LA Kings: Three reasons team will and won’t make the playoffs

Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Kings
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

West Division spot up for grabs

Four teams from the eight-team West Division will reach the playoffs this season, and it seems very likely that the Colorado Avalanche, St. Louis Blues, and Vegas Golden Knights will claim three of the spots.

The fourth spot, though? That could be a wide-open race.

LA’s competition will be the Anaheim Ducks, Arizona Coyotes, Minnesota Wild, and San Jose Sharks. The Coyotes and Wild likely wouldn’t have made the playoffs last year if not for the expanded format, and neither looks to have really improved over the offseason. The Sharks are an aging team that finished in last place in the Western Conference last season. The Ducks are rebuilding and weren’t much better.

Granted, that last description could be applied to the Kings, too. But we aren’t saying the Kings are likely to be a great team this year. We’re saying they may not need to be.