Stanley Cup Playoffs 2012, Kings Vs. Blues: SI's Adrian Dater Impressed By A Surging Kings Team

The Los Angeles Kings failed to inspire confidence during the regular season and barely made the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs as the No. 8 seed, but since then their games have been full of successes. They grabbed firm control of their series against the St. Louis Blues with a 4-2 win in Game 3 on Thursday and put the St. Louis Blues are on the brink of elimination in their best-of-seven series and now the Kings have a chance to close things out on Sunday at home in Game 4. Adrian Dater of Sports Illustrated knows things didn't exactly go well during the season, but now he's convinced things have turned and the Kings are in play to win the Stanley Cup by making the final four:

It was so easy to want to lose faith in the Los Angeles Kings all season long. Words such as "underachievers", "disappointments" and "#$%@!$%" were applied to the Kings in a regular season that saw the coach get fired and the captain nearly traded.

...But when the Kings got into the playoffs -- backed in that is -- the same rule applied to them as any other team that makes it: get a hot goalie, get a couple guys that suddenly develop hot sticks, and you can win the damn thing.

The sold-out crowd of 18,362 fanned their team with hosannas when the clock ticked to all zeros. The Kings look like they're going to the final four.

Never a doubt, right?

For more on the Kings, head to Jewels From The Crown and SB Nation Los Angeles. For more on the Blues, visit St. Louis Game Time and SB Nation St. Louis. For complete coverage of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs, stick with SB Nation's NHL hub.

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