While the talented and deep Kings are far from a prototypical eighth seed, the fact still remains that an eighth seed eliminating the President’s Trophy winners will always be news. Doing it in six or seven games is gripping enough, but with the chance to sweep the Canucks on Wednesday night now within their reach, the Kings (and the Canucks) have an opportunity to make some history in Game 4.
Another loss in this series will see the 2012 Canucks join the 1991 Blackhawks, 2000 Blues, 2006 Red Wings, 2009 Sharks and 2010 Capitals as the only President’s Trophy winners to lose in the first round in the Trophy’s 26 years of existence. The difference though, was that neither of those previous President’s Trophy chokers lost their first round series in less than six games, so Vancouver could indeed become the first President’s Trophy winner to ever be swept out of the first round of the playoffs.
Furthermore, with a loss on Wednesday night, the 2012 Canucks would become just the third President’s Trophy winners out of 26 to be swept in a playoff series period, and the first in 17 years. The 1988 Flames were swept in the second round and the 95 Red Wings were quickly brushed aside by the Devils in the Stanley Cup Final.
As for the Kings. Aside from wanting to go into the history books as the first team to sweep a President’s Trophy winner in the first round and just the third team to sweep a President’s Trophy winner at all, they also have some franchise history to write, as they have never swept a best-of-seven playoff series before.
Maybe the Canucks dominate Game 4 in L.A. and live to fight another day, in which case losing the series would be far less of a historic “achievement” compared to being swept by the Kings. And maybe they rally for three or four straight wins, in which case we’ll be talking about a completely different type of historical feat. But as it stands right now, both teams head into Wednesday night’s game with the chance to be remembered for a very long time, but for very different reasons.
Now on to the links:
- Henrik Sedin admits Dustin Brown’s Game 3 hit was clean (NBC Sports).
- Daniel Alfredsson’s remains questionable for Game 3 in Ottawa after taking an elbow to the head from Carl Hagelin (Rotoworld).
- Could Hagelin’s three-game suspension for his hit on Alfredsson be reduced? (Newsday).
- The Blues have ruled out Jaroslav Halak for Game 3 in San Jose tonight, meaning Brian Elliott will get his first start of the series (Missouri Sports Magazine).
- Game 3 starter Cory Schneider thinks the Canucks “probably deserved better” (CBC.ca). I’ll admit that the Canucks aren’t playing poorly enough to justify being down 0-3, but at the same time, the Kings are matching them stride for stride, and the best players in the series so far have unquestionably been Kings (Quick and Brown). So yes, the Canucks ‘probably’ deserve better right now, but the Kings definitely deserve what they’ve accomplished so far.
- The Penguins are proving how classless they really are (Philly2Philly.com). Maybe just a bit of a homer column here.
- Sidney Crosby got a little testy after Pittsburgh’s Game 3 loss (Puck Daddy).
- Arron Asham and James Neal are probably going to face punishment for their Game 3 hits (Sun Media). Asham’s hit on Brayden Schenn was especially gutless, and while I know it won’t happen, I really wish that Brendan Shanahan would make a massive example out of goons like Asham when he has such a golden opportunity. Asham cross-checked Schenn across the lower face and neck because he didn’t like Schenn’s big hit on his teammate. Even worse, Asham gave Schenn a sucker punch while he was lying face down on the ice. He’ll probably only get a game or a few games at worst, but what would the playoffs really be losing from Shanahan taking a stand and hitting Asham with a much longer suspension?
- On that note, Brendan Shanahan is failing to change the status quo (TheHockeyWriters.com).
- The rats are back in Florida (TheHockeyWriters.com)
- Down 2-1 to the Predators, the Red Wings still control their own fate.
- Braden Holtby, like most goaltenders, has his quirky tendencies and traditions. Here’s a look behind his “Holtbyisms” (The Washington Post).