NHL Playoffs 2012: Preview and Prediction for Game 4 of Coyotes vs. Kings

One of the great sports weekends in Los Angeles history could actually reach its apex tomorrow afternoon when the Los Angeles Kings will try to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals for only the second time ever.

All that stands in their way is a proud Phoenix Coyotes club that does not want to be swept out of the Conference Finals in embarrassing fashion.

Truth be told, the traffic in front of Staples Center at about the time the puck will drop might pose more of a challenge to the Kings than the Coyotes will.

That does not mean the Coyotes are a bad team, or that they are playing badly. It just means the Kings are playing at a level rarely seen in the NHL playoffs.

It is startling to see what the No. 8 seeded Kings have accomplished this post season.

First, they dispatched the defending Western Conference champion, and No. 1 seed, Vancouver Canucks in five games.

They then actually got better by sending the second-seeded St. Louis Blues packing in a four-game sweep.

Now they stand ready to sweep away the No. 3 seeded Coyotes.

And the number of people who think the Coyotes can steal just one win in this series has dwindled down to next to nothing.

The playoff transformation of the Kings has been a complete shock to the Western Conference, even if it could be argued that the talent was there the whole time.

What makes the Kings so good is that they have gelled into a complete team here in these playoffs.

When the playoffs started, and discussion turned to which teams were the deepest in the playoffs, people talked about the Boston Bruins or the New York Rangers or the Canucks.

They were not talking about the Kings.

But the Kings have turned out to be one of the deepest teams in the playoffs so far and, in so doing, they have become nearly impossible to defend.

If you are the Coyotes, where do you put your e...

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