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.)
Video: Devils honor Martin Brodeur, retire his No. 30
Kyle Turris was far from an accomplished NHLer when he requested a trade out of the Coyotes organization. In fact, when he was dealt to the Senators in 2011, the third overall pick in the 2007 draft had just 46 points in 137 NHL games.
Since then, Turris has emerged as Ottawa’s top center, with the promise of a big payday in the summer of 2018 when his current $17.5 million deal expires and he becomes an unrestricted free agent.
It’s for that very reason that he can understand Jonathan Drouin‘s position with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
“It’s tough,” Turris told the Tampa Bay Times. “Everyone has mixed feelings, and especially not being an established player. Then people are doubting that you’re doing the right thing, you really have to have confidence in yourself and your ability to do it.”
Though Turris, now 26, took a “lot of heat from the media…and people within the organization” and recalls the time after his trade request was made public as a “tough, tough go,” he believes the opportunity he received with the Sens “saved” him.
As we’ve written in the past, you don’t have to agree with how Drouin is handling things — maybe it ends up hurting him; he still has a lot to prove — but there have been young players who have chosen similar paths, and it’s worked out well for them.
Drouin, by the way, has 40 points in 89 NHL games.