LA Kings: Your rooting guide to the 2021 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs

LA Kings (Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports)
LA Kings (Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports) /
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LA Kings Jeff Carter
LA Kings (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /

East Division

Boston Bruins

After enduring a miserable stint in Buffalo, the misery capital of the hockey world, Taylor Hall has been thriving in Boston. His situation feels similar to Marian Gaborik’s when the Kings acquired him at the 2014 trade deadline. Gaborik was a talented scorer but had a reputation as a bit of an underachiever, especially in the playoffs. He wasn’t seen as a “winner.” Gaborik put that narrative to rest in a big way with 14 goals in those playoffs to lead the Kings to their second Cup in three years. It would be fun to watch Hall do something like that, too.

New York Islanders

There are no real Kings connections here, but for a number of reasons, it’s been easy to feel sympathy for the Islanders and their fans for a long time now. Wouldn’t it be cool if they sent Nassau Coliseum out with a bang and opened their new rink next season by raising a Stanley Cup banner?

Pittsburgh Penguins

A lot of people weren’t sure what Jeff Carter had left when the Penguins acquired him from the Kings, but he’s made an impact in Pittsburgh. If you’re looking for a former King to hitch your bandwagon to for this postseason, Carter’s as good of a choice as any. And remember, if the Penguins reach the Finals and Carter plays in 50 percent of their games, the conditional third-round pick in 2022 gets bumped to the second-round pick. Go Pens?

Washington Capitals

Yes, they’ve won a Cup with Alex Ovechkin, but the Capitals have otherwise never so much as gotten past the second round of the playoffs while employing the man who may go down as the greatest goal scorer in NHL history for 16 years and counting. One ring doesn’t feel like enough for Ovechkin.