The NHL playoffs are nearing the halfway point with three of the final four set to vie for the Stanley Cup. It has been interesting to see how the playoffs have unfolded. Like many, we suspect that our playoff picks were a little off as we were predicting a Boston/Vancouver rematch. Having said that we did list the New Jersey Devils as one of our dark horse picks to win the Stanley Cup. Who would have predicted that the Los Angeles Kings and the Phoenix Coyotes would be competing for the Western Conference title? Both teams are riding tremendous performances of their starting goaltenders in John Quick and Mike Smith. The Kings have been most impressive in knocking of the top two teams in the western conference in a mere nine games (Canucks in five games and a sweep of the St. Louis Blues).
I like many hockey fans in Canada am a little bummed out that yet again a Canadian team will not win the Stanley Cup this year. However I am excited that the Los Angeles Kings and Phoenix Coyotes are in the final four. Neither team has had much playoff success ever, let alone win a Cup. The Kings especially have endured many a season of futility since their inception in the NHL in 1967. The Coyotes, who were the original Winnipeg Jets had not won a playoff series since the late eighties prior to this season. As a hockey fan I am excited for both of these teams. I am happy to cheer for both to win the West and go on to capture their first Stanley Cup. Being that the Coyotes originated in Winnipeg I would have to say that a slight edge goes to them. The Kings, under Darryl Sutter have really gelled and are playing a great team game.
5 Reasons Why Having the Phoenix Coyotes and Los Angeles Kings in the Final Four is Great for the NHL
- Neither team has ever won the Stanley Cup – as a hockey fan or sports fan in general, it is always cool to see a team win its first ever championship, especially when the teams have been in the league for 30 or 40 years. In the eighties both of these teams had the unfortunate experience of being in the same division as the powerhouse teams from Alberta in the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames so the playoffs were not a lot of fun for the Kings or the Jets (now Coyotes).
- Effort – these teams are playing great hockey and are giving it their all. You cannot ask for more than that.
- Changing of the Guard – in recent years we have seen domination in the West by the likes of the Vancouver Canucks, Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings. It is time for some other teams in the West to shine. It is great to see the Coyotes and the Kings in the spotlight.
- Western Teams Represent – these are two true “western teams”. It is like a shoot-out at the OK Corral. Should either of these teams go on to win the Cup, the West will have won and the East will need to take note.
- The Whole Phoexix Saga can be put to bed – regardless of whether the Coyotes remain in Phoenix next year or not, should they win the Stanley Cup, that is something that you cannot take away from the city of Phoenix. We all know the issues that the team has undergone over recent years and sure this team should never have left Winnipeg in the first place, but the Coyotes for all they have been trough deserve to win and boast a championship team. I cannot really see the Coyotes winning the Stanley Cup and then relocate to a new location but then again stranger things have happened… like a Phoenix Coyotes / Los Angeles Kings Western final for example.
All of you true Phoenix Coyotes and Los Angeles Kings fans should take this all in and enjoy. Go Kings! Go Yotes!