Kings fans rejoice! This is HFNHL Stanley Cup hunt version 2.0 for the LA Kings.
Back in the late '90's and early 2000's, the HFNHL LA Kings were a regular season powerhouse. A prime first line of Bertuzzi-Jokinen-Murray and a defense including Blake and Leetch saw the Kings at or near the top of the standings every year. But each season the team failed miserably in the playoffs, usually going out quickly in the first round and usually to the Colorado Avalanche.
The lockout saw the roster get yet another year older and team depth just wasn't even close to good enough take up the slack, and so GM McEwan went into a rebuild.
Now, after several seasons of rebuilding, the Kings are back in the playoffs! A 103-point season put them at 7th overall in the league standings, which is more than any LA Kings fan could have hoped for heading into the 2011-12 campaign.
The season's turning point
First 41 Games: 17-14-10
Last 41 Games: 27-9-5
Around the half-way point of the season, GM McEwan started to find the right line combinations, and made some trades to bring in some key pieces. Marek Zidlicky was acquired for mid-round picks from the very Blue Jackets who the Kings will now face. Samuel Pahlsson was added in exchange for Jack Skille in a deal with the Sharks. Later, Ray Whitney and Greg Zanon would be added for prospects. Rather than wait until the trade deadline, the Kings made their deals at mid-season before the playoff hope was lost.
Now LA will play the Columbus Blue Jackets, a team which has their full respect. The Kings will give it all they've got because they know the the Jackets will be tough competition.
Congrats Mike... The Kings are the example of how to be patient - and how to rebuild. You've been patient, drafted well, and traded well. Good luck in the playoffs - don't let those stinking Central GM's lay any more claim to it being the 'best' division in the HFNHL.
Good luck in the playoffs - don't let those stinking Central GM's lay any more ACCURATE STATEMENTS ABOUT it being the 'best' division in the HFNHL.
Well done indeed, Mike - you managed to significantly deplete the value of those picks I got from you for Zidlicky, as well. Should be an entertaining opening round series, to say the least! Fans are already ordering tickets to Game 7.