2012 NHL Playoffs: Should the Kings Have Even Made the Playoffs?

The Los Angeles Kings are likely on the heels of their first-ever Stanley Cup Championship and are about to wrap up a postseason run that may be remembered as one of the most remarkable and dominant in history.

When the playoffs started in April, who could have imagined that the Los Angeles Kings, who rounded out the Western Conference playoff standings and were about to face the President's Trophy-winning Vancouver Canucks, would have posted a 15-2 mark after Game Three of the Stanley Cup Final? They are an astonishing 10-0 on the road, and won the first three games of all four series they have played in.

In mid-March, these Kings (as well as their Western Conference Final foe the Phoenix Coyotes) were out of a playoff spot.

I attended a game in March between the Kings and Red Wings in which Los Angeles was already on the outside looking in. They surrendered two goals in the final minute and a half, to not only blow their third lead of the game but to give Detroit the victory in regulation—resulting in zero points for a team who had dominated most of the game.

I remember thinking that it might be the dagger in the heart for a team who already had to deal with so much competition in a deep Western Conference.

This Western Conference race was extremely tight the whole season. There were six teams fighting over three spots (third seed would automatically be won by Phoenix, San Jose or Los Angeles because of a Pacific Division championship); three teams would miss out. Let's take a look at how it finished up (W-L-OL = points)

3. (Pacific Division champion) Phoenix Coyotes: 42-27-13 = 97 points

7. San Jose Sharks: 43-29-10 = 96 points

8. Los Angeles Kings: 40-27-15 = 95 points


9. Calgary Flames: 37-29-16 = 90 points

10. Dallas Stars: 42-35-5 = 89 points

11. Colorad...

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