NHL Playoffs 2012: Preview and Predicting Western Conference Finals
Phoenix Coyotes (3) vs. Los Angeles Kings (8):
Regular season head to head:
|Oct 29/11||3 (OT)||2|
|Jan 5/12||0||1 (OT)|
|Feb 21/12||5 (SO)||4|
|5-5 GF/GA Ratio||1.38||1.45|
|Coyotes||16.1% (9th)||89.5% (4th)|
|Kings||8.5% (15th)||92.1% (2nd)|
Phoenix Coyotes win this series in six games. During the regular season series the Coyotes top performers against the Kings were Radim Vrbata with five goals and seven points in six games and Martin Hanzal with five assists in four games. The top two performers for the Kings were Dustin Brown with three goals and five points in six games as well as Anze Kopitar with one goal and four assists in six games. Also of note Drew Doughty had two goals and three points in six games against the Coyotes this year.
In this series face-offs will be a key deciding factor, the Coyotes have the edge in this regard. The Coyotes are also blocking more shots and laying down more hits than the Kings in this postseason. In the playoffs those are key indicators of desire and the Coyotes can match and surpass the Kings in those ways that the Vancouver Canucks and St. Louis Blues could not.
As well the Coyotes show better poise and control with the puck than the Kings do as evidenced by their much better takeaway to giveaway ratio. The Coyotes appear to be the more disciplined team and should get more opportunities on the power play because of it so the Kings Penalty kill will need to maintain its current level.
This series should be a gritty goaltending battle for the ages. It might be hard to catch the late games if you live in the East, but be sure you do. You will not want to miss all of this series, PVR is a wonderful thing!