It’s time. The Kings are coming into the final stretch. The playoffs are clinched and the only question left to ask is who they’ll be matched up against. Home ice advantage is all but completely lost (unless the Kings win out, and the Coyotes lose every game. But seriously folks.)
So with the final four games coming clearly into focus, the Kings need to buckle down and get some wins. Frankly of the top four teams in the conference I would most like the Kings to take on the Coyotes. The Sharks and the Blackhawks have their issues (especially the Sharks) but both would likely provide a tough challenge. Other than the recent demolition against the Canucks, the Kings have not had a lot of luck against Luongo and a draw against Vancouver could be troublesome.
How can the Kings draw the Coyotes? Well they’ll almost certainly need to be in the #5 slot, since the Coyotes don’t look like they’ll catch the Sharks, and thus will be stuck in the #4 slot. In other words, we need to win. The relevant standings look like this:
Nashville – 98 points – 2 games remaining
Detroit – 96 points – 3 games remaining
Los Angeles – 95 points – 4 games remaining
If the Kings win the rest of their games, they’ll be in 5th place, precisely where they need to be. That path starts tonight against crosstown rivals Ducks. I won’t shed any tears if the Ducks suffer a demolition at the hands of the Kings. In fact, since the Ducks are all but eliminated from the playoffs, it may be an opportunity for the Kings to pounce on a weakened animal. It’s also relevant to point out that the Kings have officially won the “Freeway Faceoff” (the worst title ever) for the second year in a row. It’s time now to defeat the Ducks again, finish the season with some big wins and get ready to roll into the playoffs playing like a team that knows what they’re about. It all starts tonight. It’s time.