Kings-Sharks: The home ice factor

It’s a poor choice of words to say that the Kings and Sharks will “renew their acquaintances,” because judging from the on-ice action, these are two teams that aren’t exactly chummy. An already built in Southern California-Northern California rivalry has been heightened by two playoff series between the hockey clubs over three seasons.

More accurately, the Kings and Sharks will renew their distaste for each other. This is a real, modern NHL rivalry, borne out of postseason familiarity. This is not a rivalry based on fan proximity.

It is also a rivalry in which each team struggles to win in the other team’s building. Since these teams met in the 2011 postseason – when Los Angeles went 2-1 in San Jose and 0-3 at Staples Center. The Sharks won a road game when Ryane Clowe infamously played the puck from his bench in the 81st game of the 2011-12 regular season, and Jonathan Quick benefited from a late second period Anze Kopitar highlight reel goal in posting a 1-0 shutout in the Bay Area two days after the Dodger Stadium game. Other than those games, there has been a lot of home cooking since the 2011 series.

Though overtimes and shootouts have frequently been involved, the road team has lost 20 of the last 22 games in the series. It’s a trend Dustin Brown and the Kings will attempt to reverse.

“I think the most obvious difference is we’re going to have to find a way to win a game in their building this year, which we didn’t have to do last year,” the Kings’ captain said. “We managed to do that this year, once in the regular season. They’ve got a high-powered offense, and probably one of the more important things for us going into the series is limiting our penalty penalties and our PK.”

Recently, games in San Jose have been closer than the games in Los Angeles. Dating back to November 28, 2011 and including the 2013 playoff series, the Kings have played 10 straight one-goal games at the SAP Center. Only five of 11 games played at Staples Center over that time span have been decided by one goal.

As narrow as the 10 road games have been, the Sharks have won nine of them.

“Their building is a really tough building to play in, and I think they thrive off the energy,” Brown said. “I think it’s one of the more fun buildings, quite honestly, to play in, just because of how the crowd and the atmosphere of the building is. But they definitely use that to their advantage. I don’t want to say there’s a difference in their game on the road, but they come out really hard in their home building.”

Dustin Brown, on whether he has begun to think about the upcoming playoff series:
Just knowing who we’re going to play. I mean, it’s in the back of your head, but again, it’s about shoring up the details, like I said. We’ve played San Jose. We know them well enough of what series will be like. So it’s just getting ourselves ready for it.

Brown, on whether it’s challenging playing with a playoff series already set:
It can be…One, it’s clinching a playoff spot, but also knowing we can’t move up or down. I think that’s another unique aspect of it. A lot of teams, even up until last night, San Jose and Anaheim still had something to play for, and we’re kind of in limbo where we literally can not move a spot up or down. But we have to use these last two games to shore up the details.

Brown, on whether the approach ever changes in these late-season games:
I mean, your approach to the game, getting ready for the game doesn’t change. It’s just the urgency and the intensity within the games. Like last night, for an example, it took us unfortunately to be down three-nothing before we really started to play, and once we started playing, we were fine.

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Latest comments
  • Time for this home ice crud to be put to rest! We’re gonna pulverize the Sharts damnit! Home ice? we dont need no stinkin home ice!

  • Every year is different . We have to play 60 minutes of 2 way hockey. It would be nice to score the first goal on the road. Don’t take bad penalties. Control the puck and finish checks. Ok, that about does it.
    Go Kings! Beat the Sharks!

  • Chummy huh? I bet you had a big smirk when you wrote that!

  • If we knock them out again this year, there will be a shake up in SJ.

  • That top photo is what Hannan has left in the tank. Hold on for dear life.
    Yet, he rarely gets called.

  • Well if Brown isn’t fired up for this series then I don’t know what can get him fired up. The SJ fans are going to really get on him. He should be completely fired up and ready to do some damage.

  • Jon – Pavement sang about this…
    “Two States”
    From Slanted and Enchanted…

    Two states!
    We want two states!
    North and South.
    Two, two States!
    Forty million daggers!
    Forty million daggers!
    Forty million daggers!
    Forty million daggers!
    Two states!
    We want two states!
    There’s no culture!
    There’s no spies!
    Forty million daggers!
    Forty million daggers!
    Forty million daggers!
    Forty million daggers!

  • I think the Sharks are very focused on this series, and will do anything to win. I hope the Kings feel the same. SJ ready to make a move deeper, and beating the Kings is the first step. If SJ loses its going to be ugly up there, heads will roll.
    Kings need to take it to them right at the start, maybe score a PP goal or two, and stop taking stupid penalties, Sounds easy right?

