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How To Bet Kings Coyotes – Kings Head To Desert To Face Coyotes In Unlikely West Final

Posted by Don Melrose on 5/11/2012 3:12:02 PM

It is the NHL Western conference final that almost nobody on the betting websites expected. There will be no Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, San Jose Sharks, or even the defending conference champion Vancouver Canucks. Instead, it will be the eighth-seeded Los Angeles Kings, a team that barely qualified for the postseason, making the trip to the desert to fight a Phoenix Coyotes’ team that has spent the entire season owned by the NHL. The Kings and Coyotes is certainly among the most unlikely matchups that we could have seen, but that doesn’t mean either team doesn’t deserve to be here right now.

Los Angeles is the online sports book favorite for this series, even though it is the lower seed and will open the series on the road. After knocking off the defending Western conference champion Canucks in just five games in the opening round, the Kings went on to sweep the St. Louis Blues in four-straight as the lower seed as well. While Los Angeles has fit the mold of a grinding, hard-working team that seems built for the playoffs, the play of Jonathan Quick and goal has been what has made them so dominant in these playoffs. The 26-year old Quick is 8-1 with a 1.55 goals against average, and a .949 save percentage. The most impressive aspect of how he has played is the overall consistency that Quick has shown, as he has allowed more than two goals in just one of nine playoff appearances, which was the Kings’ only loss. Captain Dustin Brown has been a strong leader with a team-high six goals and 11 points, while additions Mike Richards and Jeff Carter have combined for four goals and eight assists.

For as good as the Kings have been, Phoenix will not be intimidated. This is a Coyotes’ team that has repeatedly been criticized and questioned, only to respond in the face of adversity. The resilience that Phoenix has shown in knocking off the Chicago Blackhawks and Nashville Predators is important, and an argument can be made that they have had the harder road of the two teams considering how poorly the Blues played in the second round versus Los Angeles. Antoine Vermette was a late trade addition that has flourished with his new team, leading the Coyotes with five goals and nine points, while the blue line has stepped up in a major way with Keith Yandle and Rotislav Klesla adding seven points each. Despite facing tougher opposition and losing two more games, netminder Mike Smith has numbers that still rival Quick’s with a 1.85 goals against average and .946 save percentage.

Once the puck drops for game one everything else that has happened this season will become irrelevant, and it’s important to understand that both of these teams have very similar styles. The Kings may have a slight edge in goaltending overall, but ultimately Mike Smith has been just as good as Quick this postseason. However, Los Angeles may have more offensive weapons and overall scoring depth, and that may prove to be the difference in what should be a long and hard-fought sports bet series.

Prediction: Kings In Seven

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