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Los Angeles Kings right-winger Kris Versteeg (#10) scoring the game-winning goal against Anaheim Ducks goalie John Gibson at Staples Center on April 7th. Photo courtesy of gettyimages.com

 

BY NICHOLE CHOICE

For the fans of SoCal’s two National Hockey League teams, the REAL season starts now as the Los Angeles Kings begin their quest for their third Stanley Cup while the Anaheim Ducks, having just won their fourth straight Pacific Division title, embark on their drive for the win the Cup for the second time.

You know that our Hockey Lady, Nichole Choice, has something to say about all of this, so here she is!

 

Greetings, SoCal Hockey fans! It is my privilege to welcome you to the 99th season of the NHL playoffs!

And it feels like deja vu when it comes to the Los Angeles Kings – what a season!

Let’s dive right in…

First, we see that our Kings are up against the San Jose Sharks (yet again!), having previously encountered these Sharks during previous times indeed!

2012 comes to mind immediately and yes, these Kings were victorious in a historical fashion, soundly obtaining the coveted Stanley Cup that year.

Will history repeat itself four years later? We will see!

Your Hockey Lady is here with a hefty prediction for you, so you just sit tight until the end.

These Kings are coming off a bleak conclusion to the regular season as last weekend, they shockingly succumbed to the going-nowhere Winnipeg Jets in a shootout that no one saw coming.

And it happened on our home turf, the Staples Center! Bummer!!

But that was then, and this is now.

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 7:  Trevor Lewis #22 of the Los Angeles Kings skates with the puck against Cam Fowler #4 of the Anaheim Ducks on April 7, 2016 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Juan Ocampo/NHLI via Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***

LOS ANGELES, CA – APRIL 7: Trevor Lewis #22 of the Los Angeles Kings skates with the puck against Cam Fowler #4 of the Anaheim Ducks on April 7, 2016 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Juan Ocampo/NHLI via Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Photo courtesy of gettyimages.com

 

And now, as well as what’s upcoming, are all that matter.

Those Sharks from San Jose are in no mood to reminisce on that glorious (for us) year of 2012 – but (of course) we are!

One of the Sharks, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, claims in a San Jose Mercury News article, “That was a really long time ago. I don’t remember much.”

One find this hard to believe, but yet somehow it’s relatable. For this was a series that broke the history books wide open.

Let’s quote your own Hockey Lady, her own majestic self, from late last month…

” In fact, the Kings made history by being the first team to ever win a series after having lost the first three games; that has never happened before,” – SoCalSportsAnnals, Hockey Lady, 3/28/16

‘Nuff said.

As or our opponents, their season has been…decent.

They ended with a win, but prior to that was a loss, a couple of wins, and a loss; your Hockey Lady calls that a 50/50, okay?

 

Anaheim Ducks vs Los Angeles Kings: Highlights of their Freeway Face-Off Showdown at Staples Center on April 7th, 2016 – won by the Kings 2-1

 

Now let’s take a look at the bigger picture for the Kings-Sharks series, shall we? According to CNN, “The delicious script is set.”

Do I need to mention 2012 again?

No, the Hockey Lady doesn’t. The stage is set.

We’re moving on.

#HOCKEYPREDICTION: The Sharks will not conquer our L.A. Kings.

Now, will those Kings win the Cup? That’s an entirely other conversation.

Which brings us to the Anaheim Ducks!

I hate to play favorites (and for your Hockey Lady, “Hate” is a very strong word),  but when my editor of SoCal Sports Annals insists that I make a prediction for the 2016 Stanley Cup, well…

A Hockey Lady’s gotta do what a Hockey Lady’s gotta do!

In a nutshell…

Ducks all the way!  #hockeyladyprediction  #hockeyprediction

Our wonderful Ducks of Anaheim have been consistent, and as a great music mogul Jay King once said, “Where there’s consistency, there’s power!”

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Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler getting his skate on during the Freeway Faceoff grudge match on April 7th, won by the Kings 2-1. Photo courtesy of gettyimages.com

 

By my eye, I see these Anaheim Ducks their two most previous matches (never mind the two previous losses before that, one of them that big Freeway Faceoff showdown against the Kings), and our season stats are stellar.

So on our journey toward these playoffs, which by the way the Ducks have only missed two of since reorganizing in 2006, we face the Nashville Predators – who lost their season finale against the Dallas Stars (boo-hoo).

It’s the playoffs; this Hockey Lady is allowed to be snarky!

Back to the Ducks series:

The not-so-predatory Predators were on a losing streak from March 28th all the way to April 5th, but even after a win or two, much like the Kings they still ended the season on a bad note with that loss to the Stars.

My prediction?

Like I just said, Anaheim Ducks all the way! #Prediction #official

#LoveYouTooKings

Your Hockey Lady can’t wait to talk to you again!

 

A QUICK EDITOR’S NOTE:  

Our Hockey Lady may be back sooner than we thought, due to the fact that if the Kings and Ducks win their respective series, guess who they’ll be facing in the next round?

EACH OTHER!

And you KNOW we’ll have something special from her then, so watch for it!

 

WHAT YOU MIGHT EVENTUALLY SEE IN THESE PLAYOFFS: Los Angeles Kings vs Anaheim Ducks – Highlights of the 2014 Western Conference Semifinals, Game 7, May 16, 2014

 

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Ryan Kessler (#17 with an “A” on his jersey) being congratulated by his Anaheim teammates after scoring against the Kings in their latest showdown match. Photo courtesy of gettyimages.com

 

 

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