Having home-ice advantage would be new to most of the Kings, even one of the more-veteran players. Ryan Smyth said today that he has never been on a team that has had home-ice advantage in any round. This will be the 11th season in which Smyth has been to the playoffs, and he has played 87 career playoff games. The Kings can assure themselves of fourth place — and home-ice advantage in at least the first round — with two victories over Anaheim to close the season.
SMYTH: “Any time you can get home ice in the playoffs, it’s crucial. That’s what you play the whole season for. It’s a big stepping stone for this hockey club. I think it dates back to when Gretz was there. That’s the last time they had home ice here, and I’ve never personally had home-ice advantage, so it would be nice to have that. That’s what you play the season for, and then after that you find out who you will play.”
Terry Murray has also been stressing the importance of holding onto fourth place…
MURRAY: “It’s been exciting. The last couple months have been a real battle every night, playoff-like atmosphere, attitude. The guys really dug in and did a good job to clinch it last night. … We’re looking for home ice right now. We’ve got to keep going with this. We’ve done a great job here, under a lot of pressure in critical games, and we’ve got two more remaining. it’s going to be a battle, but home ice is available for us.”