When the Kings’ schedule was released in late June, eyes were drawn to the bottom, to the season-ending home-and-home set with the San Jose Sharks. With the Kings and Sharks expected to contend for the Pacific Division title, it stood to reason that those games would hold major significance. Indeed, they will. Who would have guessed, though, that the teams would be fighting for the division title, but that one of the team might miss the playoffs altogether? The thought would have been shocking last June.
The Kings host San Jose tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. Before that, Dallas plays at Nashville in a game that starts at 5 p.m. Pacific time and holds huge significance. If the Stars lose that game — in regulation, overtime or a shootout — the Kings will have clinched a playoff spot right around the time of their opening faceoff against the Sharks. Of course, there is the division title still up for grabs — more on that later — but Sutter laughed when asked whether he would want his players to know the result of the Dallas game before their own opening faceoff…
SUTTER: “You think they wouldn’t know? [laughs] I think they’d know.’’
Question: Maybe a couple back slaps in the locker room?
SUTTER: “I doubt it. That’s not how our players are.’’
Regardless, Jarret Stoll said the players are looking forward to the significance of the home-and-home series against the Sharks…
STOLL: “Maybe halfway through the season, we were starting to see that, and I think a lot of people did. It’s two good teams. it’s going to be fun. It’s the way it should be. It’s a battle right down to the end and there are no easy games. It hasn’t been easy for us, for sure, but we’ve put ourselves in a good situation, to be where we want to be if we can take care of our own business like we have been lately.’’