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If the Kings make the playoffs, scheduling and travel should be fun

Apr 3, 2012, 3:54 PM EDT

LA Kings

Intriguing note here from CBC’s Elliotte Friedman:

Conventional wisdom is that the Western Conference matchup to avoid is the No. 4 / No. 5 fight between two of Detroit, Nashville and Chicago. After all, the thinking is, you’d rather finish sixth and face the Pacific Division winner. Here’s the flaw: travel. Since 2000, nine Central Division teams have won a first-round series against a team at least two time zones away. How many went on to reach the Cup Final? One. (That’s Detroit, which captured the crown in 2002.)

Be careful what you wish for, especially if it’s the Kings. Get a look at that Staples Center schedule.

On it.

The NHL playoffs begin on Wednesday, Apr. 11. According to the Staples Center schedule, there are Lakers/Clippers games booked for Friday (7:30pm), Saturday (12:30pm), Sunday (12:30pm), Monday (7:30pm) and Tuesday (7:30pm).

The arena is vacant for Wednesday the 18th, then booked for the evenings of the 19th and 20th for Mexican pop rock outfit Mana.

NHL playoff series are 2-2-1-1-1 affairs with the higher seed opening at home. Should the Kings win the Pacific Division and finish third overall, they’ll hold home-ice advantage over the No. 6 seed…and that’s where things could get interesting.

The series could open at Staples on the 11th, but would then be forced into either a back-to-back (on the 12th) or having two off days before resuming on the 14th — after the Clippers-Warriors game, when they transition from hardwood to ice. (Which always makes for great ice.)

The series could also open on the 12th, then play the evening of the 14th. But the later the series starts, the more likely a potential Game 5 return date falls into the Staples gauntlet (when the evenings of the 17th, 19th and 20th are booked.)

That said, it is possible for NHL teams to flex muscle and move preexisting events out. A good example of this occurred last postseason, when the Vancouver Canucks bumped a Supertramp concert from Rogers Arena because it conflicted with Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals.

  1. tmoore4075 - Apr 3, 2012 at 4:01 PM

    So a packed arena schedule with jumping time zones…fun. Wings got a little bit of that fun in 2001. Back to back with Saturday afternoon in Detroit and Sunday night in LA. That was great for a team that was already banged up. If only the NHL could cut down on travel in the playoffs with a divisional type playoff like pre-94 hmmm wonder if they’d ever think of that??

  2. flyersgoalscoredby88 - Apr 3, 2012 at 4:15 PM

    When will the other schedules be available? I’m trying to figure out if I can go to the games if the Flyers get home ice. If we are the 5 seed I’ve got no issues. Obviously there’s not a basketball team in Pittsburgh to affect scheduling (and there may as well not be one in Philly…).

  3. nhstateline - Apr 3, 2012 at 4:42 PM

    It gets better: they bump the other event by buying it out. The Bolts did it to Disney on Ice last year but I think it cost them around 250k to do it. Gets into how willing ownership is to make that happen.

  4. namriverrat69 - Apr 3, 2012 at 4:57 PM

    Just book it Dano.

    • blomfeld - Apr 3, 2012 at 10:52 PM

      “WILLIAMS, FIVE-O … I’D LIKE TO ASK YOU A FEW QUESTIONS” …

      Schedules Schmedules we say ! … the Kings organization isn’t going to have a problem moving the Mexicans or the Clippers to another date, if that becomes necessary … the problem will be the Lakers, though I suspect that they’ll be compliant too ? … regardless, “adversity” often brings out the best in people and therefore I’m convinced that our Kings will be just fine !

  5. highlander24 - Apr 3, 2012 at 5:34 PM

    You see! This is why we need to kick the Clippers out of Staples.

  6. soupy19 - Apr 3, 2012 at 8:10 PM

    I would have preferred to see Supertramp over the Canucks

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