Last night the Los Angeles Kings took a commanding 3-0 lead in their Stanley Cup Final matchup against the New York Rangers. On June 11th, the Kings will have a chance to hoist the Stanley Cup for the second time in the last three seasons.
However, for the Kings and their fans, June 11th is already a special day. The 11th will mark the two-year anniversary of the Kings’ first Stanley Cup clinching victory against the New Jersey Devils the culmination of a historic run through the post season.
On Wednesday, the Kings will get a chance to add some more history to that day and possibly cap off another historic playoff run.
Two years ago, the Kings entered the post season as a number eight seed after losing the final two games of the regular season to the San Jose Sharks, allowing the Sharks to slide into the 7th spot and pushing the Kings into the 8th.Little did we know then that those two loses would set up so much history.
The Kings opened the playoffs as the underdog and faced off against the President’s Trophy winning Vancouver Canucks.
Los Angeles jumped out to a 3-0 series lead and eliminated the Canucks in five games. The Kings did much of the same form that point on, going up 3-0 against the St. Louis Blues, the Western Conference’s number two team that year, then against the Phoenix Coyotes, the Western Conference’s number three team, in the Western Conference Final and finally in the Stanley Cup Final against New Jersey before winning the Cup in six games.
The Kings became the first team in NHL history to enter the playoffs as the 8th seed and take out the top three seeded teams in the Conference. Being an eight-seed the Kings saw plenty of action on the road, which is where they tied the record for most consecutive road wins in a single post season at ten.
All of that was on the way to a 16-4 record and a Stanley Cup Championship. A magical and historic post season that saw the Kings control most of their post season match ups. This post season has been just as memorable and historic but more for the Kings’ lack of control.
The Kings opened this year’s post season against the Sharks who they eliminated in seven games. They then disposed of the Anaheim Ducks, in seven games. Most recently they got rid of the Chicago Blackhawks, once again in seven games. All marathon battles that saw the Kings play 21-games before the Kings played a game in the Cup Final.
It is no secret that the Kings have been in some tough situations this post season, they opened the playoffs by falling into an 0-3 hole against the Sharks. An insurmountable deficit. Then the Kings became just the fourth team in NHL history to complete the reverse sweep and come back to win four games in a row, ultimately winning game seven in San Jose.
Big game sevens did not stop there. The Kings then went into game sevens, on the road, against Anaheim and Chicago, and won both of those. Becoming the first team in NHL history to win three game sevens on enemy ice in one post season.
Moving onto the Stanley Cup Final. After the Kings won game 2 against the Rangers they became the first team in NHL history to win three consecutive games in which they trailed by more than one goal. In their last ten games the Kings have trailed 0-2 in five games and have gone 4-1 in those games.
After coming back late and forcing over time in the first two games of the Stanley Cup Final the Kings lead for a total of zero seconds, and lead the series 2-0. They became just the second team in NHL history to do so.
After all of the comebacks, all of the heart stopping over time play, all of the time the Kings looked to be down and out they are one win away from hoisting the Stanley Cup.
How will game four play out, will the Kings take a commanding lead and never look back, will the Rangers win their first game of the series, or will the Kings mount one more big comeback to cap off their season?
One thing will be sure, as both the Kings and their fans were doing two years ago, they will all be hoping that at the end of June 11th the Kings will be celebrating a Stanley Cup victory.
Tags: Los Angeles Kings