Los Angeles Kings Have a Lot of Work To Do Before the Stretch Drive

February 1st, 2011 by Gann Matsuda Leave a reply »
LOS ANGELES AND EL SEGUNDO, CA—With the 2011 National Hockey League All-Star festivities in Raleigh, North Carolina now just a fading memory, players are returning to their teams facing the uphill climb that is otherwise known as the stretch drive to the playoffs.

But after a dismal 3-8-0 performance in January, which was part of a larger skid in which they lost 10 out of 12 games, the Los Angeles Kings find themselves in a huge hole that they must climb out of before they can even start thinking about the stretch run.

But wait, you say. The Kings are just one point out of a playoff berth in the Western Conference standings, aren’t they? How is that a huge hole?

To answer that, just take a look the Kings’ February schedule. It will be a brutal month that has them playing their next 10 games on the road, starting at Minnesota on February 1. To make matters worse, the Kings also have to play games on consecutive nights four times in February.

The Western Conference has been hyper-competitive this season, with the top teams bunched together very closely in the standings all season long, and that is e ...

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