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 San Jose
Games remaining: 15
SportsClubStats.com says: 42.7% chance of making the playoffs
Why they’ll get in:
There’s too much talent not to. Before adding Jeff Carter from Columbus, they already had Anze Kopitar, Drew Doughty, Mike Richards, and Vezina candidate Jonathan Quick. The Kings have also improved in the goal-scoring department – since adding Carter, they’ve played six games and scored at least four times in four of them. In fact, they’re not even ranked last in offense anymore. Which is…something.
Why they won’t:
A really tough schedule. Over the next 10 games, the Kings will play eight teams currently in a playoff position – Detroit twice, St. Louis, Boston, Vancouver, Nashville, San Jose, and Chicago. And even the games against weaker sides won’t be easy, given all but one (Apr. 2 vs. Edmonton) are on the road.
“For us to make the playoffs, it’s pretty simple. Your best players have to be your best players. It’s not that hard to figure out. It’s not about singling anybody out, or anything like that. That’s a fact.” – Kings head coach Darryl Sutter
Key game coming up:
Tonight in Detroit, where the Red Wings are 27-4-2.