as the 8th seed in the West and go on to dominate the NHL Playoffs on their way to their first Stanley Cup Championship.
Uggghhhh, I still hate that this is a fact and it might be happening again.
Here’s a quick history lesson on how they shocked the hockey world:
The 2012 Kings knocked off the President’s Trophy Canucks, St. Louis Blues and eventually an equally hot Phoenix Coyotes team in the Western Final. They lost 4 games TOTAL in the playoffs that year. Let that sink in. Those are vintage Oilers numbers. They took the New Jersey Devils in 6 and cemented their status as one of the best, if not the best team in NHL playoff history.
FINAL: @NHLBlackhawks (2) – @LAKings (5) Recap: http://t.co/nMJNX8zBk0 LA leads series 3-1 #StanleyCup pic.twitter.com/DHi8sJrfoN
— NHL (@NHL) May 27, 2014
Fast forward to 2014 – - – - – - -> The Kings came into their series against the Chicago Blackhawks as the underdog. They weren’t supposed to make it out of this series alive, let alone be up 3-1 going into Game 5. There is a very real chance they beat the Hawks and set up the first half of a possible LA/NY Final. Gary Bettman has dreamed about this possibility his entire career as Commissioner. Of course, the Rangers would have to hold up their end of the bargain and put the Canadiens to rest.
Another team this post season almost made their own history when the Columbus Blue Jackets decided to make a series of it against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Jackets had never won a playoff game but guess what folks, they decided to stun the Penguins twice early in the first round. The PITTS…BURGH….PENGUINS!!! Are we all reading this correctly? Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, James Neal and so on.
No Rick Nash to steal the spotlight, the Jackets did it on their own merit this time. Did they not know they were supposed to lay down for Mr. Crosby and his friends? Apparently not. The memo never got to them. The series ended in 6 but not before the Jackets gave the Pens one last scare going down 4-0 early including a Malkin hat trick but they took the game down to the wire losing 4-3.
Both the Jackets and Kings had no business winning but its the Kings who seem to really not be listening. I had the Rangers picked mid season as the Cup champs to somehow spite the Canucks for axing Alain Vigneault; furthering my belief the Nucks are stuck on Groundhog Day, the Bill Murray one, and suffer the same results year after year despite their efforts.
The Rangers are hot right now and so are the Kings. It may be one amazing Stanley Cup this year and LA may even win it all again (PLEASE SPARE ME), but don’t bother sending them a memo; they probably won’t get it.
Follow me on twitter @hankthetank10 and @always90four
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