What They're Saying: National Media Chimes In

Jonathan Quick• ESPN's Scott Burnside: First-round breakdown: Canucks-Kings
3. Are you experienced? The perception is the Kings will be the wet-behind-the-ears kids facing the worldly Canucks. Not so fast. Credit Los Angeles GM Dean Lombardi with carefully dropping in some worldly characters of his own over the past couple of seasons. There's Smyth, a warrior's warrior to be sure who plays mostly with Kopitar. There's Williams, who won a Cup in Carolina when his Canes beat Smyth's Edmonton Oilers  in the 2006 Cup finals.
• ESPN's John Buccigross: West outlook and Hockey Hall debates
The Kings are dangerous because they can score and might have the best defenseman in the Western Conference in Drew Doughty. To have someone that mobile on defense, it can disrupt the Canucks' top line. People see the Canucks, they see Roberto Luongo, and they think the Canucks are a sub-200 goals-allowed team or something. The Avs and Predators gave up more goals than the Canucks. Everyone else in the West has given up fewer. I was at the Kings' fanfest in September and was really impressed with Dustin Brown and the togetherness of the team. I talked myself out of picking them for the playoffs after leaving the fanfest; but you could feel something there, and I feel something here. This series will be an overtime-fest. I feel and I will feel the Kings in seven games.
• AP: High-scoring Canucks face youthful Kings
The power plays posted nearly identical numbers near the top the league (20.8 percent for the Kings to 20.9 for the Canucks), and the penalty kill struggled similarly in the bottom half of the NHL (80.3 percent for Los Angeles to 81.6 for Vancouver). Even home-ice advantage is tempered.
• Yahoo: The West’s playoff X-Men
Justin Williams  is 28 years old and a two-time 30-goal scorer with Carolina in 2005-06 and ’06-07 (and he also scored seven goals and 18 points in 25 playoff games during Carolina ‘s ’06 Cup championship). In short, he should be in his prime.
• Yahoo: Western Conference is wide open
This just has the feel of a long, hard-fought series with sudden death looming at every turn. At the very least, it might be the conference’s most entertaining opening-round series.  Prediction: Canucks in seven.
• Yahoo: Puck Daddy 2010 Stanley Cup Playoff Staff Prognostications
Even if I'm fairly convinced that the Los Angeles Kings are going to upset them in the first round, I can't go against what might just end up being The Greatest Prediction in The History of Puck Daddy Prognostications.
• Yahoo: Y! Sports staff's NHL round-by-round playoff predictions
(Don't bother. All four writers have the Canucks winning in 6 or 7 games.)
• USA Today:  Sizing up the Western Conference: Underdogs could win three series
Forecast: After missing the playoffs for six seasons, the Kings will post an upset to win a playoff series for the first time since 2001. It will take six games.
• Sporting News: Upset Candidate
Los Angeles Kings over Vancouver Canucks: Coach Terry Murray would have preferred a few more wins down the stretch, but the Kings finished with more than 100 points for the first time since 1990-91. Goalie Jonathan Quick said his team will draw from its success throughout the season rather than focus on any hiccups in the final couple of weeks.
• NHL.com: Canucks-Kings Storylines
Long Time Coming: The Kings will be making their first Stanley Cup Playoff appearance since 2002. There are no players on this year's roster remaining from the 2001-02 squad. The Kings collected 101 points (46-27-9), 22 more than in all of 2008-09 (34-37-11) and the most since a Kings team featuring Wayne Gretzky, Luc Robitaille, Tomas Sandstrom, Dave Taylor, Tony Granato, Steve Duchesne, Larry Robinson and Kelly Hrudey won the Smythe Division with 102 points in 1990-91.
 

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