The [NHL] does not employ hard brackets in their play-off format. Therefore, instead of playing the winner of the fourth vs. fifth seeds in the next round, an eighth seed would have to play the next highest surviving seed, and then do it again in third round of the Western Conference play-offs in order to make it all the way to the [Stanley Cup Finals].
That is exactly what the [Los Angeles Kings] have done. For with them being the eighth seed, they faced the first-seeded [Vancouver Canucks] in the first round. In the second round, they faced the second-seeded [St. Louis Blues], who had defeated the seventh-seeded [San Jose Sharks] in the first round. In the third round, they faced the third-seeded [Phoenix Coyotes], who had defeated the sixth-seeded [Chicago Blackhawks] in the first round and the fourth-seeded [Nashville Predators] in the second round.
The Kings now face the [New Jersey Devils], who are not quite as good at math as the Kings are. For they started out as the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference, but since they made it through, one could argue that it hardly matters.
Anyway, the broadcast of the Stanley Cup finals starts at 7 p.m. CDT tomorrow night (Wednesday, May 30, 2012) on your local NBC affiliate. I’ll expect to see you there, and if you are rooting against the Kings, you have picked the wrong team again. Hey, with them facing lower and lower seeds in each succeeding round, it has to be getting easier—right?
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