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Experience at a premium in West

Tuesday, 05.08.2012 / 3:18 PM

By Tal Pinchevsky - Staff Writer / Coyotes vs. Kings series blog

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Coyotes vs. Kings series blog
Experience at a premium in West
With longtime western powers Detroit, Vancouver, and San Jose dispatched in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, it's no wonder the last two teams standing in the Western Conference don't have a great deal of experience playing in the Stanley Cup Final.

While the Kings have little real playoff experience on their roster, there are a couple of notable vets leading the charge. Particularly Rob Scuderi, who won the Stanley Cup with Pittsburgh in 2009, and Dustin Penner, who won it with Anaheim in 2007. There's also Justin Williams, who won the Cup with Carolina in 2006, one of seven players on the Kings' active roster who have played in the Stanley Cup Final (Mike Richards and Jeff Carter made it in 2010 when Philadelphia lost to Chicago while Jarret Stoll and Matt Greene appeared with Edmonton in 2006). That's a wealth of experience compared to the Coyotes.

Ray Whitney is the only member of the Coyotes roster to have won the Stanley Cup, having done it alongside Williams in 2006. After him, only Antoine Vermette and Raffi Torres, who is out for the series after being suspended for his hit on Marian Hossa, have played in the final. In years past, that experience may have come from assistant coach Ulf Samuelsson, who won a pair of Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins. But Samuelsson left the Coyotes after last season to go become head coach of Sweden's fabled Modo club.

Whichever team does ultimately make it to the Final, they'll certainly be adding plenty of valuable experience to their roster.
Quote of the Day

We've got to find a way to win a game. He's played well in the minors, now he gets his opportunity. We tried [with Jonathan Bernier]. The way I look at it, you get opportunities and you make the most of it. That's what [James Reimer] did. Now another opportunity is here and Sparks ... you gotta grab it. Is he ready? We'll find out.

— Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock to the Toronto Star on recalling goalie Garret Sparks from the AHL to start Monday in his NHL debut
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