May 25, 2012, 3:06 PM EDT
While Zach Parise knows tonight’s elimination game against the Rangers is a big challenge, he knows an even bigger challenge lies ahead.
Prior to Game 6, the Devils captain spoke about the buzzsaw that is Los Angeles Kings. They’re currently lying in wait for whomever emerges from the Eastern Conference, having already ran through the West with a 12-2 record through three rounds.
“You look at L.A., they sneak in on the eighth seed,” Parise told Yahoo’s Nick Cotsonika. “All of a sudden, it’s almost as if they’re toying with teams now.”
“Toying” is an apt way to describe what the Kings have done. Consider…
– They’re undefeated (8-0) on the road.
– They’ve outscored opponents 41-22.
– They’ve only allowed more than two goals in regulation twice.
– They had an eight-game winning streak.
Now even though the narrative is compelling, it has to be said the Kings didn’t “sneak” into the playoffs like most eighth seeds do. They were five points clear of ninth place and missed winning the Pacific by two — in short, they could’ve easily been the Phoenix Coyotes (a loaded phrase, that.)
What the Kings did do, though, is flip the switch after a very mediocre end to the season. This 12-2 run was preceded by the Kings going 3-2-3 over their final eight games, many of which came before clinching a playoff berth.
Remember, the Kings only clinched on Apr. 5, with two games left in the regular season…and lost both, to San Jose, in a shootout and overtime respectively.
Feels like a long time ago, huh?
- Bruins’ Hamilton: ‘I don’t feel like a rookie anymore’ 4
- Penguins’ Murray: ‘We need to be better’ 1
- Senators’ coach MacLean: Karlsson ‘wasn’t one of the best players’ 4
- Discuss: Penguins defeat Senators in Game 2; lead series 2-0 31
- Video: Crosby scores hat trick, hits playoff milestone against Senators 76
- Torres won’t appeal suspension, Sharks call punishment ‘grossly unfair’ 9
- Flyers owner Snider: ‘I didn’t pick Bryz’ 60
- Sens’ MacLean, Ducks’ Boudreau, Hawks’ Quenneville are Jack Adams finalists 23
- Playoffs Tonight: ‘Pesky’ Sens fight to even series vs Pens 18
- Video: Vlasic’s controversial delay of game penalty 22
- Alex ‘they wanted Game 7′ Ovechkin to address media today before heading to Worlds (110)
- Discuss: Penguins knock Islanders out of playoffs (99)
- Question for commenters: What’s the hardest team to support? (93)
- Capitals discuss ‘lopsided’ penalty calls (82)
- Video: Crosby scores hat trick, hits playoff milestone against Senators (80)
- Swimmer Phelps denies comeback rumors
- PHT: Crosby's hat trick powers Penguins past Senators
- PFT: Jets' Goodson gets five gun and drug charges
- PFT: Gronk taking pre-surgery rip through Vegas
- PFT: Seahawks' Irvin suspended for violating PED policy
- Orb favored to take Preakness, set up Triple try
- What to watch for at the Preakness