The Southwest USA is well represented in the Western Final as the Phoenix Coyotes, with lineage through Winnipeg arrive into the NHL's version of the Final Four to take on the team that Dionne and then Gretzky made famous the Los Angeles Kings.
While hockey purists may cringe at the optics of a Sunbelt final, for Gary Bettman this match up offers hopes for a troubled franchise and validation for one in as large a market as the NHL can offer, squeezing hockey into the sports sections around the Clippers and the Lakers.
You know something is percolating in Southern California, when David Beckham has a little fun with the Montreal press with the observation that at the moment, Los Angeles it would seem is the real hockey town this spring...
And so with Mr. Beckham providing the preamble, let the Western final begin!
Series Schedule and Results
Series coverage from NHL.com
Games on TSN
The KINGS WIN the series 4 games to 1
May 13-- Los Angeles 4 at Phoenix 2
May 15-- Los Angeles 4 at Phoenix 0
May 17-- Phoenix 2 at Los Angeles 3
May 20-- Phoenix 2 at Los Angeles 0
May 22-- Los Angeles 4 at Phoenix3 (OT)