Mar 5, 2012, 1:34 PM EDT
You can’t blame Kings coach Darryl Sutter for lacking answers right now.
His team — currently in ninth place with 72 points — is right in the thick of a Western Conference playoff chase that includes seventh-place Dallas (75 points), eighth-place San Jose (73), 10th-place Colorado (72) and 11th-place Calgary (70).
So when LA Kings Insider asked Sutter who he was cheering for prior to Sunday’s Stars-Flames matchup, Sutter responded accordingly:
“Can they both get nothing?’’
Unfortunately, the answer was an emphatic no. The Stars won 3-2 in a shootout, meaning both got points out of the deal — proving the race is tighter than ever, teams are fighting hard to stay live and nobody seems to be dropping out.
“There ain’t no weak sisters,” Sutter explained. “You try to take care of your own, and get a little help. A better way to look at it is, it’s better to get it down to three or four teams.
“That’s probably a better way of looking at it.’’
Comparatively speaking, this year’s Western Conference chase is on par with last season’s:
Mar. 5, 2012 Mar. 5, 2011
7. Dallas (75) 7. Calgary (77)
8. San Jose (73) 8. L.A. (76)
9. L.A (72) 9. Anaheim (75)
10. Colorado (72) 10. Nashville (75)
11. Calgary (70) 11. Minnesota (74)
And, if you’ll recall, things got pretty wild down the stretch. Chicago plummeted to eighth (Dallas, in sixth place on Mar. 5, fell out entirely) while Anaheim surged into fourth, Nashville into fifth and LA to seventh. Calgary fell to 10th.
- NHL on NBCSN: Hawks know they can’t take Sabres lightly 4
- NHL on NBC: Red Wings, Rangers fight to cling onto playoff spots 2
- Video: Flames score center-ice goal against Canucks’ Lack 15
- Stars believe Lehtonen suffered concussion from Haula collision (update) 20
- Video: Stars retire Mike Modano’s jersey 11
- Rostislav Klesla passes on joining Sabres organization following trade 12
- Ryan Murray has knee surgery, likely done for season 1
- Washington finally signs top prospect Kuznetsov 33
- Roberto Luongo records the shutout in first game back with Panthers 31
- Steve Moore remains shocked, disgusted about Todd Bertuzzi attack 66
- Canucks trade Luongo to Panthers (93)
- BLOCKBUSTER: Lightning trade St. Louis to Rangers for Callahan (82)
- Kings make splash, acquire Gaborik from Columbus (72)
- Report: Canucks want center, top prospect and first-rounder for Kesler (68)
- Steve Moore remains shocked, disgusted about Todd Bertuzzi attack (66)