The LA Kings defeated the Phoenix Coyotes 4-3 in Overtime last night to win the Clarence Campbell Bowl that is awarded to the Western Conference Champions. The Kings won the Western Conference Final in 5 games & never really faced a challenge from the Pacific Division Champion Coyotes.
In the conference semi-finals, the Kings swept the Central Division Champion St. Louis Blues, & in the opening round, LA defeated the Northwest Division Champion & Presidents Trophy Wining Vancouver Canucks in just 5 games. This is only the 2nd time a team has defeated 3 division champs on the way to Stanley Cup Finals with the other team being Calgary in 2004, which was also coached by Daryl Sutter (lost in 7 to TB coached by John Tortorella).This is only the 2nd time a team has defeated 3 division champs on the way to Stanley Cup Finals with the other team being Calgary in 2004, which was also coached by Daryl Sutter and lost in 7 to TB coached by John Tortorella
LA now has a record of 12-2 in the playoffs & is 8-0 on the road setting a new NHL record. This will be the first trip to the Stanley Cup Finals for the Kings since 1993, when the squad led by Wayne Gretzky, & Coached by Barry Melrose lost to Patrick Roy & the Montreal Canadiens in 5 games. LA will wait almost a full week before heading out to either New York or New Jersey as the teams remaining in the east will have home ice over the #8 seed Kings.
The Eastern Conference Final is tied 2-2 with game 5 at Madison Square Garden later tonight. The Kings will take a day off & return to practice hoping rest will not turn into rust when the Stanly Cup Finals begin. The NHL & NBC has to be happy with the idea of an East Coast v. West Coast cup Final involving the 2 largest media markets in the country.