Tag: Florida Panthers

Darryl Sutter

Many reasons — including plain, old luck — to explain Kings missing playoffs


Ask Darryl Sutter why his Los Angeles Kings are going to miss the playoffs less than one year after winning the Stanley Cup and he first points to the “disparity” in the home (24-9-7) and away (15-18-8) records.

On top of that, he concedes that all the hockey, regular season and playoffs combined, the Kings have played the last three years “probably” took a toll.

You may also recall earlier in the season when Sutter noted how it’s a “quite a bit different team on the back end” (without Slava Voynov and Willie Mitchell) and how “we need great goaltending,” something the Kings didn’t really get compared to previous seasons.

We’d add their shootout record (2-8) and their overtime record (1-7).

Oh, and a lack of finish. Sutter has talked about that, too.

And their special teams were pretty mediocre.

And losing Tanner Pearson hurt.

And they probably should’ve bought out Mike Richards.

Bottom line: a lot of things didn’t go the Kings’ way. Given all the good fortune they enjoyed during their two championship runs — from getting the Coyotes and Devils as their final two opponents in 2012, to all the overtime victories that could’ve ended differently in 2014 — perhaps they were simply due a dose of the opposite.

It’s always a contentious topic when it comes to hockey: luck. But like it or not, it can be the difference between a good team winning it all and a good team missing the playoffs.

That’s not to say that everything boils down to luck. It obviously doesn’t. The Kings got the job done in 2012 and 2014; they didn’t in 2015. And yes, Dean Lombardi has some work to do this offseason. His team has flaws.

That being said, let’s end this with a fun fact:

If the Kings beat the Sharks on Saturday, they’ll finish with the same record (40-27-15) as they did in 2011-12.

One team finished with a parade.

The other will finish with a meaningless game against San Jose.

PHT Morning Skate: Henrik Sedin gives 700th assist puck to fan with Make-A-Wish

Henrik Sedin

PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Henrik Sedin gave his 700th assist milestone puck to Alex, who spent a day with the Vancouver Canucks with the help of Make-A-Wish:

Editor’s Note: Play one-day fantasy hockey tonight! Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a $10,000 league for Friday’s NHL games. It’s just $2 to join and first place wins $1,200. Starts tonight at 7:00 p.m. ET. Play Now!

By helping the Florida Panthers beat the Boston Bruins on Thursday, Jaromir Jagr thinks he’s given Pittsburgh Penguins fans a reason to like him again. (Steve Goldstein)

Travis Zajac sees the criticism he’s been on the receiving end of as something that “comes with that territory.” Zajac, who agreed to a eight-year, $46 million deal in 2013, has 24 points in 73 games this season. (The Bergen Record)

Here are the highlights from St. Louis’ 2-1 win over Chicago:

Here are five things the Detroit Red Wings had working for them in their successful quest to clinch the playoffs for a 24th straight campaign. (NHL.com)

If the Ottawa Senators make the playoffs, then there will be five Canadian teams in the first round. That’s not a scenario many people would have predicted going into the 2014-15 campaign. (Toronto Sun)

Meanwhile the Edmonton Oilers are wrapping up a campaign that fans might wish they could forget. (Edmonton Journal)

Big, bad blunder: Bruins fall against Panthers

Florida Panthers v Boston Bruins

The good news for the Boston Bruins is that their awful Thursday doesn’t knock them out of the playoffs altogether. The bad news is … just about everything else that happened tonight.

As you may already know, the Ottawa Senators held up their end of the bargain with a 3-0 win against the New York Rangers. That allowed Ottawa to bump Boston out of the East’s wild card ranks, but the Bruins could have made that a temporary thing. The B’s failed in that quest, however, falling to the 10th-ranked Florida Panthers 4-2.

(One can imagine that Roberto Luongo was quite happy to spite his pals from Boston, eh?)

The Panthers also did the New York Islanders a favor, as this Boston win punches their ticket to the playoffs.

The final stretch

Let’s look at what the wild card looks while ignoring the Detroit Red Wings’ tight contest against the Montreal Canadiens for now:

Wild card spot 1: Ottawa, 97 points, one game left, 36 regulation/OT wins
Wild card spot 2: Pittsburgh, 96 points, two games left, 38 ROW

Bubble: Boston, 95 points, one game left, 37 ROW

As you can probably see, the Bruins need some help after this more-or-less worst-case scenario night. The Penguins face the now-clinched Islanders on Friday and then the lowly Buffalo Sabres on Saturday while the Senators close out their season against the Philadelphia Flyers. Boston faces a Tampa Bay Lightning team that may still be gunning for the Atlantic Division crown, so they can’t expect a casual opponent.

Ultimately, if Ottawa gets a mere point against Philly, it’s over for Boston. The Penguins only need two points in whatever fashion they may get them in their last two games.

It all looks very bleak for the Bruins, who saw former teammate Jaromir Jagr score his 1,800th career point in painful fashion tonight.

(That’s cold.)

(Seriously, ouch.)

The most positive thing is that many people were once counting out the Senators like they’re counting out the Bruins right now.