Since the Kings locked up a playoff spot about a week ago, these past games have been...crap? Boring? Not even real? Perhaps it is "all of the above". Locking down a playoff spot with over two games to play in the season is unfamiliar territory, and the Kings are reacting in the most predictable manner. By not giving a shit.
The regular season is back to 100% not mattering. The Kings had to fake it for parts of this season, but I think most of it stemmed from the fact they really enjoyed three on three hockey. Especially when you look at the 10-3 record in overtime. You take out those ten extra points they picked up there and they still haven't clinched a spot. The third period comebacks where the Kings had to really fake caring about the regular season are even more critical.
But as it turns out again, the regular season didn't and doesn't matter. We have seen the games matter even less and less. Maybe these games matter for sad little non-hockey markets like in Canada because these games are all they have, but for us here in California they clearly are just pickup games that are well organized.
Detroit and Philadelphia would probably try and convince us that these games are important too, but no one has given a shit about those guys since 2011. Sure San Jose and Los Angeles skipped out on the season that mattered last year. But that was only to prove to us that the postseason doesn't really matter either. I mean, Anaheim and Tampa Bay as contenders? Canada is involved? Get outta here with that. No one believes that's important either.
The season that is most important is the off-season. When we don't have to watch hockey and can return to our normal lives. Until the draft, which doesn't matter either. At least not for the Kings since they never have any picks.
But since all of Canada is eliminated, maybe we can take the playoffs seriously again.
Prediction: Game doesn't matter.