Blackhawks News

Western Conference Finals Preview: Coyotes vs Kings

By Greg Boysen

#3 Phoenix Coyotes (8-3) vs #8 Los Angeles Kings (8-1)

Series Schedule:

Game 1 5/13  LA @ PHX 7:00 PM

Game 2 5/15  LA @ PHX 8:00 PM

Game 3 5/17  PHX @ LA 8:00 PM

Game 4 5/20 PHX @ LA 3:00 PM

Game 5* 5/22 LA @PHX 8:00 PM

Game 6* 5/24 PHX @ LA 8:00 PM

Game 7* 5/26 LA @ PHX 7:00 PM

* if necessary

Phoenix Coyotes

The Coyotes made fast work of the Nashville Predators in round 2, knocking them out in 5 games.  The Coyotes have shown they are a very deep team as 13 different players have scored at least one goal.  Antoine Vermette leads the team with 5.  Keith Yandle  leads the team with 7 assists and is a +6 while leading the Yotes defensive core.  Oliver Ekman-Larson has emerged as a shining star this post season.  He has been very solid on the blue line and has added 4 points of his own.  The 20 year is leading the Coyotes in ice time with just over 26 minutes a game.  Mike Smith has been fantastic in the first two rounds and has carried his team into the Conference Finals.  He has a 1.77 goals against average and .948 save percentage in 11 games.  He has given up 2 or less goals in 8 of Phoenix’s games so far this post season.  He will need another outstanding series if this dream run is to continue.  The Coyotes’ power play has converted 16.1 % of their chances into goals, which is slightly better than their 13.6 % conversion in the regular season.  The Coyotes have only given up 4 power play goals in 38 chances.

Los Angeles Kings

At the beginning of the season I predicted the Kings would make it to the Conference Finals against the Blackhawks, so I got it half right.  The Kings have been the most impressive team in the first 2 rounds.  They needed only 9 games to dispose of the top two seeds in the Western Conference, the Canucks and the Blues.  Much like the Coyotes, the Kings have been had a goaltender playing out of his head.  Jonathan Quick has a 1.55 goals against average and a .959 save percentage.  Captain Dustin Brown leads the Kings with 11 points (5 goals, 6 assists).  He has 2 short handed goals and 2 game winning goals.  He is a front runner for the Conn Smythe at this point of the playoffs.  Not bad for a guy who was part of trade rumors at the deadline.  The Kings penalty kill has been the best in to post season so far.  They have killed off 92.1 % of their power plays and have scored 4 short handed goals.  LA’s power play has been horrible, having only scored 4 goals in 47 chances.  If the Kings want to advance to the Stanley Cup Final the power play must start producing.

My Prediction: Jonathan Quick and the LA Kings’ defense will be too much to the Coyotes to handle.  Kings in 6.