With the NHL playoff race getting down to the wire, we’ll be providing regular updates on each bubble team’s postseason push.
On the bubble: Los Angeles Kings
Where they stand: 9th in the West, one point back of 8th-place Phoenix, though the Kings have a game in hand
Games remaining: 6
SportsClubStats.com says: 62.2% chance of making the playoffs
Why they’ll get in:
They’ve been one of the league’s better teams the past month. Before losing consecutive games to Stanley Cup finalists Boston (Saturday) and Vancouver (Monday), the Kings had won six straight – a streak that included victories over Chicago, Detroit, Nashville, San Jose and Nashville. Moving forward, they get four games against non-playoff teams – at Calgary, at Edmonton, at Minnesota, home to Edmonton – before closing the season with a home-and-home against the Sharks.
Why they won’t:
An inability to score. The Kings have just four goals in their last three games, and while they got lots of shots only to be thwarted by some very good goalies (Brian Elliott, Tim Thomas, Roberto Luongo), offense has been an issue all year, so they don’t get the benefit of the doubt.
“They’ve got to score. It’s not just about generating opportunities. They’ve got to score. That’s what it’s about.” – coach Darryl Sutter on the struggling power play (1-for-20 in the Kings’ past six games)
Key game coming up:
Apr. 5 vs. San Jose