The Los Angeles Kings have developed a reputation for being one of the best, most-clutch teams in the NHL over the past few seasons. With two Stanley Cup championships in recent memory, who is going to argue?
That said, we have 14 games left on the schedule and the defending champs are on the outside looking in when it comes to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. I don't like to use the word panic with this team because I don't think the Kings panic. They've been in too many big games with this current group of players.
But the Kings also are aware of the schedule and where they sit in the standings. And you have to think they're starting to get worried, if they haven't been for a while. I think most people expect the Kings will find a way to get in, myself included. After all, L.A. has a game in hand on the Winnipeg Jets, their closest competition for the final wild card spot into the playoffs in the Western Conference. But the Kings know they need to get on a hot streak and win some games, and maybe get some favors from the rest of the conference. The last 12 or 13 games of a season go fast. They need to get hot now and I imagine their intensity level will be up big time over the final few weeks of the season.