This past season has been an absolute joy.
The DEFENDING Stanley Cup champions Kings had a tremendous regular season, even though they stumbled at the gate to start off.
But I didn’t stress about their early season woes. You’ve heard the saying that the NHL season is a marathon, not a sprint, and the Kings showed improvement through this shortened season.
Will they make it back to the Finals? Whoa, whoa, whoa… one step at a time, cochise. Yes, this team is better positioned than many other defending champions. Yes, their roster is largely intact from last season. Yes, they have two rookies in Jake Muzzin and Tyler Toffoli who are poised to impress, just as Dwight King and Jordan Nolan did last season.
But this is a stacked Western Conference. I hardly expect the Wild to knock off the Blackhawks. Vancouver is still smarting from their early exit last season. The Ducks have a renewed focus. There’s no way around it. The Western Conference playoffs are going to be a slobberknocker.
That said, it’ll be quite a ride. Much like the regular season. Thanks to Andros, Ryan, Reed, Jesse, Hip, Jon, Denise, Paul and the Royal Half, I was able to put in a full season of Prediction Panels. Through all my late emails and incessant bugging, all of the panelists were a joy to work with. And I hope to do it again next season.
“What? You aren’t doing it for the playoffs?” No, I’ll be too busy growing my beard to stress over getting everyone’s picks. This is go time, people. No more shenanigans.
Speaking of shenanigans, here’s this season’s LAST Prediction Panel for the abbreviated 2012-13 season.
Andros from LA Kings Fight Night
Score: Kings 3, Sharks 2 in a shoot out
Reason: Just because
Perfect prediction: 3 (3/31)
Ryan from Make Way For The Kings
Score: Score: Kings 3, Sharks 1
Reason: Kings have the best home record in hockey. Nuff said.
Perfect prediction: 3 (2/5, 2/27, 3/9, 3/31)
Reed from Crowned Royal
Score: Kings 4, Sharks 3
Reason: Going to a Sharks bar in NY, need some ammo for relentless shit talking.
Perfect Prediction: (2/5, 2/20, 3/28)
Jesse from All The Kings Men
Score: Sharks 3, Kings 0
Perfect prediction: 1 (2/17)
Hipcheck from Lets Go Kings
Score: Score: Sharks 4 Kings 2
Reason: A very important game to end the season against the hated Sharks….throw in the fact we are having a watch party and previous
season ending games of uber importance….yeah-not feeling good about this one. On a sidenote, mega props for doing this Matt, enjoyed doing it all year and it was a load of fun reading other peoples picks as the season progressed. Touch to all who participated.
Perfect prediction: 1 (2/25)
Jon from Kings News Daily
Score: Sharks 4, Kings 2
Reason: If there’s one thing the Kings know how to do, it’s to make things as difficult as possible. Look forward to a first round rematch with the Canucks – or don’t.
Matt from Life In Hockeywood
Score: Kings 3, Sharks 2
Reason: Kings have to win at home to ensure a playoff against the Blues. They have the best record at home. Discuss.
Perfect prediction: 2 (2/16, 3/18)