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How this Kings team compares to the 2012 championship squad

Jun 2, 2014, 1:33 AM EDT

Los Angeles Kings v Chicago Blackhawks - Game Seven Getty Images

On paper, this Los Angeles Kings team is very similar to the one that dominated the 2012 postseason on its way to the franchise’s only Stanley Cup victory. Even so, enough has changed that it’s interesting to study the similarities and differences:

What hasn’t changed

In the grand scheme of things, the Kings’ core players are largely the same. Drew Doughty is their go-to defenseman. Dustin Brown remains their agitating, versatile captain. Anze Kopitar is the outstanding two-way center who probably doesn’t get enough league-wide attention. Jeff Carter continues to surprise people with strong play even though he’s been doing this for years. Darryl Sutter is still a quality coach who produces borderline-comical press conferences.

Much like in 2011-12, the Kings were a strong puck possession team that didn’t score a whole lot of goals during the regular season, yet they seem awfully dangerous now … in part thanks to the addition of a dangerous sniper (Marian Gaborik now, Carter then).

The cast of characters should be mostly familiar, then, although one key player has a ways to go before regaining his previous form.

A different Quick?

Simply put, Jonathan Quick played out of his mind during the 2012 playoffs. His numbers were staggering: 16-4 record, .946 save percentage, 1.41 GAA and three shutouts. Quick provided one of the best postseason runs in recent memory and often made it look easy.

source: Getty Images

Credit: Getty Images

Depending upon how you look at it, Quick is either “turning it on” when the Kings need it the most this time around or is simply struggling while producing flashes of that 2012 brilliance.

More than a few people wonder if the 28-year-old is an average goalie who really just rode a hot streak or two.

There’s no denying that his overall playoff numbers are down significantly this year. Quick is 12-9 with a mediocre .906 save percentage. It’s easy to forget that the Kings faced the kind of competition that can make any goalie look vulnerable during this postseason, but the bottom line is that his doubters have been emboldened in 2013-14.

Considering the fact that Henrik Lundqvist will be in the Rangers’ net, many will give New York the goaltending edge either way.

Bumpy road

There were a lot of remarkable things about the Kings’ 2012 run, but the most surprising thing might be that the Kings didn’t face elimination a single time. In fact, they only lost four games in that entire postseason. That’s pretty astounding stuff for a team that was the eighth seed in the West.

Meanwhile, this Kings team might be as exhausted as the 2012 version was well-rested heading into the championship series.

They’ve played a maximum 21 games in three rounds. The most exhausting task arguably came when they made a remarkable comeback from down 0-3 in their first-round series against the San Jose Sharks, yet things didn’t slow down from there. After all, they beat the West’s top seed (Anaheim Ducks) and the defending champions (Chicago Blackhawks) in successive seven-game series.

It’s probably never fair to call a postseason run “easy” but the Kings might have set a new bar for degree of difficulty.

***

The Kings will probably go into the Stanley Cup Final as favorites, yet this team could be considerably more vulnerable than the 2012 version. Of course, Alec Martinez would likely argue that they’re that much tougher to kill off …

 

  1. frankiesweep - Jun 2, 2014 at 2:00 AM

    kings in 5.

    If rangers don’t get game 1 w/ all their rest they are toast.

    • billiam55 - Jun 2, 2014 at 8:46 AM

      yupp. keep on doubting the rangers……………….cause we all know how well that worked out against montreal.

      • Fertility Doctor - Jun 2, 2014 at 10:04 AM

        And Pitt. But yes, preferably those annoying moronic arrogant Montreal fans from hell

      • krbmjb - Jun 2, 2014 at 1:22 PM

        Only if the Rangers can take out the Kings goalie TOO do they have a minimal chance!

      • johnmr12 - Jun 2, 2014 at 6:57 PM

        This aint montreal. The kings actually play defense.

  2. charlieconway96 - Jun 2, 2014 at 2:18 AM

    My heart only stopped several times during this game but all’s well that ends well I suppose.

    If the Kings don’t sign Gaborik during the off season I may have a brain aneurysm.

    GO KINGS!!!

  3. trbowman - Jun 2, 2014 at 2:23 AM

    I’m still trying to understand how the Kings have home ice in this SCF.

    When the hell was the last time they had home ice in a series?

    Not that they need it.

    • stakex - Jun 2, 2014 at 2:29 AM

      The Kings finished 6th in the West, and all three teams they have played so far were higher than them in the standing. The Rangers had four less points than the Kings. Its really not hard to understand…

      • Fertility Doctor - Jun 2, 2014 at 10:06 AM

        Lol. That is all

  4. aldog83 - Jun 2, 2014 at 2:32 AM

    Need to WIN Cup 1st….

    Then you can compare.

  5. stakex - Jun 2, 2014 at 2:33 AM

    Even as a Rangers fan I would concede that the Kings probably have a slight edge on paper, but the idea that this series is a mere formality on the Kings way to hoisting the Cup is ridiculous.

    • joey4id - Jun 2, 2014 at 9:38 AM

      Of course it’s not a formality, and more important than the slight edge on paper, it sure looks like the Kings have the edge on the ice. I’m not taking anything away from the Rangers, but the Kings players are all playing well whereas some of the Rangers haven’t played as well as they can. When those players step up they will become a different and more formidable team.

      • afce22 - Jun 2, 2014 at 1:39 PM

        looking at how many goals the Kings have given up i’d hardly say the whole team is playing well. Defense wins championships

      • joey4id - Jun 2, 2014 at 2:00 PM

        Hmm! Good point! However, compare the opponents the Kings faced on their road to the SCF to those the Rangers faced. (Flyers, Pens, Habs) vs (Sharks, Ducks, Hawks). Who do you think had the weaker teams?

