Mar 13, 2014, 9:01 AM EST
Going into the Olympic break, the Los Angeles Kings had just a four-point cushion in the fight for a playoff spot and had won just two of their last 11 contests.
It looks like a trip to Sochi was the perfect cure though. Dustin Brown has turned his season around since he was benched while playing for the United States and Jonathan Quick has a 1.00 GAA and .956 save percentage following his service as America’s goaltender.
The two of them have helped lead the Kings to an eight-game winning streak, with seven of those victories coming after the Winter Games. At this point the Kings’ playoff spot is all-but secured, but they have a chance to make some history when they play the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight.
Los Angeles is within striking distance of its franchise record nine-game winning streak. They could also hand coach Darryl Sutter his 500th victory on his first attempt.
Sutter is set to become the 18th coach to ever reach that milestone, although he chose to downplay the potential accomplishment.
“I think in today’s game the most important part is percentages,” Sutter told LA Kings Insider. “You get extra points now. You get one point, so it’s way more important.”
For what it’s worth, Sutter’s points percentage (points divided by the maximum possible) is at .563, which is good for 35th place on the all-time list among bench bosses that coached at least 200 games. He’s also tied for 11th place with 72 playoff wins.
- Canada enters World Juniors as 11/10 favorite; USA next at 9/4 0
- Devils fire DeBoer 15
- More mumps: Downie and Greiss test positive 2
- Orpik reflects on ‘outside pressure’ in Pittsburgh 16
- Canada tabs Fucale for WJC opener 0
- PHT’s top 14 of ’14: Ovechkin’s great big year of disappointment 9
- PHT’s top 14 of ’14: Kings win Cup, Martinez the OT hero 0
- Welcome to PHT’s top 14 stories for 2014 0
- Scott suspended four games for punch that was ‘neither predictable, nor acceptable’ 23
- Sharks’ Scott has hearing for his punch to Jackman 30
- Sabres aren’t happy with league’s decision regarding Bartkowski (76)
- Report: NHL won’t hold hearing for Bartkowski hit (55)
- Video: Bartkowski delivers controversial hit to Gionta, fights Foligno (47)
- Could Malkin be the next player to be fined for diving? (43)
- Panthers hold off Penguins for shootout win (42)