With the conclusion of the regular season under two weeks away, LA Kings Insider will take a look around the Western Conference to determine rooting interests and outcomes that best serve the Los Angeles Kings.

Race To The Playoffs
SportsClubStats.com Playoff Probabilities

Dallas (21-17-3 / 9th place / 45 points / 7 games remaining)
at
Chicago
(32-5-4 / 1st place / 68 points / 7 games remaining)
Alert level: Low/Medium. The surging Stars will have to run the gauntlet if their playoff aspirations are to extend deep into next week. They’ll return home to face Vancouver before setting off on a three-game trip through St. Louis, L.A. and San Jose that will go a long way into determining whether they’ll be at the American Airlines Center or at the Dallas National Golf Club in early May.
Root for: Chicago. From the perspective of a Kings fan, it’s better to face a Dallas team without the potential to carry an eight-game winning streak into Staples Center on Sunday.

Vancouver (23-12-6 / 3rd place / 52 points / 7 games remaining)
at
Nashville
(15-20-8 / 13th place / 38 points / 5 games remaining)
Alert level: Minimal. Barring a major collapse or a major surge coupled with an Anaheim collapse, Vancouver has the third seed locked up. The Canucks are five points ahead of Minnesota with the same amount of games played and seven points behind the Ducks with a game in hand. With the safe assumption that the Pacific Division stays in Anaheim’s corner, even if Los Angeles was to finish the regular season with more points than Vancouver, the Canucks would have home ice advantage in a potential series due to their higher seeding.
Root for: Vancouver. A highly unlikely 4/5 Los Angeles – Vancouver matchup should be avoided. Though the Kings won that series a year ago and could match up well against the Canucks, there are better options for L.A. in the first round.

Columbus (19-16-7 / 10th place / 45 points / 6 games remaining)
at
Colorado
(14-22-6 / 15th place / 34 points / 6 games remaining)
Alert level: Minimal/Low. The Blue Jackets have kept their playoff hopes alive by going 6-3-1 in their last 10 and will be visiting Staples Center on Thursday.
Root for: Columbus. Though there are other teams that probably have a better chance of defeating the Blackhawks in the first round of the playoffs, LAKI is in favor of the underdog Blue Jackets making the playoffs this season, even if SportsClubStats.com calculates their chances at 15.0%.

Minnesota (22-16-3 / 7th place / 47 points / 7 games remaining)
at
Calgary
(16-21-4 / 14th place / 36 points / 7 games remaining)
Alert level: Low. Statistically speaking, there’s very little chance that the Wild are able to catch the Kings.
Root for: Calgary. Minnesota has the easiest schedule remaining out of all teams in the playoff hunt. They’ll face the Flames twice, the Oilers twice, and the Avalanche, Sharks and Kings once.

San Jose (21-13-7 / 5th place / 49 points / 7 games remaining)
at
Phoenix
(18-16-7 / 11th place / 43 points / 7 games remaining)
Alert level: High. The Sharks are three points behind the Kings with a game in hand and will open the first game of a back-to-back set in Glendale before flying home to face the Kings on Tuesday. This is San Jose’s first visit to Jobing.com Arena this year.
Root for: Phoenix. The Sharks are 14-1-5 at home this year, and should L.A. and San Jose meet in the playoffs, it would best serve the Kings to have home ice advantage.

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Alec martinez

#27 | 6′ 1″ | 210 lb | Age: 29

Born: July 26, 1987
Birthplace: Rochester Hills, MI, USA
Position: D
Handedness: Left

Bio

Bio: Martinez was drafted by the LA Kings in the 2007 Draft, while playing for Miami University. He has since become a two-time Stanley Cup champion and the 17th man in Stanley Cup playoff history to score the Cup-winning goal in overtime.

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Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left

Bio

As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

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Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right

Bio

Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

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Tyler Toffoli

#73 | 6′ 1″ | 200 lb | Age: 24

Born: April 24, 1992
Birthplace: Scarborough, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

Toffoli is a Canadian professional ice hockey forward, drafted by the Kings in the second round of the 2010 Draft. Toffoli scored his first career NHL goal in his second game in a 4–0 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes in 2013. He was also named the 2012–13 AHL All-Rookie Team.
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Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

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Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left

Bio

Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.

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