Rudy is in Mexico today, heedless of the explicit warnings of the U.S. State Department. His last wish before he left (and possibly his last wish ever, depending on how his trip goes) was for me to handle the Kings gameday for today.
(By the way, if you're wondering what Rudy is doing in Mexico, read this adult's-only classic BoC story. It's probably something just like that.)
In truth the three of us here at Battle of California could have saved some time today and just merged all of our gameday posts into one giant festival of dissatisfaction and impotent anger*. The California teams all seem to have driven off a cliff into the Valley of Suck about a week or two ago, and it's no fun for anybody in the Greatest State. The Ducks have lost six in a row, the Sharks have lost four of their last five including two absolute shit-storms to Columbus and Vancouver, and the Kings have lost five of six starting with the Sharks kicking their ass back on the 15th**. The Kings are currently the only California team that would make the playoffs, and they're just BARELY holding on.
Is there good news? Maybe. The Kings piled up enough points before their current struggles that they're still near the top of the Pacific. A quality string of games would put them right back on top of the division. The trouble is that this is the case for EVERY TEAM in the Pacific right now. Nobody in the Pacific is falling far behind, and there are a lot of teams in the West that are fighting hard for the eight playoff spots. Right now the conference-leading Red Wings are only 10 points ahead of the 14th place Flames, which is absolutely fucking unbelievable. The only West team you can safely write-off at this point is the Oilers, and I still don't feel sure that the Sharks will beat them today. There's nothing at all you can rely on, this season, and it has us all terrified. That's why Rudy has run away to Mexico, and I certainly don't blame him if he never wants to come back.
Prediction: Who can predict anything in this mad world, where the Coyotes lead the Pacific and nothing is as it seems? Goals by Wayne Simmonds and Batman.
* = coincidentally this phrase is also a perfect description of any time Rudy has ever had a woman in his bed.
** = those were happier times.