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NHL 2012 Playoffs Preview: Coyotes and Kings Keep Battling in Game 4

Written by Michael Gordon   
Tuesday, 15 May 2012 10:51

 Phoenix Coyotes vs. Los Angeles Kings  PicksSports Betting Overview
When the Los Angeles Kings won game one of the Western Conference Finals in Phoenix by a score of 4-2, a lot of people started to think that this series would be over quickly. But the online betting sites are not convinced that the Phoenix Coyotes are going to go down without a fight. When you look at how the playoffs have gone for the Coyotes and the Kings so far, then you start to realize that four goals in one game is a lot. The Kings are not going to be able to keep up that kind of pace as Phoenix goaltender Mike Smith will eventually get comfortable in this series and get back to his All-Star form. But the more this series goes on, the better the Kings will get as well.

Los Angeles goaltender Jonathan Quick is finally getting the attention he deserves as he has been the best kept secret in the NHL for years. But if Quick wants to be a Stanley Cup champion, then he is going to need to maintain his current play for the remainder of the playoffs.

If the Kings give Phoenix any kind of opening, then the Coyotes will exploit it. The price per head bookie experts are leaning towards the Kings in this series, but this game in Los Angeles will be much more of a battle than the Kings would want it to be. The Coyotes are not going away quietly, and this game will be proof of that.

Phoenix Coyotes
The Coyotes have not had to handle a whole lot of offensive speed in these playoffs to this point. The Chicago Blackhawks has speed up front but no speed on defense. The Nashville Predators have a big set of forwards but not a lot of speed. The Los Angeles Kings are fast on offense and defense, and that is going to cause problems for the Coyotes. A 5 dimes review of the Coyotes' defense shows a unit that is strong along the boards and in the center of the ice, but it is also a unit that has problems containing a team with speed at the forward position. But Phoenix can count on goalie Mike Smith to steal at least one game in this series and this could be that game.

Los Angeles Kings
The Los Angeles Kings have eliminated the number one and number two seeds in these playoffs and have only lost one game in the process. That is why the Kings are not the odds-on favorite to win the Western Conference Finals. But the Coyotes offer a couple of things that the Canucks and Blues could not deliver. Neither the Canucks nor the Blues benefited from consistent goaltending in the playoffs and neither team was able to deal with Los Angeles' fast-moving defense. The Coyotes have very consistent goaltending and are able to skate with the Kings. That is what will make this series so very interesting.

The Bottom Line
NHL fans in Phoenix showed their support of the Coyotes by putting over 17,000 people into the Arena for game one. All of that support did not help the Coyotes win, but that does not mean that Phoenix cannot win games in this series. This will be a long and tough series for both teams, and the Kings will start to look human by the time game four rolls around.

Sports betting news Pick: Phoenix Coyotes

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