Had you asked Jarret Stoll Friday morning if the Kings were running out of energy going into their 26th game of the playoffs, he probably would have dutifully told you that it’s not a factor. Now that the series is in the books, he admitted that he’s relieved the series didn’t go any deeper because Los Angeles was out of gas, according to ESPN and TSN’s Pierre LeBrun.
Unlike their 2012 championship, this year was a grind for the Kings. They were the first team to ever advance to the Stanley Cup Final after playing in the maximum 21 games over the first three rounds. On top of that, three of the five games of the Stanley Cup Final went to overtime with two of them extending to double-OT.
That’s following two long playoff runs in 2012 and 2013. In total, Los Angeles has now played in 64 playoff games over the last three years, which is a new NHL record, per CBC.
The issue of fatigue is often brought up when talking about a defending Stanley Cup champion and the Kings are particularly vulnerable to that problem. Though, they don’t have to worry about it yet. For now they can just be happy that it’s over and their resolve won’t be further tested with a Game 6 in New York.