Focused on tonight, Kings vying for home ice advantage - LA Kings Insider

Darryl Sutter broached the subject last week when he declared that the Kings were fighting for a divisional playoff berth, not the second wild-card. Let’s double down on the thought: could the Kings come away with home ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs?

“I think for this group, we’re looking at it as we have a chance for home-ice and we need to get it,” Dustin Brown said. “I think without tonight, it’ll be very difficult. So we’re just focusing on Vancouver and going from there.”

Putting the blinders on anything beyond tonight would appear to be the right approach; the oft cited gives Los Angeles a 12% chance at capturing the second divisional seed and home ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs, which begin next week. With 92 points, the Kings are three points behind the second-place Canucks and one point behind the third-place Flames with a game in hand on both.

Of course, the Los Angeles is also tied with Winnipeg for the final wild-card spot but holds the tiebreaker. also puts a slightly better than one-in-four chance that the Kings miss the playoffs entirely.

To sum it up pithily, there’s obviously an important game tonight at Rogers Arena.

“Yeah, I think everyone is pretty aware of how important it is for our team and for their team,” Drew Doughty said. “We win this game, I think we are only a point back of them, assuming we win in regulation. We want to get that second place in the division. Right now they have it, so we’re going to have to win this game.”

Drew Doughty, on whether the team is vying for home ice advantage, and not just to make the playoffs:
Yeah, of course. You want to get home ice if you can and we’re not many points out. It’s very much in reaching distance, we just have to win all our games and start with this one.

Doughty, on whether it’s fun to be in a tight playoff race:
Yeah, of course it’s fun. I don’t think anyone feels any added pressure. These are the games you come into the season wanting to play, waiting for. You obviously wait for playoffs, but this is playoffs for us. These games are fun and the atmosphere from the crowd and the atmosphere on the ice with both teams just battling is going to be a lot of fun.

Doughty, on what he thinks the battles will be like in the final week of the season:
They’re going to be pretty good. The Western Conference is tight. I’m pretty sure, I don’t know much about the Eastern Conference, but I’m pretty sure they’re pretty tight, too. I think for hockey fans, I think this next week is going to be a lot of fun to watch. I think all the games are going to be quite entertaining.

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Adrian Kempe

#9 | 6′ 2″ | 195 lb | Age: 21

Born: September 13, 1996
Birthplace: Kramfors, SWE
Position: LW
Handedness: Left


Kempe was selected by the Kings in the first round (29th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.

Alex Iafallo

#19 | 6′ | 185 lb | Age: 23

Born: December 21, 1993
Birthplace: Eden, NY, USA
Position: C
Handedness: Left


Iafallo was signed by the Kings as an unrestricted free agent on April 18, 2017.

Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

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


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.

Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

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


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.

Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

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


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.

Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

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


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.