Why the Los Angeles Kings Are the Team Nobody Should Want to Face

The Los Angeles Kings are sixth in the Western Conference, and unless something out of the ordinary happens over the next month, they will begin the Stanley Cup playoffs on the road.

Yet, when the playoffs roll around, they will very likely be the team to avoid.

Sorry, (probably) San Jose Sharks.

A 3-2 victory against the Calgary Flames on Monday night gave the Kings their eighth straight win and seventh in a row since returning from the Olympic break. Despite the surge, the Kings are almost guaranteed to finish third in the Pacific Division and face the Sharks in the conference quarterfinals; the Sharks hold a seven-point lead on the Kings and trail the first-place Anaheim Ducks by four points.

The door is open for the Sharks to catch the Ducks, but Anaheim, San Jose and Los Angeles have been one-two-three in the Pacific since Dec. 24.

The Sharks and Kings went seven games in the conference semifinals in 2013 before Los Angeles won Game 7. With the way the Kings are playing in 2014, the Sharks might have to consider themselves lucky if the series goes the distance again.

The 2013-14 edition of the Kings is Corsi'ing and Fenwick'ing the rest of the NHL into the ground, according to ExtraSkater.com. They lead the league in both Corsi and Fenwick differential per 60 minutes—yet for the longest time, that puck-possession dominance wasn't translating into consistent victories. Before this hot streak, the Kings were a very respectable 30-22-6 but had dropped nine of 10 (1-8-1) and were averaging 1.3 goals per game despite winning the possession battle.

With a PDO at 991 and climbing, the Kings are helping the case that underlying numbers can show a streak like this is only a matter of time. The Kings were outchancing teams night in and night out, and after a long stretch of bad luck, the math shows the numbers are beginning to even themselves out.

Article Source: Bleacher Report - Los Angeles Kings