The Kings tend to do pretty well in the regular season home closers (even though lately they haven’t played any games beyond that at home). However, this season when the Kings are in the playoffs and know that they will be coming back to play in front of their fans this month, they couldn’t beat the Oilers (last place in the western conference and the NHL). I realize that the Oilers aren’t in the playoffs this season and they were, in fact, they were the first team (out of all 30 in the NHL) to be eliminated from the playoffs officially. The Kings are 3-3-4 in their last 10 games, which is worse than most other teams in the league (whether they’ll be playing next week or not). This isn’t the way most teams would want to end their first regular season where they won’t be going home early in April. The Kings don’t seem worried and are determined to make it past the first round of the playoffs.
When I mentioned the playoffs being a good way to thank the Kings fans for their loyalty through the years, Jack Johnson replied that while it was a thank you for the fans “I think the fans should expect that.” He’s got a good point. Many fans of every sport expect their team to make the playoffs. The Kings fans haven’t expected that lately, but I’m sure they’ll be happy to get back to expecting their team to make the playoffs and looking forward to their team winning the Stanley Cup someday rather than just hoping their team will squeak into the playoffs and perhaps make it to the second round occasionally. The Kings have only been in the Stanley Cup Finals once (and even those who aren’t Kings fans remember that one, since Wayne Gretzky was part of the team that lost to the Canadiens in 1993). Soon, their fans will see how the Kings do in the 2010 playoffs. Some of them already have Stanley Cup rings, but many of the Kings don’t have any playoff experience. The whole experience will be very exciting for the players and the fans. Staples Center will be back in black and completely packed once again. Today’s game was announced as a sold out crowd of 18,118, but there were many empty seats. The next time we’re in Staples center, empty seats will be a lot more difficult to find.
This year is also the Kings’ first ever playoff Beard-A-Thon benefiting the Kings Care Foundation. Check out the information on the Beard-A-Thon here on the Kings website.