It hasn’t been done since the Wings tasted glory in both 1997 and 1998, so what are the realistic chances that the Stanley Cup can get more than one year of beach time?
A couple of major factors stare you in the face when considering the LA Kings’ odds of repeating. The first is that they’re returning practically the entire roster from last year’s sqaud and the second is the manner by which they breezed their way to the Finals.
Returning that many players from a previous year (especially a year that saw the ultimate success) is incredibly rare. After the Bruins won it in 2011, they lost Mark Recchi along with some other notables, while we all know how Dale Tallon swooped in and took back much of what was once his after the Hawks won the year before.
Obviously that means 26-year-old Jonathan Quick will be returning between the pipes for his sixth year in the league, coming off undoubtedly his best stint in the pros. As long as he can pick up right where he left off, I can’t imagine Darryl Sutter has anything but faith in the rock-solid Quick.
As I mentioned, I think the most impressive part of the Kings’ run last year (a run that wasn’t expected by many considering their 8-seed) was how they worked from the bottom up, with seemingly relative ease. In their 16-4 journey to Lord’s Stanley’s Cup, they were absolutely dominant on the road, figuring their nine consecutive wins away from the Staples Center tied the second best road playoff streak in league history.
They took down the President’s Trophy winners in five games, swept Ken Hitchcock’s defensive-minded Blues and only gave up one game to the Coyotes fresh off their first division title in their team’s history. Looking back, seeds 1, 2 and 3 went down in bam-bam-bam fashion. Hockey fans hear quite often that if a team gets hot at the right time, the sky’s the limit; no mantra proved truer for the 2012 LA Kings.
So on that note, while I believe all the pieces are in place for a Kings repeat, I don’t necessarily think they will translate into a second consecutive Cup. I’m basing this solely on the rarity of the feat, and not undermining the team the Kings are returning for whatever is the potentially abridged 2012-13 season. There are too many question marks surrounding the upcoming schedule, and just like this past year, any team can spark when you least expect them to. Also not to be taken lightly is a bolstered Eastern Conference, and as much as I hate to admit it, I’m speaking highly in terms of the Rangers’ off-season moves.
Of course if I had it my way, the Cup would get to spend another year on the beach, but I’m thinking more along the lines of Las Olas as opposed to Malibu.
Thanks for reading! Do you think the Kings can repeat? Let us know in the comments.
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