February 15, 2012 5:35 pm

Darryl Sutter, Merle Haggard and the playoff race

Does Darryl Sutter participate in scoreboard watching? Yes. Apparently, he’s also a Merle Haggard fan. Sutter was refreshingly candid today when asked whether he closely tracks the other teams in the Western Conference playoff race. Tonight, 10th-place Colorado — five points behind the Kings — is at Vancouver while Anaheim, still not out of it, plays at Pittsburgh. Before the Kings hit the ice tomorrow night, they can keep tabs on four relevant games: Chicago at the New York Rangers, San Jose at Tampa Bay, Winnipeg at Minnesota and Calgary at Dallas. And, of course, every other team will be watching the Kings (seventh place, 65 points) host Phoenix (eighth place, 63 points).

SUTTER: “Anybody who says they’re not (scoreboard watching) is going to have some time up there, when they get to the gates… [laughs] Anybody who says they’re not, they’re not telling you the whole truth. What’s the old Merle Haggard song, `The only one I’m not in trouble with when I get up there is, thou shall not kill.’ [laughs] Everything else is going to take a while. You know, all you hope for is not three point (games). I stayed here late last night and watched four games. I wanted to see Detroit break the record. I wanted them to win it so they could enjoy it for the last few minutes, and not just at the buzzer.’’

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