Monday Musings: King-sized accomplishment | Hockey | CBC Sports

Hockey Night in CanadaMonday Musings: King-sized accomplishment

Posted: Monday, June 16, 2014 | 11:59 AM

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Los Angeles Kings defenceman Jake Muzzin whoops it up as he hoists the Stanley Cup at Staples Center on June 13, 2014. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) Los Angeles Kings defenceman Jake Muzzin whoops it up as he hoists the Stanley Cup at Staples Center on June 13, 2014. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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This week's Monday Musings take a statistical look at the Stanley Cup victory by the Los Angeles Kings and the championship odds for next season.
Some Monday musings on the Los Angeles Kings celebrating their second Stanley Cup championship in three years, plus other matters to watch in the next few weeks:
  • Calder Cup final between Texas Stars and St. John's IceCaps continues with Game 4 in St. John's on Monday. The Stars lead the best-of-seven AHL championship, 2-1.
  • NHL compliance buyout period begins Monday.
  • NHL awards will be presented in Las Vegas on June 24.
  • NHL entry draft held in Philadelphia on June 27-28.
  • NHL free-agency period begins on July 1. 

Kings crowned again

The Kings have enjoyed an incredible three-year run under general manager Dean Lombardi and head coach Darryl Sutter. With their second championship, here is a list of the champs' accomplishments:

-The Kings clinched the crown in their 26th post-season game, the most by a Stanley Cup champion and tied for the most by any playoff team. The two previous teams to play 26 games in a post-season were the 1987 Philadelphia Flyers and 2004 Calgary Flames. Both lost in the final in seven games.

-The Kings became the first club to play the maximum 21 games to advance to the final.

-The Kings went 7-0 in elimination games in 2014, the most for a Stanley Cup champion. Only one team in NHL history posted more such wins in a single playoff year, but the 1975 New York Islanders (eight) were eliminated in the Stanley Cup semifinals.

-The Kings became the first team to win three Game 7s on the road in a playoff run and the second team to win three Game 7s in a post-season, matching the Boston Bruins in 2011. The Kings checked in with four multi-goal comeback victories in these playoffs. The last time any team posted that many comebacks was in 1987 (Flyers).

-The Kings also became the first team to win three consecutive playoff games after trailing by two goals. They fell behind 2-0 to the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 7 of the conference final yet won 5-4 in overtime. They also trailed 2-0 to the Rangers in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup final, but won 3-2 in OT. Then, in Game 2, they rebounded from deficits of 2-0, 3-1 and 4-2 to win 5-4 in double OT.

-In the first round, the Kings became the fourth team in Stanley Cup playoff history to overcome a 3-0 series deficit, when they rallied to beat the San Jose Sharks.

-The Kings also overcame a 3-2 series deficit in the second round against the Anaheim Ducks and battled back from 2-0, 3-2 and 4-3 deficits in Game 7 of the conference final at Chicago.

-The Kings became the first team in NHL history to advance to the Stanley Cup final with a Game 7 overtime victory on the road.

-The Kings have played 64 post-season games dating back to 2012 to snap the NHL record of 63 over a three-year span set by the Dallas Stars in 1998-00 and matched by the Detroit Red Wings in 2007-09.

Overall, schmoverall

The Kings finished 10th in the overall standings for the regular season to become the fourth club outside the top six to claim the Stanley Cup in the past six years:

  • 2009 Pittsburgh (8) 
  • 2010 Chicago (3) 
  • 2011 Boston (7) 
  • 2012 Los Angeles (13) 
  • 2013 Chicago (1) 
  • 2014 Los Angeles (10) 

Clinching at home

With the Kings winning the title on home ice, the Stanley Cup now has been celebrated at home 42 times compared to 20 on the road since the best-of-seven format was introduced in 1939. That's 67.7 per cent. Since 1998, the champions have been crowned at home eight times and on the road eight times, but only three times at home since 2007.

  • 1998 - Detroit (away)
  • 1999 - Dallas (away)
  • 2000 - New Jersey (away) 
  • 2001 - Colorado (home)
  • 2002 - Detroit (home)
  • 2003 - New Jersey (home)
  • 2004 - Tampa Bay (home)
  • 2005 - No season
  • 2006 - Carolina (home)
  • 2007 - Anaheim (home)
  • 2008 - Detroit (away)
  • 2009 - Pittsburgh (away)
  • 2010 - Chicago (away)
  • 2011 - Boston (away)
  • 2012 - Los Angeles (home)
  • 2013 - Chicago (away)
  • 2014 - Los Angeles (home)

Third-period success

One key for the Kings in their championship run was their third-period success. They scored a league-best 30 goals, while yielding only 16. Combined with their 5-2 advantage in OT, the Kings led the post-season with a plus-17 goal differential in the third period and OT (35-18).

By comparison, the Rangers outscored the opposition 26-13 in the first period, but were outscored 20-15 in the third period and OT, including 6-0 in the final.

In a good place

The Kings have youth on their side and a salary-cap friendly situation when they return in the fall for a shot at becoming the first team to repeat since the Detroit Red Wings won back-to-back titles in 1997 and 1998.

Lombardi has 18 players worth $58 million of salary-cap space under contract for next season. Dwight King is the only restricted free agent with Marian Gaborik, Matt Greene and Willie Mitchell eligible to become unrestricted free agents.

Rangers GM Glen Sather will be busier in his retool. He has 13 players and $54 million locked up. His UFAs include Brian Boyle, Dan Carcillo, Raphael Diaz, Dominic Moore, Benoit Pouliot and Anton Stralman. The list of RFAs for the Rangers include Derick Brassard, Justin Falk, Chris Kreider, John Moore and Mats Zuccarello.

Next year's favourite

Odds to win the 2015 Stanley Cup in 2014-15, courtesy

  • Chicago 7/1
  • Boston 8/1
  • Los Angeles 9/1
  • Pittsburgh 10/1
  • St. Louis 121
  • Anaheim 14/1
  • San Jose 14/1
  • N.Y. Rangers 16/1
  • Colorado 18/1
  • Minnesota 20/1
  • Montreal 20/1
  • Detroit 22/1
  • Tampa Bay 25/1
  • Vancouver 25/1
  • Philadelphia 28/1
  • Dallas 33/1
  • Toronto 33/1
  • Washington 33/1
  • Columbus 40/1
  • New Jersey 40/1
  • Edmonton 50/1
  • Ottawa 50/1
  • Phoenix 50/1
  • Winnipeg 50/1
  • Calgary 66/1
  • Carolina 66/1
  • Nashville 66/1
  • N.Y. Islanders 66/1
  • Florida  75/1
  • Buffalo  100/1

By the numbers

3 - OT winners from Kings defenceman Alec Martinez to match the record set by Calgary's Martin Gelinas in 2004 and equalled by New Jersey's Adam Henrique in 2013.

5 - Goals in 76 regular-season games for Kings defenceman Jake Muzzin in 2013-14.

6 - Goals in 26 playoffs games for Muzzin in 2014.

8 - Players who now have won an Olympic gold medal and Stanley Cup championship in the same season. Kings teammates Jeff Carter and Drew Doughty joined New York Islander Ken Morrow (USA, 1980), Detroit's Steve Yzerman and Brendan Shanahan (Canada, 2002) as well as Chicago's Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook and Jonathan Toews (Canada, 2010).

116:03 - The amount of OT (just shy of six full periods) the Kings played in their 26-game run.

93 - Total games in the 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs, beating the mark of 92 set in 1991.

Follow Tim Wharnsby on Twitter @WharnsbyCBC

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