bill-swift - May 25, 2012
Every team has one legitimate goal at the start of every season, and that is to make the playoffs. Some will say win the Stanley Cup as well, but for many teams it is an accomplishment just to make it into the post season.
That can be said for just about every No 8 seed. They are the bottom of the playoff barrel; the team that barely won enough to make it into post season play meaning that theoretically they are the worst team in the playoffs. Since they play the No 1 seed, or best team, in their respective conference, they are typically ushered out in the first round.
On rare occasions some have made it to the next round. Even fewer have gone as far as the conference finals. As of Tuesday night's 4-3 win for the No 8 seed L.A. Kings there are now two that have actually made it to the Finals.
The road was not an easy one. They had to start with the winners of the President's Trophy, the Vancouver Canucks, but were able to shock them to take the series in just five games. Canucks fans were so shocked they didn't even riot.
The St. Louis Blues were not too tough, hence the Kings sweeping them in the next round (first playoff sweep in team history). The Phoenix Coyotes gave it the ole' college try in the conference finals, but the result was surprisingly like the first two rounds.
Regardless of who wins the East, the Kings will have to start the Finals on the road. In case that wasn't tough enough already the team may have to do without their captain, Dustin Brown for a portion of the Finals due to a hit he laid on Michal Rozsival towards the end of overtime in Game Five with the Coyotes.
Watch the video below and you can see that it is a pretty vicious hit. The question is whether it should be considered illegal and something he should be suspended for or just part of the game. The Coyotes are clamoring for a hefty suspension and are claiming it was worse than the one that got their teammate, Raffi Torres, a 25-game suspension.
Brown and the Kings are claiming that it was all in the proper context of the game.
The timing will make a difficult decision even harder for the league's disciplinarian. Suspend Brown and the league can expect the favored team out of the East to become heavily favored against the Kings. Losing a player to suspension is tough, but when that guy is a captain it changes the landscape of the contest.
Does the league want the championship to have an asterisk next to it in the record books?
Article by Travis Pulver