  • Could be. They’re a good team and the difference from them winning recently could easily be a couple of lucky plays. They’re a tough team for anyone to play and we’re in for a battle next week and while they are the enemy, I’ve much respect for them on the whole.

  • I hope so, I’d like to SJ go thru the pain train like Vancouver is right now.
    If the Kings lose, nothing happens. Except I have to shave sooner.

  • in 2012 the Kings won on the road, every series!
    SJ is fluke series, nothing more, ends with the regular season.

  • Early goal between the two this season has equaled a loss.
    And, we just love giving up goals right after potting one ourselves, don’t we?
    Still, I’ll always take early goals.
    What I’d love to see is our heavy and quick forecheck. Beat their brains out!

  • We broke that spell already. Beat them there. And, beat them by a few at Staples.

  • Not just the SJ fans,I think the players will be going after Brownie just like the last game,here’s hoping that brownie bounces off those hits and scores some goals,we need Brown along with every leader on this team sticking up and taking control.

  • Maybe early in game 1 they will but after that it’ll be all business. There’s no doubt in my mind that this series is going to be extremely physical and it’s going to get really dirty.

  • we are the underdogs!

  • Earthquake

  • Home ice wont mean anything as long as the Kings take at least one in SJ but then again they need to make sure the Sharks do not take any at Staples either…I got a gut feeling Niemi will not even play the whole series

  • There’s no need to fear! Underdog is here!

  • Back when we were struggling for points in the beginning of the season and many were saying that it was early…..hopefully it will not come back and haunt us WRT Home Ice…Kings need to win one on the road and not lose any at home….

  • theyll be shookup allright

  • Chief Brody can you throw some more chum off the boat
    You better get a bigger boat
    Show me the way to go home
    Get the beach closed signs ready
    Go Kings Go!
    We Got This!

  • just like 2012 ;)

  • If the Sharks get their current level of goaltending, Kings in 6. If its better than now, Kings in 7.

  • Neil, don’t look back go forward there is a shiny thing waiting for the Kings if they want it
    Go Kings Go!

  • Yes Gail, yes!

  • 6 my lucky number thanks I like it
    Go Kings Go!

  • Thanks
    Go Kings Go!

  • Wouldnt you just eat that right up?On the flip side, the Kings have a great road record this year. No use crying over spilt milk.

  • Hopefully Kings fans won’t go ballistic if we happen to lose this series which is a possibility. This series will not be as easy as some on here think it will be. It’s almost a shame that these 2 teams are meeting in the 1st round as this would be a classic WCF series.

    Like I said last night, a really good team will be eliminated in the 1st round and every WC team that advances will be happy that whoever loses, is gone.

    With that being said, my heart says Kings in 6.

  • I think the Sharks are the hungrier team with more to prove than LA.

    Sharks were my sentimental pick to win the cup, not because I like the Sharks but because they’ve been a very consistent team to make the playoffs and the window of opportunity is closing on them. I think the Sharks are ready to take the next step.

    That said, this series is all about goaltending. If Quick can steal some games then the Kings will prevail. Niemi has been struggling and the Kings offense is not as potent as the Sharks’. Home ice will not have as much a bearing on this series because both teams have good away records.

  • Let em.

  • I am just glad you had good childhood memories at Disneyland like I did. Its when I got older, and more cynical, that I realized what goes on in corporate America unfortunately.
    BTW, Michael Jackson never had to stand in long lines. He was good friends with Mikey Eisner!

  • One game at a time and me for one will not go ballistic, as the band wagon little ones will be jumping off not me and others thanks
    Go Kings Go!

  • Love it thanks
    Go Kings Go!

  • Bandwagon? What on earth is that?
    Respectfully Yours, Bandwagon SC Footbal fan.

  • =======

  • Long lines at Disneyland – not a problem.
    Long lines at the bread stand – big problem.

  • Someday…….You, I, and others will FINALLY make it into CLUB 33……….someday my friend

  • Well said. This is not the big bruising SJ team of 2013 as much as they try to still sell that angle. Just look at the last game, they tried to throw their weight around and took penalty after penalty and only won because Martin Jones makes one small mistake. That may win you 1 game, but play like that isn’t going to win you a series.

  • I wonder what the level headed @Mr. Coke thinks about this?

  • “Shiny”. !!!!!!!


  • I see the Kings in 7….winning 2 on the road and losing 1 game at home!!!!

  • I’ll be right there with you Gail. This fan is never leaving & you are right, 1 game at a time starting with Game1.

  • I want my Shiny!!!!

