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Last Team Standing

This past weekend and last night were a bust for L.A. sports team fans in the throes of Playoff Fever. The Clippers were swept out of the second round of the NBA Playoffs by the San Antonio Spurs (Shocker!), the Lakers all but got swept, losing in 5 to take an early exit from the Playoffs courtesy of a wildly talented Oklahoma City Thunder team who, a few short years ago were the lackluster and floundering Seattle Supersonics.

And then, there was one. The L.A. Kings, who also stumbled Sunday on their path to the Stanley Cup Finals finally saw the Phoenix Coyotes team that the Nashville Predators and the Chicago Blackhawks both got acquainted with before taking their skates and going home early in the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs.  We knew they were gritty, we knew they were good, we knew Mike Smith was a surprising goalie having a breakout year. Apparently it took having their collective backs against a wall to play all out hockey. Phoenix fans could breathe a sigh of relief and their team gets another shot at drawing closer to evening the series tonight.

The task is daunting in the face of a Kings team that hasn’t lost on the road in the playoffs since their Vancouver series in the 2010-11 campaign. Ask Coach Tippett or any of the other Coyotes and they’ll probably tell you they’re not focused on that and that they’re just trying to win one game at a time until they get to their first ever appearance in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Kings Defenseman Willie Mitchell was interviewed on ESPN Radio yesterday during the afternoon drive and echoed the sentiment of the locker room that they regretted that they couldn’t close out the series at home and “pop the roof off of Staples [Center].” One way or the other, the Kings are on a mission and will probably wear their loss at home on their sleeves, as a chip on the shoulder and pound the Coyotes into submission as they did in the first three games of the series. They looked flat Sunday and I can almost assure you that Coach Darryl Sutter won’t let that happen again for a second game.

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  1. Justin
    May 22, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    Dear Phoenix –

    Nah nah nah nah..nah nah nah nah hey hey hey gooooodbye!!!!!

    It’s kind of ironic that the Phoenix stadium is sponsored by a website that finds people jobs. After tonight, Phoenix will be out of work…at least temporarily. Do you think their sponsor can help out with that??!!

    • May 22, 2012 at 12:40 pm

      Jobing.com arena…yes, It’s amazing that a team that had the lowest Regular Season attendance (72.5% capacity for an average of 12,420 fans per game) has a sponsored arena at all, let alone by a job finder. Maybe Jobing.com is how the 12,420 seats were filled at each home game? Temp job – one night, we pay you to watch hockey?

      How does a team rank 30th of 30 in attendance and make it into the playoffs at all? Must be some awesome home cooking, because it wasn’t fan support. Ah, but now that they’re making a deep playoff run, the fans come out in droves??? Where the heck were they in October? Be gone and be done you fair weather fans. The Kings are in town and plan to use you as another stepping stone towards the Stanley Cup!

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