Do you know the way to San Jose? Regardless, the Kings had best find their way home from Saturday and quick. The Kings played… terribly yesterday. In a game where the Kings had an opportunity to clinch their playoff spot in the ultra-competitive Western Conference, the Kings not only failed to win, but got absolutely embarrassed. It was ugly. The Sharks jumped all over the Kings early, and never let up, netting 6 goals in a brutal 6-1 victory. Unfortunately none of you loyal twitter followers were able to predict this result, though frankly that’s probably a good thing.
San Jose got goals from all over the ice, including Pavelski, Thornton, Vlasic, Wellwood, Boyle and Setoguchi. The Kings… well, Handzus did get a goal shortly after the conclusion of the Kings first power play of the night. Other than that there was virtually nothing in the way of silver lining. The defense was shaky at best, the goaltending was weak (Quick got pulled after giving up the first four goals on 16 shots), and the offense was anemic.
Frankly, there’s just not that much else to say about the game. The Kings played terribly, and if they don’t get their game together, this could be an ugly conclusion to the season. I choose not to imagine the kind of mess that will ensue if the Kings collapse entirely and drop out of the playoff picture, though it is admittadly far too early to start really worrying about such scenarios.
However, it is not too early to realize that if the Kings don’t get their game together, ideally with a big win against Phoenix, there is a real chance that they’ll have a fairly difficult draw in round one of the playoffs. Without Kopitar and Williams (for now), the Kings are going to want to avoid a series against Vancouver especially, and Detroit and San Jose as well if possible. The ideal situation at this point is for the Kings to beat the Coyotes and snag the #4 spot in the conference. That would ensure home-ice advantage, and a likely matchup against what looks like will be the Nashville Predators.
Check in later today for a look at the playoff potential for the teams in the midst of this hunt. Who do you want to see the Kings battle? Predators? Coyotes?
Tags: Anze Kopitar Dan Boyle Detroit Red Wings Devon Setoguchi Joe Pavelski Joe Thornton Justin Williams Kyle Wellwood Los Angeles Kings Nashville Predators Phoenix Coyotes San Jose Sharks Vancouver Canucks Vlasic