The Los Angeles Kings have a chance to go to their first Stanley Cup Final since 1993 and their second ever this afternoon when they take on the Phoenix Coyotes at 3:30 p.m. ET.
After a 2-1 win in Los Angeles Thursday night, the Kings have a commanding 3-0 lead in the Western Conference Finals and are in prime position to become the second No. 8 seed in NHL history to even make a Stanley Cup final.
But their opponents are no stranger to hopeless situations. The Coyotes have spent the last three seasons with no owner, constantly involved in relocation talks and playing in front of an empty building. Yet somehow head coach Dave Tippett has kept the Coyotes improving and winning.
The Coyotes are going to need one of the most impressive showings in hockey history to dig them out of this hole, and it starts with solving Kings goalie Jon Quick. The dark horse Veznia candidate is 11-1 with a 1.41 GAA and a .951 save percentage for the playoffs.
To put Quick's playoffs into perspective, last season Tim Thomas had an incredible playoffs and led the Bruins to a Stanley Cup and a Conn Smythe trophy for himself. And these were his stats: 16-9 record, 1.98 goals against average and a .940 save percentage.
Quick is blowing that performance out of the water, and unless the Coyotes find a way to score more than the one goal per game they have averaged against him this series, it will be over this afternoon.
Where to watch: The game can be viewed online at http://www.firstrowsports.eu/sport/ice-hockey.html. It will also be broadcast nationally on NBC at 3 p.m. ET.
Prediction: Phoenix is a great story and they have had a great season, but in a conference final in the NHL always bet on the hot goaltender. In this case that is Los Angeles' Jon Quick. Phoenix will bring effort, but that isn't always enough.
Predicted Score: Los Angeles over Phoenix 2-0