With the NHL playoffs nearing and the races tightening the Los Angeles Kings may have to wait until the last day of the regular season to determine who their first round opponent will be. The Kings are likely locked into the sixth playoff position, but with a logjam at the top of the conference standings the Kings first round opponent is still very much undecided. If the season ended today, the Kings would face the San Jose Sharks in the opening round. The Sharks are currently third in the conference, a point behind the Anaheim Ducks and a point on top of the Colorado Avalanche. Just a point behind the Avalanche and two points behind the Sharks are the defending Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks.
Here’s a look at the potential Kings opening round opponents:
San Jose Sharks: The Kings and Sharks have played five times this season with four of the five games decided by just a single goal. The Kings hold the advantage in the season series, three games to two. Two of the games have gone into overtime, with the Kings winning the opening game between the two teams in overtime and the Sharks winning the second game via a shootout. The two teams played a hotly contested second round playoff series last year, with the Kings coming out on top by having home ice advantage. Not a single road team won a game in the seven game series. The home ice advantage could prove significant for the Sharks this year who have been outstanding on home ice this year.
Colorado Avalanche: The Colorado Avalanche have been a massive surprise this season under first-year head coach Patrick Roy, the leading candidate for coach of the year in the NHL this season. The Avalanche has been on fire of late with a six-game winning streak to make a late run toward the top of the Western Conference. The Avalanche has a solid group of talented young forwards, led by center Matt Duchene and winger Gabriel Landeskog. The most exciting Avalanche player is eighteen-year-old center Nathan MacKinnon, the top overall pick in last year’s NHL entry draft. The Avalanche has played two fewer games than the Sharks and Blackhawks.
Chicago Blackhawks: Sitting in fifth place in the conference, but just two behind the third place Sharks, are the defending Stanley Cup champions. After a period of rough play the Blackhawks have rebounded of late and are in the midst of a three-game winning streak. Chicago has decided to sit their captain and best player Jonathan Toews for the remaining of the regular season due to an upper-body injury. The Kings and Blackhawks met in the playoffs each of the past two seasons. Los Angeles defeated Chicago in 2012 on their way to a Stanley Cup title. The Blackhawks returned the favor, defeating the Kings in five games last June on their way to a title. Chicago is the odds on favorite again to represent the Western Conference in the Stanley Cup final.
Anaheim Ducks: There’s an outside chance the Kings could face the Ducks in the opening round, if Anaheim somehow loses the second seed. After leading the Western Conference for the majority of the regular season, the Ducks were recently surpassed by the St. Louis Blues. With a game in hand and just three points behind the Blues, the Ducks still have an opportunity to earn home ice. If the Anaheim Ducks somehow fall to third, they’ll set up what will be a much-anticipated opening round series.
Barry’s Ticket Service is located caddy-corner from the LA Staples Center itself and open till 9:00 pm seven nights a week. Use our LA Kings games Tickets Discount Code to save up to 50% on tickets for the Kings Playoff games at the Staples Center.
Barry’s Ticket Service
1020 S. Figueroa, Los Angeles, CA 90015
(Across from the Staples Center inside the Luxe City Center Hotel)
Open seven days a week, 8 am – 9 pm, for pickups.
213 749 0057
You can also checkout the best places to sit at the Staples Center for a Kings Game. Chris M.