For reasons others have stated, I think the 2014 Kings were a little better than the 2012 Kings (when your goalie is stopping 94.6% of the shots coming his way, you're simply not going to lose a whole lot...that kind of goaltending is going to make a lot of teams look better than they are), but my issue with Derek's statement was him making it sound like the 2014 Kings were light-years better. That I don't see.
Th Kings deserve some credit for winning this yar and having played so many games over the last 3 seasons. 2 Cup Finals and 1 Conference Finals. I know there was a lockout, but no way these players weren't feeling it when you add it to the normal playoff grind.
I think it's a pretty underrated aspect when looking at careers and what not. Mike Richards is almost 30, and he has played 95 playoff games in the last 5 years. Add in all the long OTs and how much more of a grind a regular playoff game is than a regular season game, and it's definitely going to shorten a career. You could make a case that he has played a season and a half longer than an Oiler or a Sabres player. Jeff Carter...same thing.
If the Kings continue to underachieve during the regular season moving forward, it'll be pretty understandable. Eventually the Kings won't be able to add fresher bodies along the way like they have with Toffoli and Pearson and Gaborik, and this team will struggle early in the playoffs because how worn out they are. So the 2015 Kings might be a top-to-bottom stronger team than 2012, but flame out in the 1st round.
The playoffs are a damn grind. Their off-season begins now again. Other teams have been off for 2-and-a-half months.
Edited by devilsrule33, 20 June 2014 - 07:47 AM.