2012 Western Conference Finals- Los Angeles vs. Phoenix
The 2012 NHL Western Conference Finals are most definitely surprising. Nobody and I mean nobody saw this coming. Los Angeles and Phoenix? I mean most of us probably had Nashville, Chicago, Detroit, or Vancouver in the Conference Finals. I know I did. This series should be interesting and great.
Los Angeles : Los Angeles is an intriguing team to me. They are my pick to advance to the Cup Finals and win at all. They have a great group of Forwards in Mike Richards, Jeff Carter, and a wonderful captain and leader in Dustin Brown. Brown has 11 points and is a plus 9, and along with Quick are early frontrunners for the Conn Smythe Trophy. They arguably have the best goaltender in the playoffs right now in Jonathan Quick. In 9 games played, Quick is 8-1, with a GAA of 1.55 and a Save Percentage of .949 with 1 Shutout. The Kings have done remarkably well in the special teams categories as well. Los Angeles has a PP that is not doing too hot at 8.5 percent. Their PK on the other hand is way too hot to handle. They are ranked first in the postseason with a percentage of 92.1 percent.
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Phoenix : The hottest player by far in this postseason for the Coyotes has been goaltender Mike Smith. In 11 games this postseason, Smith is 8-3 with Goals against of 1.77 and a Save Percentage of .948 with 2 shutouts. The Coyotes have a PP that is running at a 16.1 percent clip this postseason, and a PK that is running at an 89.5 percent clip.
This series I see as being very low scoring with strong goaltending and strong special teams. The biggest difference in this series could be the Special Teams, as I could easily see the goaltenders stealing a few games in this series. While this series could run the gamut and be a really good 6 or 7 game series, I see Los Angeles coming out of this series in 4 or 5 games, because I believe their depth is way deeper and they can play all aspects of the game really well.
By: Charlene Cudia
ProHockey-fans.com Staff Writer