Thanks to all the loyal readers who voted in the MayorsManor poll regarding the Kings or Canucks series winner. It looks like the majority of you guys think this series will end in six games (60% of all votes). Another 23% of you predicted a seven-game series. So, one thing is clear, people are bracing for a long, drawn out battle. As for the winner, 45% have the Kings winning in six games and 71% overall have the Kings winning. That’s a far cry from the NHL.com panel, who had 14 of 16 favoring the Canucks. However, Kelly Hrudey and Barry Melrose are picking their former team to upset the recent President’s Trophy winner.
I gave my prediction on last night’s MayorsManor LIVE show. If you missed it (Well, first off, why? You should have been listening!), I have the Kings winning in seven games. Here are just some of the factors used in coming to that decision – it’s hard to bet against Jonathan Quick this season, Vancouver’s power play has been converting around 13% since early January, Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown are at another level compared to the last two seasons, Justin Williams can’t be stopped lately, Willie Mitchell is a beast right now on the penalty kill, belief that Darryl Sutter can get the Kings over the hump, both teams had similar records down the stretch, LA was the better team most nights when they played during the regular season, directional math: addition of Jeff Carter and Mike Richards > loss of Mikael Samuelsson and Steve Bernier since their 2010 playoff series.
The key will be winning at least one of the first two games in Vancouver. LA must, as in MUST, come home for game three with at least a split.
As usual, MayorsManor will host a First Goal Contest tonight and we have a great prize lined up. If you’d like to enter, simply leave a comment below with the LA player you think will score first vs. the Canucks. All correct answers will be pooled together and one random winner will be awarded a puck autographed by Kings captain Dustin Brown.
To help you with your selection, the following stats may come in handy…
– Brown has 10 goals in 28 career regular season games vs Vancouver
– Kopitar has 5 goals in 22 regular season games
– Williams has 6 goals in 16 regular season games (including two goals in four games vs. Vancouver this season)
– Richards has 3 goals in 8 regular season games
– Carter has 4 goals in 8 games (including three in four games played in Vancouver)
– Jarret Stoll has 9 goals in 41 regular season games
– Drew Doughty has 1 goal in 15 regular season games (yet, he has five goals in 12 carrer playoff games)
Also feel free to take Dustin Penner, Dwight King, Colin Fraser or any of the other Kings players. Just stay clear of Kevin Westgarth and Davis Drewiske because both are expected to be healthy scratches for game one of the playoffs. Of course, Brad Richardson is also out after having surgery earlier this week.