        GAA
        NY 2.25 vs 2.86

        5 on 5 goals for against ration
        NY 1.33 vs 1.19

        PP%
        NY 13.6 vs 25.4

    • WillIEverSeeACupInMyLife? - Jun 2, 2014 at 9:43 AM

      Every team they played so far the other team had a edge on paper

    • joey4id - Jun 2, 2014 at 9:45 AM

      BTW, I hope Lundqvist doesn’t lose one because of his lack of determination.

      After game 6 vs Montreal Lundqvist said: ‘I don’t think I’ve ever been more determined to win a game’

      He needs to start every game of the SCF with the same determination.

    • johnmr12 - Jun 2, 2014 at 7:01 PM

      I’m a kings fan and I know the kings won’t score 4 or 5 goals a game like they did against the Hawks, because the rangers use stay at home defensemen rather than the run and gun defense the hawks play. On the other hand, the rangers have played 3 teams with mediocre defenses at best, so they will have trouble scoring goals too. Sutter always says it’s a 3-2 league, and in this series, I think the first team to 3 will win the game, and there may be a couple of victories with only 2 goals. I think every game will be close and I am going with the kings in 6.

  6. therealjr - Jun 2, 2014 at 3:51 AM

    Nice troll by FTF. Bunch of whiny crybabies over there.

  7. courtjester1234 - Jun 2, 2014 at 5:47 AM

    As a Flyers fan I’ll be watching this with no particular team to cheer for. It’s nice to watch a good game and not have the ulcers that go along with having “my team” playing for the championship. Good luck to both teams but as a Flyers fan I hate your fans ( sarcasm )

    • Fertility Doctor - Jun 2, 2014 at 9:58 AM

      LOL I totally get it, sometimes being as Rangers fan makes me fear i’ll have a heart attack and that’s no joke. Well buddy, I hope you decide to root for us, then we can be rivals again starting next year ;)

    • Fertility Doctor - Jun 2, 2014 at 9:59 AM

      EDIT: *Being a Rangers fan*

  8. Rob - Jun 2, 2014 at 8:01 AM

    “Quick’s SV%, regular season and playoffs, since the lockout: .909.” – Also read, Quick’s SV% since back surgery….

  9. traxxx9 - Jun 2, 2014 at 11:12 AM

    How does anyone compare the 2012 & 2014 Kings without mentioning emerging young stars like Muzzin, Toffoli and Pearson? For my money, the 2014 Kings are a far better team, but the competition this year is a lot tougher than in 2012.

  10. blomfeld - Jun 2, 2014 at 12:25 PM

    GOOD MORNING MARY …

    First and foremost a ‘tip of the hat’ to the Blackhawks for playing such a determined and ‘outstanding’ series against us … that was a true ‘classic’ in every sense of the word ! And kudos also to you Chicago fans (including Slysipops & friends) who’ve accepted defeat with such class and dignity. Yours’ is an ‘excellent’ team which will travel a road filled with ‘much’ happiness in the years to come !

    As for us LA Kings ? … ahem … who on earth could have possibly predicted that eh ? :)

    Anyway, I generally agree with O’Brien’s analysis above even though his take on Quick’s play is a bit ‘harsh’ in my opinion. We’ve just taken out the top three powerhouses in the ‘dynamic’ Western Conference for crying out loud and therefore it’s hardly reasonable to expect Quick to post the same numbers in 2014 as he did back in 2012 ! I mean seriously man, do you think that the Canucks/Blues/Yotes are on the same level as the Sharks/Ducks/Hawks in terms of offensive firepower ? Of course they aren’t ! … and so any attempt to find fault in Quick’s play thus far is both erroneous and rather ‘callous’ to say the least.

    You know friends, for a moment there while I was waking up this morning, I actually thought that last night was all a ‘dream’ and nothing more ? … I even didn’t know where I was ? But then came the ‘soothing and reassuring’ words from my friend Mary as she awoke beside me in all her splendor … “we did it honey, victory is ours” ! :)

    GO KINGS GO !!! … TODAY, TOMORROW AND FOREVER !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • joey4id - Jun 2, 2014 at 3:53 PM

      ‘We’ve just taken out the top three powerhouses in the ‘dynamic’ Western Conference for crying out loud and therefore it’s hardly reasonable to expect Quick to post the same numbers in 2014 as he did back in 2012 !’

      Well said, blomfeld. Rangers’ fans for some reason are oblivious to this fact. Why? Probably blind partnership.

    • joey4id - Jun 2, 2014 at 3:53 PM

      ‘We’ve just taken out the top three powerhouses in the ‘dynamic’ Western Conference for crying out loud and therefore it’s hardly reasonable to expect Quick to post the same numbers in 2014 as he did back in 2012 !’

      Well said, blomfeld. Rangers’ fans for some reason are oblivious to this fact. Why? Probably blind partisanship.

      • blomfeld - Jun 2, 2014 at 11:46 PM

        Comrade Joey … the ‘butcher’s bill’ was expected to be dear ‘prior ‘ to the commencement of these playoffs … so all is well thus far … comrade Blomfeld (C/C Red October Division, Special Action) :)

  11. johnmr12 - Jun 2, 2014 at 7:05 PM

    This kings team is better offensively than the 2012 team, but Quick is not even close to the same goalie he was in 2012. If Quick played like he is playing this season during 2012, we would not have won the cup. On the other hand, if we had Toffoli, Pearson, and Carter on a line in 2012 instead of Carter, Richards, and Penner, we might have gone undefeated!

  12. jason9696 - Jun 2, 2014 at 11:01 PM

    I want the Kings to win and I think they will. But it wouldn’t be a huge upset if the Rangers were able to pull it off. I just don’t see it happening.

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