LA Kings (Better than Colorado!) @ Anaheim Ducks (Worse than Columbus)
7:00 PST, Fox Sports West
The Kings aren't making the playoffs, folks. I know, they've been playing OK lately and the mainstream press has actually been giving them a little attention, but they're not making the playoffs. Even after the Kings went 7-1 over a period of about 2 1/2 weeks, they're still sitting in 11th place. They're 2 points out of 15th. The Kings could lose Doughty or Kopitar and be out of it by next week. They could lose both games today and tomorrow and be completely out of it. We Kings fans haven't had too much to be happy about recently, but we can't latch onto this little bit of success and set ourselves up for the inevitable disappointment. There's a lot to be excited about in the Kings' future, but the future's not here yet. Be patient.
That's not to say that I want the Kings to know that they don't have a shot. I want Dean Lombardi to be a buyer at the deadline and bring in someone who can give the Kings a shot at the playoffs.* Alex Frolov and Dustin Brown have been on the team for 6 and 5 years, respectively, and have never felt the rush of the playoffs. I think only Frolov only knows what it's like for games to matter in March. The Kings need that feeling, they need to feel important games. Let them believe these games are important. They need that.
*Assuming that the Kings don't give anything of importance in return.
I know it probably seems like I'm being a Debbie Downer now that the Kings are doing well after being an Ursula Upper the past couple years, but I just want to keep everyone on an even keel. I don't know, it's just my nature: don't get too high, don't get too low. Ask anyone who knows me, I don't ever get mad; I just breathe the anger in and then write an angry blog on the internet. I want to believe the Kings are going to make the playoffs, I really do. I just think they won't. I said earlier this season in my one podcast appearance with Brian Kamentzky that I would consider this Kings season a success if the Kings won more games than they lost. That hasn't changed. The Kings sit 2 games above .500 right now; let's make it 3 tonight. That's all we have the right to hope for.
Anaheim sure sucks, huh?
Prediction: Kings win, 4-1. Goals by Raitis Ivanans, Patrick O'Sullivan, Alex Frolov and Scott Niedermayer 2.0.