First of all, the Kings haven't been to the Stanley Cup Playoffs since 2002. To say that the postseason dance is conducted to a different tune these days would be an understatement. But even more importantly, many of Los Angeles' young players have never played in a Stanley Cup Playoff game. In fact, half of the Kings' top-10 scorers have no idea what the Stanley Cup Playoffs require from both body and soul.
Top scorer Anze Kopitar has never seen the second season. Drew Doughty and Jack Johnson -- two of the team's most-important defensemen -- also are novices. Heck, they can't even lean on their captain for advice. Dustin Brown is also making his second-season debut. Plus, No. 1 goalie Jonathan Quick has not been tested in the playoff crucible.
Yet, the inexperience does not necessarily have to be a negative.
"It's a long time coming for me and a few other guys that have been here for awhile," Brown said. "We've grown a lot. This is the most fun I have had since I've been in the League. Just the prospect of playing in the playoffs and having these last 10 games (of the regular season) mean something is always a lot of fun."
So the Kings will be fired up to taste the Stanley Cup Playoffs and will have the fresh legs that come with youthful enthusiasm.
And, it is not all youth in Hollywood. There are some veterans in play on this Kings' roster. Defenseman Rob Scuderi won the Cup last season with Pittsburgh and can lend a calming hand. Ryan Smyth and Jarret Stoll were part of the Edmonton team that pushed Carolina to a Game 7 in the 2006 Stanley Cup Final. Sean O'Donnell has also won a Cup.
Because of that veteran presence, the Kings don't believe they are a typical first-time invitee to the postseason party. As a result, they believe they can manufacture the beginner's luck necessary to survive what will be an arduous two month journey.