May 31, 2012
The Kings of the roadPlayoff road record an incredible 9-0
By ROB LONGLEY, QMI Agency
NEWARK, N.J. - There is no Wayne Gretzky or Mark Messier in the lineup and they aren't in the midst of a Stanley Cup dynasty.
But the more the Los Angeles Kings roll over the opposition in these playoffs, the more they revive the memories of the greatest Cup runs in NHL history.
With a victory in Game 2 Saturday night, the Kings would push their road record to an incredible 10-0 in these playoffs and move to within two games of a franchise-first Cup victory.
While it's a little early to be calling for a sweep against a New Jersey Devils team that has shown an ability to react and get stronger the deeper a series goes, the Kings still have a shot at matching the 1988 Edmonton Oilers for the most efficient run to a title.
Since the league moved to all series to seven games in 1987, the Oilers got the trophy the quickest, needing just 18 games the following year. It was in the middle of the legendary Oilers dynasty on a roster loaded with superstars and future Hall of Famers.
The Kings can't claim any such status just yet, especially given their prospects entering these playoffs. But the 12-2 record they piled up to get to the final tied the record to get to that point.
"We've got something good going here, but it's one game," Kings forward Justin Williams said. "We know it's going to be an extremely tough series.
"If we can keep going, it will be a heck of a story. If we lose, it will be a heck of a collapse."
The run has been made that much more impressive by the fact the Kings just barely snuck into the playoffs and, as the No. 8 seed in the West, have started all four playoff series on the road.
"It's all about getting hot at the right time," Kings defenceman and alternate captain Matt Greene said. "It happens a lot in sports. If you can get yourself in the playoffs and do some good things at the end of the year you can do some damage."
Some other notables from the Kings' incredible run:
"That's what you get when you barely make the playoffs," Kopitar said. "You know you are going to be the No. 8 seed and you know you are going to be on the road. We were happy to get in the playoffs and our road record shows we can do it."