The 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs have been the most entertaining NHL playoffs in the past couple of years.
Sadly, the beginning of the end starts this Wednesday as the Los Angeles take on the New Jersey Devils in the Stanley Cup Finals.
On par with what our own Peter Stewart wrote, this is one of the most unlikely and most interesting matchups NHL fans have seen the past few years. But unlike Stewart, who picked the Devils to win in six games, I will be rooting for the Kings, and you should be too.
When my favorite team, the Chicago Blackhawks, lost in the first round (tragic, I know) I, like every real fan, didn’t stop watching the playoffs. The big teams everyone was covering were Detroit, Pittsburgh, Washington, and Boston. All of whom, except Washington, were ousted in the first round.
Not too many people outside Los Angeles, Vancouver, and avid Canuck haters (which includes me), were talking about the utter beatdown the Kings were giving to the Canucks in the first round. Almost instantly, the Kings were up 3-0 in the series and would eventually win the series 4-1. Mind you, this is an 8th seed knocking the top seed like it was nothing.
This would be a trend the Kings would continue throughout the next two series.
The Kings took on the 2nd seed St. Louis Blues, who had just won their first playoff series in 10 years, and swept them 4-0, again, like it was nothing. These weren’t exactly close games. In every one, the Kings were in control and playing very impressive hockey.
Meanwhile, in the Twittersphere, the official LA Kings twitter handle trolled the hell out of the opposing team’s fans and teams’ official Twitter handles, and it was absolutely hilarious.
The Western Conference Finals rolled along, pitting the three seed Phoenix Coyotes against the Kings, and, once again, the Kings won the first 3 games and eventually the series 4-1.
The 8th seeded Kings, who didn’t really shine in the regular season, took out the top three seeds in the Western Conference with a combined 12-2 record and a combined +19 goal differential.
This is the definition of a great underdog story. As a sports fan, how could you not want the LA Kings to win their first Stanley Cup?
If you’re still not convinced to support the Kings, try this: with a victory over the Devils, the Kings will become the first ever* 8th seed in NHL history to win the Stanley Cup.
The Devils are also a very talented team and could just as well beat the Kings, but the Kings’ achievements (and class while doing so) deserve your support.*There have been two times (the ’49 Maple Leafs and the ’38 Blackhawks) before where the ‘worst’ team in the playoffs have won the Stanley Cup , but that was before the NHL had enough teams to have 8th seeds in the playoffs.