Well, here we have it, the first official conference final matchup–and it’s a unique one out on the West Coast–ladies and gentlemen, get ready for the Phoenix Coyotes versus the Los Angeles Kings.
The Coyotes, constantly brushing off the catcalls of “you have no fans” and “enjoy Quebec City,” began making waves this postseason when they defeated the Chicago Blackhawks (sorry, Krista) in six games of a sometimes very dramatic series. Considering they were swept last year amid pervasive whispers of relocation, this was certainly a turnaround. They went up against the Nashville Predators–the team that downed the perennial playoff people Detroit Red Wings–and wiped them out in five games, including two that Andrei Kostitsyn and Alexander Radulov were unable to play because they could not resist the siren song of late night in Scottsdale.
The eighth seed Kings have just been unreal in the playoffs, defying expectations all over the place (including my own–I thought Vancouver would vanquish them in the first round, going off their lack of offense during the regular season, and I am happy to admit I’m not very good at predicting -E), downing the titans of the West and not taking a long time to do it. After knocking out the top seed Canucks in five games, they swept the second seed
Western Bruins St. Louis Blues and now prepare to face down the third seed Coyotes.
So here it is, the battle of the hotter climes, all deserts and smog and traffic and cacti and beastly goalies. Both of these teams are fighting for their first ever Stanley Cup. I’d say this is a series worth staying up late for–who needs sleep when hockey?!
(Also, if you know anyone who correctly predicted both the outcome of the conference final in terms of games needed and the two teams…ask them if they know anything insightful about the lottery numbers. You never know!)
Isn’t it funny how the teams out west, who have a time difference to keep in mind, settled all of their series before the Eastern Conference? Yes, both of the Eastern series are 3-2 at the time of this writing, but who knows what could happen? In this playoff year, it legitimately looks as if anything is possible.