LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 13: Goalie Jonathan Quick #32 and Willie Mitchell #33 of the Los Angeles Kings celebrate after the game against the Detroit Red Wings at Staples Center on March 13, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. The Kings won 5-2. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
I was kind of a wreck all yesterday because today is a really, really important.
Phoenix vs. Dallas
Calgary vs. Colorado
San Jose vs. Los Angeles
All 3 are hugely important to the Kings' playoff hopes. I tried to figure out who the Kings should want to win each game but there's so many different variables that it made me tired and I needed to lie down. I mean, the Kings have a 21% chance of winning the division and a 42% chance of missing the playoffs. What the hell.
I'm pretty confident the Kings will make the playoffs because I look at the talent they have and it's inconceivable that they could miss; on the other hand, I look at San Jose and they are the same thing.* These two teams shouldn't be fighting for their playoff lives and yet, here they are. I'm pretty sure one of these teams will finish 3rd and the other 7th but I'm not 100% and it was eating me up inside.
*It's kinda funny how similar the Sharks and Kings are, both in personnel and in performance.
But then I thought about how the Kings have never won the Pacific Division, how they've finished 2nd twice (1998, 2000), how they've won whatever division they were in 1 time in 44 years. I think about how, when I started writing on BoC, the Kings' top line center was Derek Armstrong. I thought about how I actually thought Kelly Hrudey was a great goaltender* until I was an adult because he was better than everyone else the Kings could bring in. I thought about how my favorite Kings memory is the 1 time in the last 20 years that we actually got out of the first round; you know, the brief moment in time where the Kings were kinda good before immediately getting dismantled by injuries.
*I know he was mediocre; I just don't care.
I've spent my whole life dedicated to a franchise that fucking sucks. A team where the best I could hope for was sneaking into the playoffs and hoping maybe we win a game. But this team is genuinely different. I don't hope we catch a team napping or maybe we can light up their back-up. This team is genuinely good. Anze Kopitar is the best center we've had since Gretzky, Drew Doughty is the best defenseman we've had since Blake and Jonathan Quick is the best goaltender we've ever had. Kings fans can truly appreciate a good team much like an Ethiopian can truly appreciate a good meal (or some other metaphor that's less horribly offensive).
If the Kings miss the playoffs I will be devastated because I'm a baby but ultimately it won't be so bad. It could be, and has been, so much worse. This team should make the playoffs. Will they? I don't know. Either this season is a lost season or the Kings end up where I thought they'd be back in August. Which will it be? I don't know. Maybe it'll end up working out, maybe not. But at least there's a chance. That's something.
Prediction: Kings lose, 9-0. Fuck!