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18 Apr 2018

LA Kings: Your Stanley Cup dream is over

LA Kings: Your Stanley Cup dream is over

The Las Vegas Golden Knights have swept the Kings to mark another postseason disappointment for the California club.

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The games

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What next for LA?

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Can Vegas keep progressing?

(Photo credit: mark6mauno)

Oh, how the NHL changes in one year. Last season the LA Kings struggled to a fifth-place finish in the Pacific division while the Las Vegas Golden Knights had not even touched a puck.

One year later the Knights and Kings met in the playoffs with staggering results. 

The games

Four one-goal games gave Vegas the upper-hand in a low-scoring series. LA were shutout twice by Fleury and co. while the Knights continued their fairytale season into the second round. 

Game one finished 1-0 to Vegas with Shea Theodore getting the all-important goal. Fleury saved 30 shots en route to his 63rd playoff victory. 

Game two was poised at 1-1 after Alex Tuch and Paul Ladue canceled out each other’s goals out. The game headed to overtime.

The first OT period was scoreless, so we headed to the second period. Finally, Alex Tuch ended the game to give the Knights a crucial two-game lead in the series.

Game three arrived with Vegas traveling to Staples Center looking to take a crucial road win that would just about finish the series. The Kings outshot the Knights 39-26 but ended up on the wrong side of a 3-2 result. 

James Neal, Cody Eakin, and William Karlsson were the scorers for Vegas who had this stage had surely sealed their place in the next round.

Onto game four and the Kings were seeking a reaction from their roster. 31 shots and saves later the Kings had been blanked again while their former player Brayden McNabb netted the final blow to their season.

It almost feels fitting that McNabb netted the final goal against the side who exposed him for the expansion draft - I bet that goal felt good. 

What next for LA?

After a bounce-back season, the Kings will no doubt be happy that they managed to make the spring dance. But in reality, they will have been quietly confident of making it through to round two against playoff novices Las Vegas.

Some bad contracts still haunt the Kings and I am sure general manager Rob Blake will be looking to shed some of those while picking up potential draft picks. 

A major shake-up may not be around the corner for LA but the team will undoubtedly need to rethink their style as it is clear that the league has moved on from their 2014 Stanley Cup success. 

Can Vegas keep progressing?

What a postseason for the Knights. Gerard Gallant deserves plaudits from the sporting world for his achievements this season. Four playoff wins out of four and they march into round two with every team being weary of them.

Who really would want to face the Knights now? They have ferocious forechecking, goalscoring, goaltending and defending. This team is a complete package that lacks a star name. But do star players win cups? Or do teams win cups? 

Vegas are proving that their team spirit is strong enough to make a deep run. 

Do the LA Kings need to rebuild? Let us know in the comments section below.