The Los Angeles Kings have been moving in and out of a postseason position recently, but the defending Stanley Cup champions want to finish the campaign with more than a playoffs berth. They’re still hoping to dethrone the Vancouver Canucks, which hold the second seed in the Pacific Division and the first round home-ice advantage that comes with it.
Los Angeles has played in one less game than Vancouver, but it is also three points behind. The two squads are playing against each other tonight though (10:00 p.m. ET) and the result will go a long way towards determining the Kings’ fate.
“I think for this group, we’re looking at it as we have a chance for home-ice and we need to get it,” Dustin Brown told LA Kings Insider. “I think without tonight, it’ll be very difficult. So we’re just focusing on Vancouver and going from there.”
Or as Los Angeles’ Jarret Stoll put it, “They’re sitting right where we want to be.”
It wasn’t that long ago that Los Angeles didn’t appear to have a realistic shot of passing Vancouver, but the Canucks’ losing two straight games while Los Angeles cleanly defeated Edmonton and Colorado has changed the dynamic of that fight.
At the same time, the Kings know that they could still end up missing the playoffs entirely. They currently hold the second Wild Card spot, but that’s just by virtue of the tiebreaker ROW as the Winnipeg Jets match Los Angeles in terms of points and games. Winnipeg will play against Minnesota tonight (8:00 p.m. ET), so this will be a big night in the Western Conference for a lot of different reasons.