El fin with the Sharks
There’s one more round to be had, and it should be an absolute dandy.
They’re in the playoffs, and quite frankly, a Pacific Division title may not be their best fortune.
It’s the regular season finale tonight in a date at the HP Pavilion with the San Jose Sharks, a club too familiar in too many disgusting ways. Emotions from Thursday’s tilt that saw 10 regulation goals and 63 penalty minutes will certainly still be fresh in the minds of both clubs. The Kings, who fell to the Sharks Thursday night in a 6-5 shootout loss, were victims of sub-par officiating, and a few cheap, unjust moves that were just that, only looking to knock the Kings out of their zone, and claim that allotted “big brother” image Jim Fox harps on. They got away with it too, and sideshows can’t hinge your game in the postseason.
One of those sideshows happened to be Ryan Clowe, disrupting a Kings’ 3-on-2 powerplay offensive zone entry from the bench. A classless, utterly cheap move that shockingly is not heeding any punishment from the NHL.
Jarret Stoll, who didn’t just decide to finally fucking show up Thursday night, also put the mental faults they suffered in the game to the side in a professional manner:
“Four guys can call that. You’d hope one of them can see it, and they didn’t. It’s a tough play. That’s the way it goes. You’ve got to battle through things, and that was one of the things we had to battle through, and we didn’t do it.’’ – Jarret Stoll via Rich Hammond
As rigid as it may sound, Stoll’s best decision would have been to continue and play through the incident. However, how many of you can say you’d have the self control and skill to do such a thing? Well said, Strollsy.
“I knew stick came from bench, that’s why I reacted the way I did. Maybe I should’ve kept playing + kept my mouth shut.” – Jarret Stoll via Mayors Manor
Oh Strollsy, where art thou?
“So Jarret, fill us in on what you’ve been doing the past 34 games.”
“A sh*t ton of Rogaine.”
Playoff picture: The final day of the NHL‘s regular season is all about scenarios. The Kings’ tilt with the Sharks tonight is the absolute final contest on the league’s slate this season, game # 1,230, and the implications are monumental. With the Phoenix Coyotes‘ win over the St. Louis Blues last night, they now claim the top of the Pacific Division. Phoenix, who’s future is in question as a franchise, certainly has a lot of say today.
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If Phoenix earns 2 points @ Minnesota: The Coyotes win the Pacific Division. The winner of Kings-Sharks seeds 7th in the West, loser seeds 8.
If Phoenix earns 1 point @ Minnesota: The Kings win the Pacific Division if they beat San Jose in regulation or overtime. They would finish 7th in West if they beat San Jose in a shootout, and 8th if they lose outright.
If Phoenix earns 0 points @ Minnesota: The winner of the Kings-Sharks tilt would win the Pacific Division (3rd in West), loser would finish at 8th in West.
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Why the 7th seed may be the best fit: Because, the St. Louis Blues have first-round playoff exit written all over them, and they are unquestionably the best match up the Kings, Sharks, or Coyotes could ask for. A fight for the 7th seed does not exist, as it shouldn’t. But, if that placement is given at the end of tonight, you’ve got to feel pretty damn optimistic.
If the Kings finish 8th in the Western Conference, they play the Vancouver Canucks. Not exactly ideal. If the Kings are to finish 3rd, they’d match up with the Chicago Blackhawks. Even though the Kings are 3-1 against Chicago this season, you’re still dealing with a club that beholds a plethora of weapons that are a threat at any time. If the Kings find themselves in 7th, it’s a first round date with the Blues – and they’re extremely vulnerable right now.
The Blues, who haven’t won a postseason game since 2004 (against the Sharks, ironically), are tumbling hard with four straight losses in what has been their best season since ’99-’00. This would put the Kings on the road against a team that is dealing with an overwhelming degree of home-ice pressure; an overdue playoff-hungry home fanbase can be more difficult to play under than those in an opposing building.
For some odd reason, I’m liking a 1st Round date with the St. Louis Blues more so than a Pacific Division title. Also, take into effect the Kings have fared a bit better on the road than at Staples Center during the postseason the past couple of years.
We’re totally f*cked and in over our heads!! Meet me at Applebee’s!
There are a few key things the Kings must bring out of tonight’s game, even if it isn’t a couple of points.
- You’d like to see Jonathan Quick head into the postseason with a better performance than he had on Thursday, in which he allowed five goals on 31 shots.
- The Kings are 27-6-3 in games when a defenseman records a goal. Alec Martinez continued his hot path with another tally on Thursday, spreading out the offensive output must continue.
- Don’t get pushed around. The Kings, although matching San Jose on the scoreboard for the most part on Thursday, got taken advantage of in the physicality department. If the Sharks can find advantage in using their bodies, you’re providing them with an extremely useful asset their roster is used to keying on.
There’s no love lost
In game #82