The Western Conference finals begin tonight, withg the Coyotes and Kings starting their series in Phoenix. After turning aside their previous opponents in comfortable fashion, both teams have had plenty of time to heal up and prepare for the first puck drop. Intensity could be the key early on if one set of players begins sluggishly, but each side will be hoping they can continue their good form.
Goalies Mike Smith and Jonathan Quick have been the MVP for their respective clubs through the first two rounds and you would expect them to continue to be at the forefront. Both boast hugely impressive statistics, and this could be a very low scoring series if their form continues. Something has to give somewhere, though, and neither of these guys have been in this situation before. Taking on more than 3.5 total goals could be worth it at 1.45.
Also central to their teams’ philosophy are the two captains: Shane Doan for Phoenix and Dustin Brown for LA. The pair aren't afraid to put their bodies on the line for the cause, leading their rosters in hits as well as other departments. Brown in particular has been immense: along with his physical play, he has contributed 6 goals in 8 games, including two shorthanded tallies.
Hopefully this series lives up to the hype after the slight anti-climaxes in the last round. The fact they have equal odds of 2.55 to win tonight sets it up perfectly in my view. I'm going to sit on the fence at this stage and say it'll go to OT.
Best Bet: Phoenix v Los Angeles to tie during regulation at 3.55