  • One of those wins would be a game 7 in the Tank. I would really like to avoid a game 7, if at all possible.

  • been there done that… ;P

  • I don’t want in. Walt was a member of a secret society of degrees and the top degree is 33.
    I don’t mind enjoying Disneyland but I also don’t mind not having been since grad night 1988.
    I do get what you’re frustration is, though. There’s some serious issues afoot. In my opinion, however, we are chasing moving targets at times – suckered in after the red cape of the matador.

  • We sweep.

  • You don’t know how lucky you are. There are several wealthy people that cant even get in there!

  • Could we please avoid a game seven. We need to do this with a game 6 win at home.

  • I think With Mitchell, Gaborik, and an improved Martinez and King, its very possible.

  • I guess that’s one thing I had in common with Michael Jackson because I don’t stand in long lines either. Never did!

    I prefer not to live my life as a cynic. Corporate America has done a lot of good too and put lots of good people to work as well, including myself.

    Seems it’s very popular for everyone to dislike the 1% these days, until you make it in the club yourself.

  • King Alex….The 2014 version of The E Ticket !

  • Hammer them game 1 and ride the storm game 2 and break them.
    Referees will be a big factor.
    I’m not over-confident. Just hoping they can do what they’re capable of.

  • Yep…I think game 7 would be too much pressure for S.J. …….

  • The thing that concerns me more about the Sharks then say The Blues is the fact that SJS has been known to resort to cheap shots, where as The Blues was just good, clean, physical hockey.

  • Too busy linin em up to care right now perhaps!

  • Hungier and More to prove means nothing. Of course San Jose wants a cup. They are the master choke artists. But does it matter? I mean Look at the Vancouver Canucks. Look at the St. Louis Blues. Both arguably hugier than San Jose. Goaltending is what it is, this series is about the best team and you cant say San Jose is better than LA. They will have their chance to prove that they are though. San Jose has been “Ready to take the next step” as you say for many, many, many years. Kings win 1 of the first 2 games and this is LA’s series.

  • Hungier and More to prove means nothing. Of course San Jose wants a cup. They are the master choke artists. But does it matter? I mean Look at the Vancouver Canucks. Look at the St. Louis Blues. Both arguably hugrier than San Jose. Goaltending is what it is, this series is about the best team and you cant say San Jose is better than LA. They will have their chance to prove that they are though. San Jose has been “Ready to take the next step” as you say for many, many, many years. Kings win 1 of the first 2 games and this is LA’s series.

  • I’ve been there several times. It’s all it’s cracked up to be.

  • Hold on & keep your arms & legs inside the vehicle as this ride will be bumpy at times!!

  • BTW- Disqus messed up on the names again. I did not realize this was you Puck.

  • Is San Jose more ready to take the next step? Or is LA more ready to take the next step on the road to winning another Cup?

  • Well…we helped send Vancouver’s ship on it’s way…might as well send the Sharks as well.

  • St Louis and Vancouver are not even the same scenario. Mark my words: St Louis resembles the 2012 Kings. Young teams with little playoff experience…early round exits two years in a row…they’ve all suffered a couple seasons together…big-name addition at trade deadline…Vancouver? No. Older, consistently running up the score on weak defenses but not gritty enough to handle the real teams in the west anymore. Not the same thing. Do you remember LA/STL last year? That was a gritty series, and was a lot closer than people care to remember because of the late sweep.

  • True. The tighter the series the less shenanigans for Shanahan.

  • That’s ok. I am always good with opposing view points as long as they are well reasoned, and with you…………you have, you are, and will always be a voice of reason.

  • The second round doesn’t look to be any more fun than the first…actually my pre-beard is hurting already just thinking about getting through the west unscathed

  • Disqus been trippin’ today.

  • I’m simply saying Hunger isn’t a factor here. LA is hungry for the Cup. SJ is, Vancouver is. St. Louis is. Doesn’t matter.

  • Thanks so much King Alex whether we go live games and or watch the games on the TV it does not matter we are all fans, true passionate fans that love our Kings!
    Thanks again

    Go Kings Go!

  • I think the game 7 performance last year at Staples really tells a lot about the Sharks. Suddenly, they were losing faceoffs that they were winning all series. They weren’t winning the puck battles at all. Yes, they made it close in the 3rd, and yes Quick robbed Pavelski, but overall, you could see they were gripping their sticks a little tighter. That game proved to me more than ever that the Sharks really do buckle under pressure. They’ve been expected to win so long and have failed every single year that it creeps into their minds. The Kings are champions (most of them), and won when they were supposed to. They’re experienced when their winning and when their losing. The Sharks aren’t.

