For the Kings, they’re one game away from swapping the sticks for clubs, and they have to win each of the next four contests against a team that they have no answers for at this point. Only three teams have ever come back from a 3-0 series deficit in NHL history, one of those being the Philadelphia Flyers back in 2010, a team that featured Mike Richards and Jeff Carter. For the Kings, they’re getting pelted on the ropes, and the white towel is nearly in the ring.
Thursday, April 24th, 2014. The Kings find a new gear and wallop the Sharks 6-3, as their offence finally gets going. The Kings looked rejuvenated, and they needed an effort like that if they didn’t want to roll over and let the Sharks run them over one last time to advance. The Kings would go on to win four straight games and pull off the comeback to knock out the Sharks in seven games.
Monday, May 12th, 2014. Daryl Sutter and the Kings have lost three straight games since going up 2-0 in Anaheim against the favoured Ducks. John Gibson had solved the Kings, much like Antti Niemi had in the beginning of their first round series and it seemed like the Kings were finally headed home packing. However, the Kings squeak out a 2-1 victory in game 6 thanks to a weak goal on Gibson that ended up being the game winner. The Kings rout the Ducks in Game 7 to advance to the conference finals and take on the best in the west: the Chicago Blackhawks.
With an incredible feat of staving off elimination after losing three straight games twice in the first two rounds, it’s impossible to ever count out the Kings. Jonathon Quick has been the Kings’ MVP despite being yanked three times already in these playoffs. Not only has he played outstanding when his team is one loss away from elimination, but he’s kept his composure after giving up a barrage of goals, unlike John Gibson or Antti Niemi, his recent counterparts.
Although Quick has been lights out as of late, you have to give credit to the Kings’ offence for bringing them back into cup contention. Anze Kopitar leads the league in points in the 2014 playoffs, and Los Angeles has gotten scoring from all of their forward corps, including the always under-rated Justin Williams and rookie newcomer Tyler Toffoli.
The Kings are down 1-0 early to the Hawks after a 3-1 loss in Chicago, but the Kings have proven through these 2014 playoffs that they are not a team that rolls over. The Kings’ miraculous cup run continues, one that is almost more miraculous than their previous cinderella story in 2012. They might only be halfway there, but it’s a miracle they’re still alive.