(3)Phoenix Coyotes vs. (8) Los Angeles Kings
Man, there's really something amazing about seeing a hockey team peak at exactly the right time. There've been so many ebbs and flows to this season, with so many teams that seemed virtually unbeatable at one time or another only to fall back to the pack. The Bruins, the Rangers, the Red Wings, the Penguins... the one contender that never really had that sort of run in the regular season was the Kings, seemingly always struggling to score goals, playing win-one/lose-one hockey and just barely sneaking into eighth. It can't have been an easy season to watch for Kings fans, who I'm sure spent all year wondering what was wrong and expecting more... but I'll bet they aren't complaining now.
Even more surprising, really, are the Coyotes, who, despite beating out the Kings and Sharks to capture their division, no one really expected much from in the postseason. Thinking back, I can't seem to remember why. Veteran team, their third straight year in the playoffs... I'm tough on the Desert Dogs, for reasons that aren't entirely unjustified, but you gotta give them credit...despite all the uncertainty and controversy, these guys can play.
A true Western Conference final...none of this Detroit, Chicago or Nashville nonsense...this is Los Angeles vs. Phoenix. California vs. Arizona. 10 pm starts and productivity-annihilating overtimes. Should be something to see. Kings in Six.