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NHL Playoff Preview: How Good is the Los Angeles Kings?

Written by Charlie Jimenez   
Tuesday, 01 May 2012 09:48

Hockey Betting PlayoffsSports Betting Overview
When the Los Angeles Kings faced off in its quarterfinal series against the Vancouver Canucks, there were many experts who felt that the Kings had an excellent chance at beating the Canucks. The Kings had better goaltending and a stronger defense than Vancouver, but the Kings lacked the scoring punch to be intimidating against a high-scoring team like the Canucks. But still, the online betting sites were not completely surprised when the Kings bounced the Canucks in the first round, especially when Vancouver made a change at goaltender after the first two games of the series. There was no consistency in the Canucks' game, and the Los Angeles Kings took advantage of that.

St. Louis Blues goalie Jaroslav Halak was injured in the team's quarterfinal series and left the goaltending work to alternate starter Brian Elliott. For most teams, this would be a problem. But for the Blues, it was an easy transition. The price per head bookie experts were expecting a St. Louis win over the San Jose Sharks in the quarterfinal round of the Western Conference playoffs, but to do it in five games was making quite a statement. The Sharks were not ready for the playoffs, and it was obvious.

The Los Angeles Kings were ready for the playoffs, and now St. Louis has a real challenge on its hands.

Los Angeles Kings
The Los Angeles Kings have been hampered by a stagnant offense all season long. Even with the addition of Jeff Carter from the Columbus Blue Jackets at the trade deadline, the Kings could not seem to find the net. Sportsbooks review of the last games of the regular season for Los Angeles showed some signs of life in the Los Angeles offense, but nothing that would have predicted the team's defeat of the Canucks in five games. The one thing that would make the Kings dangerous in the playoffs had finally started to show itself. The Kings were scoring goals, and everyone was starting to contribute.

St. Louis Blues
The Blues did not panic when goalie Jaroslav Halak went down with an injury in the quarterfinal round against the Sharks because Brian Elliott and Halak had been sharing starting goaltending duties all season. The Blues were prepared in goal, but the St. Louis defense was not prepared for the NHL scores that the Kings had suddenly become capable of. The Blues allowed the Kings to spend a lot of time in the St. Louis zone in the first game of this series and the result was a Kings' victory. The only question is whether or not the St. Louis defense can contain the Los Angeles offense.

The Bottom Line
This series could very well go seven games and the favored Blues would benefit if the series did extend that long. But the Kings are trying to make short work of St. Louis. If the Kings can get past the Blues, then Los Angeles would have beaten the number one and number two seeds in the Western Conference. At that point, who would be able to stop the Kings?

Sports Betting News Free Pick: Los Angeles Kings

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