It might be time to crown the 2012 Los Angeles Kings the best eighth seed in NHL history (but feel free to provide some counterpoints in the comments). If nothing else, they’ve had one of the hottest starts of any team – regardless of seeding – as NBC Sports Network provided an interesting stat. The Kings are now the fifth franchise (and sixth team) to go 11-1 in their first 12 playoff games.
Here’s the list, with an asterisk for the teams/franchise that ended up winning it all.
Montreal Canadiens (1968)*
Montreal Canadiens (1976)*
New York Islanders (1983)
Detroit Red Wings (1995)
Pittsburgh Penguins (2008)
Los Angeles Kings (2012) – TBD
Liam McHugh remarked that “only” those Habs teams ended up winning the Cup, but there are number of factors that make that more reasonable. The most obvious is that the Stanley Cup finals can be a new ballgame altogether; sometimes one conference is notably weaker than the other. The 2008 Penguins are an obvious example. They buzzed through so-so East teams until they ran into a brick wall known as the Detroit Red Wings.
So let me ask: will the Kings become the third team and second franchise to win a Cup after starting 11-1? (Note that they’ll start the next round on the road regardless of which East team advances.)