Kings gaining strength, drawing comparisons to 2012 championship team

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Three games into the Stanley Cup playoffs, the L.A. Kings were already on the verge of elimination. They’re now on the verge of making it back to the final series for the second time in three years.

That Kings team that won the 2012 Stanley Cup ran through every team like a hot knife through butter, if you’ll excuse the cliche. This year’s edition has taken the last three games against the Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference Final after a solid 5-2 victory in Game 4 on Monday.

The Kings went seven games against San Jose. They went seven games against Anaheim. But they can polish off the Blackhawks with a win in Chicago on Wednesday, although Chicago’s captain Jonathan Toews believes his team is “still alive in this series.”

The Kings’ surge in these playoffs, including most recently, has suddenly brought up comparisons of this team to the one two years ago.

For example:

Helps when Jonathan Quick finds his form. But the Kings feature four players – Anze Kopitar, Jeff Carter, Marian Gaborik and Justin Williams – at the top of NHL playoff scoring. L.A., in these playoffs, is averaging 3.39 goals per game. They’ve allowed a fourth-best goals-against, at 2.61 goals per game.

“It’s tough because you try not to look back, really. You just focus on the next game. But obviously the one similarity is we’ve been able to win as many games as we have,” said Quick, as per LA Kings Insider.

“We put ourselves in a position where we have an opportunity to win a game to go to the finals. Our team two years ago was able to that. We were able to do that right now. That doesn’t mean anything as far as anythings going to be handed to us. We’ve got a lot to do to be able to earn that win.”