The Kings now get a chance to make things right at home. How many times has that sentiment been expressed in the last couple years? Last season, the Kings wasted a lengthy homestand, a stretch that temporarily put them out of a playoff spot. This season, they had a two-week stretch in late November and early December, in which they didn’t leave Southern California, and they 2-5-0. So, here they go again, starting a six-game homestand over the next 13 days, starting with tonight’s game against Vancouver (a 7 p.m. start, as a reminder for those attending). Darryl Sutter was asked if it was fair to call this stretch of games “critical.’’
SUTTER: “Every game is critical. Heck, we saw that four, five games ago, right? The positions (in the Western Conference) at six, seven through 12, what’s the difference? Nothing. Good week, bad week, if you lose two or three, you drop. You win two or three, you go up. It’s going to go right down to it. It’s going to come right now to three or four wins, three or four points. We’ve got an incredibly tough schedule, with what we have until the All-Star break. Our schedule in January, we get more into the routine part of it, other than the Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver part. But you’re more into a routine, and then February is crazy. We just finished talking about playing two in two nights on the road. That was critical. Now we come home and get ready to continue to try to improve on our home record.’’
After today’s skate, Sutter was asked about Vancouver. The Canucks are second in the Western Conference, with 50 points in 38 games. They’re third in the NHL in goals per game and seventh in goals-against per game.
SUTTER: “They’re similar to playing Chicago. They’re at the top of the league. There are two teams that are the elite teams in this conference, and they’re one of them. So there is your challenge.’’