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Dave Gove The Hockey Writers

Published on Wednesday, April 1, 2015





4 Reasons LA Kings Fans Should Be Optimistic

Each year Los Angeles Kings fans have learned to deal with the stress of watching their team battle for a playoff spot. This season has been especially hard for Kings fans as their team has seemed to play lackluster at times, and with only six games left in the schedule is on the outside of the playoffs.

The Kings have made a habit of clinching a playoff spot late in the season. Last season they clinched with five games remaining, 2013 with four games left, and 2012 in their next to last game of the season. It’s become so commonplace for this team to keep it’s fan waiting to clinch a playoff spot that some are even joking about it this point.

  This is one of a few things that should ease the minds of anxious Kings fans right now. Here are three other reasons Kings fans should feel optimistic about their team’s chances right now.

1. Ease of Remaining Games

There are six games remaining for the LA Kings. Of those six games, four are against teams below them in the standings, including two versus the Edmonton Oilers. The Kings are 2-0-1, and averaging 4.33 goals per game against the Oilers this season.

The two games the Kings have left versus playoff teams are against the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames, the two teams they’re chasing in the Pacific and who they most want to play right now. If the Kings can’t show up for those two games, then perhaps they don’t deserve to make the playoffs this season.

This season the Kings have a combined 10-4-3 record against their remaining opponents and are averaging 3.27 goals per game. Of the teams they have left to play, the Sharks have posed the biggest challenge to the Kings, letting in only 1.75 G/PG versus the Kings and taking two of the four games they’ve played so far.

2. Advanced Stats Don’t Lie

For the last three seasons the Kings have been the best advanced stats team in the league. That has continued again this season as the Kings have led the league in 5v5 Corsi and Fenwick.

None of the five teams the Kings have left to play are in the top half the league’s Corsi percentages. San Jose (17th), Vancouver (20th), Edmonton (24th), Calgary (28th) and Colorado (29th) are all subpar when it comes to shot numbers. Is anyone else surprised Edmonton is actually better than Calgary in this category? Every team that has led the league in Corsi since the 2004-05 lockout has made the playoffs.

3. Coaching 

Not only is Darryl Sutter the 15th winningest coach in NHL history, but he’s also one of only 16 coaches to ever win the Stanley Cup more than once.

More importantly than wins and Stanley Cups right now, is the fact that no team Darryl Sutter has coached for a full season has ever missed the playoffs. When it comes to crunch time, Sutter shows up.

4. Winnipeg’s Schedule Realistically, the LA Kings will only be able to catch one of either the Calgary Flames or the Winnipeg Jets. The Kings have a game in hand on both of those two, and also hold the tiebreaker against the Jets right now.

The Jets have a losing record against three of their final five opponents and will most likely lose defenseman Dustin Byfuglien for a game or two after his reckless cross-check to the neck New York Ranger’s forward  JT Miller.

It’s not going to be easy for the Kings to make the playoffs, but it sure looks like they have a decent chance. Don’t lose faith yet, Kings fans.




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