  • We had the best start in franchise history, is that struggling?

  • When is it ever normal?

  • SJ also has demons in their playoff closet to deal with. Being the home team and having a history of playoff failure I see more pressure on them.

  • SJ is a great team, it is an understatement to say it can go either way.

  • “You know that carnival comes Into town every year?
    Well, this year they came through with a ride called The Mixer

    The man said, “Keep your head and arms inside the Mixer at all times”
    But Bill Jr, he was a daredevil just like his old man

    He was leaning out saying “Hey everybody, look at me! Look at me!”
    Pow, he was decapitated

    They found his head over by the snow cone concession…”

    Sorry, some things are unavoidable.

  • In the playoffs its usually the non stars that can step up and win it!
    Young hungrier guys can win it too

  • Is there a more misused cliche in sports than a team being “hungrier”?

  • Fast start????

  • All good points. But, last year is out the window.
    I think we match up well with SJ and that we are more improved than they are.
    They’re obviously a good team but we are healthier than last year, we have Gabby, and Muzz and AMart are starting to look sharp.

  • Pretty amazing that two of the following teams will probably be eliminated in the first round: LA, SJ, STL, CHI & COL.

  • I only wish we still in The Fabulous Forum. God, I miss that building, which I guess means I’m old. Ha!

  • Talking about 3 regulation wins in first 17ish games….

  • We’ve all been staring that reality down throughout this season. The West is stacked with talented teams that will be done all too soon. Tonight needs to be the beginning of our drive, I think. I know we don’t want to be one of those sitting out.

  • BTW…”Ned… Ryerson. “Needlenose Ned”? “Ned the Head”? C’mon, buddy.”

  • Season seat holder all through the 70’s and like you I do miss some parts of the Fabulous Forum but with the traffic that we have now I probably would not go to any games if we were still there. From Ventura Co. I can get to Staples in just over an hour. Go KINGS Go!!!

  • We want to turn that screw game 1.

  • “Chemistry” “110%” “Heart”

  • No your not old keep thinking your young and I fully agree too wish we were still there too don’t like Staples that much
    Go Kings Go !

  • Loved the Forum too, Ned.

  • Did you take my sister to jr prom? :-)
    B I N G !!

  • you have to know someone…being goalie parents, we are far from wealthy….sorry, didn’t mean to sound pretentious, have gone a couple of times and have savored the moment….couldn’t get there on our own…

  • I’ll try to make everyone happier by saying-Kings in 5 (4-1).We got their number in the head,SJ is A goner to me…GKG…

  • I miss the Forum. Much better sight lines than the cavernous Staples Center.

  • And Mitchell. Did not have Mitchell

  • Yep. Brown playing on torn ligaments, Williams with a separated shoulder, and Regehr banged up from St Louis.
    Much better this year. Fingers crossed.

  • My biggest problem with Staples is I really feel it was built for the rich. Putting lux boxes under the upper deck huge mistake. Madison Square Garden did just opposite and there isn’t a bad seat in the joint.

  • Giving my 110% here, I’ll say: Marc-Andre.

  • Bing again!

  • Agree thanks again

    Go Kings Go!

  • It’s crazy to think about.

    BTW-Groundhog Day was a terrific movie Ned!

  • It’s going to be another gauntlet!

  • I hope so, if it comes to that. I prefer winning in 6. Hell, I really prefer a sweep but I really just wish we beat them anyway we can!

  • Applause!

  • Thanks Puck! I really appreciate it.

    Now I just wish my family would think the same!

  • Listen to what the man says.

    Paul McCartney

    (Sometimes The Man is right)

  • Excellent post. Sharks are choke artists.

  • How about “just put the puck on the goal” or my all time favorite “just play one game at a time”.

  • R u nuts the sharks have better offense. Have you seen Lewis recently or Amart. At the beginning of the season the kings had very little O, but now we have as much or more that the sharks and our d and quick will keep them from being the scorers they are against teams like the oilers and Calgary. In the present we can score with anyone and no one can score as well against us as they can against the rest of the teams. The Sharks will make it tough, but it won’t be because of their scoring it will because of their size. Eventually we will win, because we are the better team!

  • “We’ve just gotta stick to our game”

  • That’s a pretty good writeup Mr. Rosen – thanks.

  • Holy Moly!
    What a prediction…!!!

  • Better then your ” sweep” prediction!! Lol…

  • Yes one of those wins would be in a game 7 in S.J.!!!

  • Ha!
    That’s why I don’t gamble…!

    You nailed it. That’s amazing!