Saturday, June 1, 2013

Western Conference Finals Storylines

The Kings and Hawks don't really have a lot of history, but there are a couple of semi-intriguing storylines as the 2013 Western Conference Finals begin.

1) Last 2 Western Conference Stanley Cup Winners Head-to-Head
Sure, I think it's kinda interesting that the four remaining teams are also the last four Cup champs, but it's not as though this year's tournament decides who the best of the four was, so this isn't to me all that interesting, it just shows that they are two very good teams.

2) Former Flyers
Mike Richards and Jeff Carter were both with the Philadelphia Flyers in 2010 when they lost the Stanley Cup Finals to Chicago in six games. But it's not as though this series could provide them with redemption for that one because they were both also with the Kings and won the Cup last year. It's true though that revenge is always sweet, as we saw with the Kings knocking off the Sharks in round 2.

3) Zus and Fraze
As far as I can tell, Michal Handzus and Colin Fraser are the only players in this series who ever skated for the other. Fraser was a bottom six center with the 2010 Cup-winning Hawks, playing just three games during their Cup run, while Handzus was the Kings' checking line center for four years who was sent packing when they acquired Richards two summers ago. For Fraser, he's already won a Cup since then while Handzus has bounced around between San Jose and Chicago. Fraser might want to prove he's worth being in the line-up regularly for a championship-caliber squad and Handzus is looking to show that even at 36 he still has something left in the tank to play for a winner.

4) Darryl Sutter
Darryl played his whole NHL career for the Hawks and got his coaching career started there. Even though it's been almost 20 years since he was associated with them, I'm sure it would be sweet for him to knock them out of the playoffs.

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