SAN JOSE -- If all goes to plan, he will play against the San Jose Sharks in Game 1 tonight here, fly home to Los Angeles with his teammates, go straight to the hospital and greet the newest member of the family a few hours later.
Let’s just say Thursday, and quite likely, the early hours on Friday are going to be rather eventful ones for Kings forward Kyle Clifford. He and his wife, Paige, are expecting their first child, and he will be able to get back for the birth, by virtue of the all-California playoff series.
Things might have been more problematic, say, if the Kings had opened the first round in St. Louis. That was their first-round opponent last season in the playoffs, and two years ago, the Kings played the Vancouver Canucks in the first round.
Kings Coach Darryl Sutter mused earlier that the only better outcome for Clifford, schedule-wise, would have been if the Kings and the Ducks played in the opening round. But, hey, traffic can be bad between Anaheim and Los Angeles.
“It’s worked out all right,” Clifford said. “It’s all good. Just worry about the game and worry about family afterward.”
Yes, just as long as the Kings and Sharks don’t end up going into double or triple overtime in San Jose.