After a mid-season coaching change, being named the worst offensive team in the league, and suffering from a slump of not being able to score over two goals in a game, the Kings have discovered their team chemistry that was almost non-existant throughout the regular season and will now face either the Rangers or Devils in the Stanley Cup finals.
The Kings have an 12-2 overall postseason record and are 8-0 on the road, making them look close to unstoppable as they fight for their first Cup. They haven't been to the finals since 1993 when they fell to the Canadians 4-1.
But despite all their momentum and power on the ice, the odds aren't in their favor. In fact, other than the Edmonton Oilers back in the late 80s, no other team with a 12-2 record has gone on to win the Cup, including the Blackhawks.
Back in 1992, Chicago finished in second place in the Norris Division with a 36-29-15 record, earning 87 points in 80 games during the regular season.
While competing in the playoffs, they defeated the Blues in six games and swept both the Red Wings and Oilers, also earning themselves a 12-2 record. Even though they looked promising and had strong momentum, they were swept by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Stanley Cup finals.
The same statistics in the first three rounds of the playoffs also led to defeat for the 1995 Red Wings, 2003 Ducks, and 2008 Penguins. The only team to defy those surprising odds were the Oilers in 1987 and 1988.
Now the Kings are playing the waiting game to find out if they'll be facing New York or New Jersey. The Devils currently lead the Eastern Conference finals 3-2, and when looking at the statistics above, they could be the more difficult opponent for Los Angeles. Both the 1995 Wings and 2003 Ducks lost to New Jersey when entering the finals with a 12-2 record, so for Western Conference fans who fear history repeating itself, it would make the most sense to cheer for the Rangers at this point.
Broadway hit musical "Hamilton" became available to stream on Disney Plus on Friday, which serves as a fun reminder.
Remember when the Hamilton cast sang "Go Cubs Go" after the North Siders won the 2016 World Series? Like the Cubs finally snapping their 108-year championship drought, it actually happened.
The Cubs won the Fall Classic on Nov. 2, 2016, a dramatic 8-7 affair that went 10 innings and finished after midnight, Nov. 3, in Cleveland. The Hamilton Chicago cast performed the night of Nov. 3, and the Cubs' clincher presented a perfect way to round out the musical's curtain call.
A music video for Valentine's latest track, "Get Ya Grind Up," appeared on social media Friday. It not only stars Valentine, but his older brother, Drew, who is an assistant coach at Loyola. Their mother makes a cameo, as well.
Valentine will either be a restricted or unrestricted free agent in October depending on if the Bulls submit a qualifying offer. After sitting out the entire 2018-19 season following reconstructive ankle surgery, Valentine endured a difficult 2019-20 season. He moved in and out of Jim Boylen's rotation despite representing one of the team's better 3-point shooters and passers. Over 36 games, he averaged 6.8 points in 13.6 minutes.