Monday’s game is a big one for both the
But Kings Coach
"We're trying to be a good middle-of-the-pack team, which is what our realistic expectations were coming into the year, instead of saying, 'This is what we are, this is what we [aren't],' " he said after Sunday's short practice. "It's a real fair evaluation of our group."
Monday's game, the last of the season between the Kings and Blues, is unlikely to change that evaluation much, no matter the result. But given the four-point swing at stake — the Kings can pull within a point of St. Louis with a victory but will drop five points back with a loss in regulation — the game could go a long way toward determining the team's playoff chances.
But, Sutter cautioned, being honest isn't the same as giving up. Especially since the Kings have won two in a row for the first time in five weeks and have earned points in six of their last seven games.
"[We're] not folding our tents, not listening to outside criticism," Sutter continued. "We're trying to be honest with each other and our assessment of how we play and try and play that way."
Making it count
Adrian Kempe’s first
"I didn't see it go in right away so I kept skating," said Kempe, who was playing in his 11th NHL game. "Then I saw the crowd and the red light. It's extra fun to score a really important goal in a tight game."
Especially since his parents had flown in from Stockholm to see the game, according to Kings insider Jon Rosen.
Two of the Kings' other three goals came on power plays, the last into an empty net. That gives the team nine goals with a man advantage in their last five games.
Sunday’s skate was optional and several regulars chose the option to not participate. … The league has suspended Washington’s
VS. ST. LOUIS
When: Monday, 7 p.m.
On the air: TV: FS West; Radio: 790.
Update: The Blues (35-27-5) were already in possession of the conference’s second wild-card spot last month when they fired Ken Hitchcock, the second-winningest coach in franchise history, and promoted coach-in-waiting Mike Yeo. They’ve strengthened their position since then, going 11-6 and winning their last four under Yeo. Winger