You can’t blame Kings coach Darryl Sutter for lacking answers right now.
His team — currently in ninth place with 72 points — is right in the thick of a Western Conference playoff chase that includes seventh-place Dallas (75 points), eighth-place San Jose (73), 10th-place Colorado (72) and 11th-place Calgary (70).
So when LA Kings Insider asked Sutter who he was cheering for prior to Sunday’s Stars-Flames matchup, Sutter responded accordingly:
“Can they both get nothing?’’
Unfortunately, the answer was an emphatic no. The Stars won 3-2 in a shootout, meaning both got points out of the deal — proving the race is tighter than ever, teams are fighting hard to stay live and nobody seems to be dropping out.
“There ain’t no weak sisters,” Sutter explained. “You try to take care of your own, and get a little help. A better way to look at it is, it’s better to get it down to three or four teams.
“That’s probably a better way of looking at it.’’
Comparatively speaking, this year’s Western Conference chase is on par with last season’s:
Mar. 5, 2012 Mar. 5, 2011
7. Dallas (75) 7. Calgary (77)
8. San Jose (73) 8. L.A. (76)
9. L.A (72) 9. Anaheim (75)
10. Colorado (72) 10. Nashville (75)
11. Calgary (70) 11. Minnesota (74)
And, if you’ll recall, things got pretty wild down the stretch. Chicago plummeted to eighth (Dallas, in sixth place on Mar. 5, fell out entirely) while Anaheim surged into fourth, Nashville into fifth and LA to seventh. Calgary fell to 10th.