Apr 3, 2012, 3:54 PM EDT
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.
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.
- Blues say Center for Disease Control hasn’t been to Scottrade, don’t plan on it coming 4
- Agent: Vanek was not ‘involved’ in money laundering 6
- Even after big changes, Isles still struggling defensively 12
- Back to junior: Sabres return Reinhart to WHL Kootenay 4
- Report: Phone hearing for Burrows, who says hit on Emelin wasn’t late 33
- Video: Burrows catches Emelin with a late hit (Updated) 12
- Report: Thomas Vanek involved in money laundering scandal 36
- Video: Devils (finally) win a shootout 4
- Video: Lucic and Stewart drop the gloves 24
- Blues lose Backes, Oshie indefinitely to concussions 5
- Video: John Moore with an elbow to the head of Erik Haula (Updated) (62)
- Report: Varlamov being sued by ex-girlfriend (47)
- Kreider calls Brodin hit a ‘bang-bang play,’ doesn’t plan to dramatically change his game (46)
- No hearing scheduled for Kreider after Brodin hit (44)
- Kopitar out, Lombardi irate as Kings will play shorthanded vs. Flyers (40)