I’ve spent enough words on the Kings’ absolute domination of the 2012 Playoffs so far. Last week, I wrote about how this team should never be referred to as an underdog story or an overachiever. On Wednesday, I wrote about the Kings’ 10-1 start to the post-season and how it was one of the best in the last 30 years.
With their 2-1 Game 3 win over the Coyotes on Thursday night, L.A. has now matched the 1983 Oilers and the 1995 Red Wings as the only teams since 1980 to start the playoffs 11-1.
The catch is that neither of those two teams won the Stanley Cup that season. The ’83 Oilers were swept in the Stanley Cup Final by the Islanders, while the ’95 Red Wings were swept by the Devils in the Final.
The question left to be asked is does early domination in the post-season, and subsequently, a large number of days off between rounds, eventually catch up to a team instead of helping them?
In 1983, the Oilers had five days off between rounds one and two, four days off between rounds two and three, and then a full week off between round three and the Cup Final (16 total between-series days off).
In 1995, the Red Wings had six days off between the first two rounds, five days off between the second and third rounds and then another six days off before the Final (17 total between-series days off).
So far this year, the Kings have already had between-series breaks of six days and seven days. If they finish off the Coyotes in a sweep on Sunday, I believe they could end up with a double-digit day break between the West Final and the Cup Final, assuming the Rangers and Devils go six or seven games (which they very well could). That would make for an unprecedented number of total days off in one post-season run.
Of course, the demise of the ’83 Oilers and the ’95 Red Wings may have been nothing more than simply running into better teams in the Final (though it’s hard to say the ’95 Devils looked much better than the Red Wings before the Final), but it does make for an interesting comparison.
Then again, if the Kings do complete the sweep on Sunday, these comparisons might be moot points anyway, because the only teams to ever start a post-season 12-1 were the 1967-68 Canadiens and the 1975-76 Habs, both of whom went 12-1 over three rounds to win the Stanley Cup.
Now here are your morning links:
- After the game, the Kings’ personnel were doing a dry run for a trophy presentation (via @mikegrose). I’m not sure if this was a sarcastic photo caption or actual trophy presentation prep, but if it really was, then between their social media team and their ice personnel, the Kings’ behind the scenes crew is as bold as the hockey team itself.
- It was a King who led the Kings to their Game 3 victory (Puck Daddy). As in Dwight King, who took home the game’s first star.
- Dave Tippett wasn’t too pleased with the officiating in Game 3 (NBC Sports). “If I told you what I really thought, it would cost me a lot of money.”
- Greg Jamison and the NHL are moving ahead with their sale of the Coyotes (Phoenix Business Journal). The Glendale City Council has no vote scheduled yet, however.
- Mike Gillis says there will be no rushed decisions on Alain Vigneault and Roberto Luongo (The Province).
- The Oilers’ announcement that Tom Renney’s contract will not be renewed brings about the “end of an error” in Edmonton (HockeyBuzz.com). Now that’s clever wording.
- The Rangers are flying some fans to New Jersey for Game 3 in style (ESPN). That all sounds pretty cool for the fans involved, and it should be the best 17 minutes of flying they ever experience.
- Is John Tortorella the smartest man in New York? (Sporting News)
- Doing hockey play-by-play presents challenges other sports don’t (New York Daily News).
- On Thursday, Rogers and Bell looked to clear a last regulatory hurdle in their Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment purchase (Canada.com). The two Canadian telecom giants could close the deal “as early as later next month.”