Get the broom, there’s a spill on aisle three. Just like that, the Los Angeles Kings have managed to not only sweep the St. Louis Blues to advance to the Western conference finals, they have also succeeded in defeating both the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds in the conference. This makes them the only eighth seed team in NHL history to eliminate their conference’s top two seeds in the same postseason. Quite an accomplishment.
Despite the St. Louis Blues coming out today with a spark that, for a moment, one thought was going to result in a rebound for the ailing Blues, the Kings were just too much for them to overcome. The Los Angeles Kings currently sit with an 8-1 playoff record, which is pretty amazing considering they never had an eight game win streak once during the regular season.
Rookie Jordan Nolan scored the early goal to put the Kings on top 1-0. Then captain Dustin Brown scored two goals, and the dominate goalie, Jonathan King, made 23 saves to propel the Kings into the Western conference finals.
One of the players having a big role in the Kings postseason success is Center, Anze Kopitar. “It’s a special group, and we knew that all along this season,” stated Kopitar after the game. Kopitar assisted on both of Brown’s goals in Game 4, and tackled the Los Angeles captain after his empty-net goal at the end of the game.
Kings fans have waited a very long time for their team to end their playoff drought. The only other trip that the Los Angeles Kings have made to the conference finals was back in 1993. In that 1993 second season, the legendary Wayne Gretsky and Luc Robitaille lead their team to victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs, and into their only Stanley Cup finals, where they lost to the Montreal Canadiens.
The only St. Louis Blues goal of the night came from Kevin Shattenkirk, which was his first career playoff goal for the Blues. St. Louis goalie, Brian Elliott, had an improved afternoon in Game 4, stopping 17 shots on goal, but it just was not enough to stop the momentum of the Los Angeles Kings’ freight train. In the second and third periods, the Blues seemed to be playing very inspired hockey. They were playing a more physical game with plenty of solid checks and shots on goal, but in the end the Kings could not be stopped.
In a post game interview, St. Louis Coach Ken Hitchcock commented, “L.A. plays the way you need to play to win the Cup. Over the disappointments of the last three or four years, they’ve figured it out.”
Blues fans should not be at all disappointed in their team this year. This team, who fired their head coach in early November, came a very long way to make it into the second round of the Western Conference playoffs. The Blues have a lot of young guys on their roster, and their future looks very bright!
Congrats, boys, on a season well played! Cheers!