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Will the Kings get their chance or is it too late?

By: John Galletley

Jonathan Quick has helped lead the Kings to championships in the last three years. No team wants to play them in the playoffs if they make it.

Jonathan Quick has helped lead the Kings to championships in the last three years. No team wants to play them in the playoffs if they make it.

With just six games left in the regular season, the Los Angeles Kings currently sit just outside the Western Conference playoff picture and the rest of the league is praying that they will stay there. No team in the playoffs wants to see the Kings have a chance to defend their crown and for good reason.

The Kings have all but proven the theory of only having to find a way into the playoffs in order to win a championship in sports recently. They have been to three consecutive Western Conference Finals and have won two of the past three Stanley Cups while never being higher than a five-seed in that stretch. Any NHL fan remembers the incredible 2012 run where they looked far from an eight-seed in the playoffs, going on one of the hottest streaks in recent memory. They lost just four games in their four series combined, starting it off with the defending Western Conference champs and top-seeded Vancouver Canucks.

The Kings carried that momentum again in 2014, being the team of triumph coming back down 3-0 in historically dominating fashion against the San Jose Sharks. Then they had a seven-game series against both the Anaheim Ducks and Chicago Blackhawks before finally having a short series, which was closer than the paper indicated against the New York Rangers.

Coming into this season, the Kings were looked at as one of the favorites to win the Stanley Cup and claim their third in four years. It was expected that the team would be one of the last teams in the playoffs before they eventually turn their switch on to show us how good they really are.

But right now, that switch is staying off or it’s taking longer than usual to come on. They had a close call in 2012 but woke up before their 70th game. Now, they trail the Winnipeg Jets by two points for a Wild Card spot and the Calgary Flames by three points for the last Pacific playoff spot.

Monday’s game did not help when the Blackhawks seemed to take pleasure in causing damage to the Kings’ playoff hopes, beating them 4-1 while the Canucks and the Flames claimed victory that night. Vancouver also won on Tuesday to really give themselves distance from the Kings, but luckily, Winnipeg had a loss to the Rangers to keep the Kings in striking distance.

As respectful of seasons as the Flames and Jets are having, it is safe to say every team in the Western Conference would sign up to play them over the Kings in the playoffs in a heartbeat. The Flames are a young team and inexperienced in the big stage while the Jets are playing better after the Evander Kane trade but still don’t strike fear from the top teams.

As long as the leaders like Jonathan Quick, Anze Kopitar, Drew Doughty and Dustin Brown are around with their strong supporting cast, the Kings have to be looked at as a team that is never out until the fat lady sings. They’re a team that won’t go way and will make the higher-seeded teams not sleep at night, knowing they play them in the first round with history in their favor.

The only question is whether their switch will come on too late after they are out of the playoffs or will we see them have another low seed in the playoffs and an opportunity to strike?

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Want to talk sports? John Galletley is the man to go to. He has been following sports of all kinds since he was a child but had a first love for baseball being in a family of Yankees fans. He also loves to travel and has used sports in order to do this including taking several road trips to MLB stadiums and other sports venues. John has always dreamed of working in the sports world and wants to make his way there as a writer in order to follow the philosophy of never working a day in your life if you love what you do.

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