NHL: Pancakes! Penner’s Overtime Tally Leads Kings To Their First Stanley Cup Finals Berth Since 1993!
Dustin Penner’s rough regular season and some tough off-ice issues can now be a thing of the past. The man who loves him some delicious pancakes continued his strong post-season play, scoring the series clinching goal in overtime Tuesday night, to lift the Los Angeles Kings to a 4-3 victory and a 4-1 series win in the Western Conference finals over the Phoenix Coyotes.
Now the Kings will have eight days off, while they wait to see whether their Stanley Cup Finals opponent will be the New Jersey Devils or the New York Rangers.
For the Coyotes, it was a nice run for a team that had overcome the odds to advance all the way to the Western Conference Finals. Despite off-ice distractions with the “Ownership Saga” and rarely getting any media attention for their strong play, the Coyotes made it this far for the first time in club history. While the team was visibly not happy with the officiating, much of this was frustration, as their were questionable calls BOTH ways. The officials are not always perfect, but normally it all evens out if a call is missed or the wrong call/questionable call is made and as I stated above the calls went both ways. Dustin Brown’s overtime hit was not a dirty hit, and the whistle had just blown. Thus this was not a late hit or a knee on knee.
The Coyotes, just like the Vancouver Canucks and St. Louis Blues, were not able to contain the red hot Kings. This Kings team has size, speed, top end talent, strong depth up front, strong depth on the backend and fantastic goaltending. If you mix all of those strengths together, you can see why this club is where they are after underachieving for much of the regular season.
Darryl Sutter has done a terrific job since taking over as Head Coach, and the Jeff Carter trade really helped spread the offense out.
The Kings are flying on all cylinders, but of course they are still four more big victories away from the Ultimate prize. Whether it’s a dance with the Devils or a New York-Los Angeles battle, the Stanley Cup finals will be an all out grind to the finish.