The Battle of Los Angeles was about what we expecting. The Kings and the Ducks were two of the league's best teams this year, and here they were, fighting for the chance to face the Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference Finals. Los Angeles one the first two games on the road, and things were looking good. Then, Anaheim managed to turn things around totally, in part thanks to rookie netminder John Gibson. The Kings eked out a game six win at home, and then game seven... well, a closely fought series kind of unraveled. Los Angeles dominated the Ducks, Gibson got pulled, and the Kings won 6-2 in order to win the series. We've got a Western Conference Finals rematch.
What a wild postseason for the Kings thus far. They had to overcome a 3-0 series deficit in round one, and now this. Of course, they were very much up to it, what with all their talent in all three aspects of the game. Still, they have put themselves into tricky situations over and over again, and that can't keep happening. They already took down the Sharks and the Ducks in two seven game series, which has to take something out of them. Perhaps it is encouraging they haven't had to rely on Jonathan Quick so far. Anze Kopitar has been outstanding, as has Marian Gaborik. Quick has been fine, and maybe he'll pick up his game in the Conference Finals. I shant count this team out. Not with this talent, and with their advanced statistical performance.
That came into play in this series with the Ducks, at least in terms of the conversation. Anaheim is a very good team, and they had a better goal differential than the Kings, but some of the advanced stats painted a different picture, in terms of puck possession and shots generated and such. They also had questions in goal, although Gibson was quite good until he wasn't. He had an off night at the worst possible time, although the Kings were playing quite well in game seven, including a couple huge saves from Quick.
I would say the better team won in this series, but Anaheim had a fine year. The West was super tough, and only one team can emerge. A few talented teams have already gone down, and one more will do so in the next round. Teemu Selanne's career is over, and unfortunately for him he went down with a loss. Most players do. They can't all be Ray Bourque.
In the end, the Kings took down the other California teams Highlander style. The two most recent Cup winners will face one another in the next round. I'm sure you're already excited. Get more excited.