The Phoenix Coyotes finished off their series with the Nashville Predators with a 2-1 win last night in game 5 in Phoenix. This has set up a Western Conference Finals with the Los Angeles Kings who easily dismissed the St. Louis Blues in the second round with a 4-game sweep to go along with their dominant performance of last seasons Western Conference Champions and the Presidents Trophy winners this year, the Vancouver Canucks. These two teams were the least likely of the 8 in the Western Conference to meet in the Conference Finals, but here they are and both have made it look fairly easy with the Kings sporting an 8-1 record thus far in the playoffs and the Coyotes having an almost as admirable 8-3 record.
Phoenix Coyotes vs Los Angeles Kings Betting Odds
The Kings have a great team on paper and have finally played up to their ability here in the Stanley Cup playoffs. For this reason they are decent favorites to make the Stanley Cup Finals. That being said the Coyotes have been the underdogs in each of their last two series as well, but have found a way to win. The Coyotes team doesn’t look nearly as good on paper, but they play very solid team game that limits their opponents chances.
Phoenix Coyotes vs Los Angeles Kings Western Conference Finals Prediction
As much as the Coyotes seem to have proven themselves to this point in the Stanley Cup Playoffs I am still not convinced that this team has what it takes to win another series. They were outplayed badly in the Chicago series, but found a way to win thanks primarily to Mike Smith standing on his head and some untimely mistakes in net by Corey Crawford. That being said I personally think that the Blackhawks are the most talented team in the NHL, so that victory shows that the Coyotes can beat anyone in the league. Against the Preds the series was fairly even, but the Coyotes were able to win the tight games while the Predators were only able to score 3 goals in the last 3 games after Pekka Rinne had a bad home stand to start the series which put the Preds behind the 8-ball early. Team defense, a hot goaltender and timely scoring have gotten the Coyotes to this point.
The Kings have just played incredibly. Not only have they won 8 of 9 games, but they have looked like the better team in both round 1 and 2 against the top 2 seeded teams in the Western Conference. On paper the Kings have some very big names that were not playing up to their capabilities in the regular season. It seems that the Kings who had trouble scoring for some long stretches in the season have finally managed to combine a solid team defense with the ability of their big name players to put the puck into the net. This is a lethal combination and could result in the Kings coming out of nowhere to win the Stanley Cup.
The goaltender battle in this series will be one to watch. Mike Smith and Jonathan Quick have both been amazing in these playoffs. Quick has a 1.55 GAA and .949 save percentage, while Mike Smith also has a remarkable 1.77 GAA and .948 save percentage. That being said in order for the Coyotes to win this series Mike Smith will have to outplay Jonathan Quick, which will be quite the task and require near perfect goaltending. Quick has made 260 saves so far in the playoffs, while Smith has had to make 379 saves, which averages out to about 34 saves per game for Smith and 28 for Quick. I expect Quick to average only about 20 shots per game in this series because the Kings should outplay the Coyotes and looking at his games to this point Quick has managed to still play solid in net with low shot amounts, which will be important against the Coyotes who defend well and then counter attack. That being said Quicks only shutout did come when he was peppered with 41 shots.
The Kings are an all around better team than the Coyotes and they are executing perfectly and playing extremely hard. As long as they don’t take the Coyotes lightly they should be able to outplay and out chance the Coyotes enough to win this series. Quick will have to make the key saves when needed and stay focused throughout the game even when he is not being peppered with shots.
Play: Kings -165 (5Dimes.com)
Check out our NHL betting tips section for some pointers to help you turn a profit betting on the NHL this spring.
Written by: Niko de Jonge