93 pts, 3rd in Western Conference
SAN JOSE SHARKS
92 pts, 8th in Western Conference
Season Series Tied 2-2
7:30pm, Staples Center
Los Angeles, CA
BEST PLAYERS FROM THE 1991 SMYTHE DIVISION CHAMPION TEAM TO WEAR BOTH COLORS:
BEST OPPOSITION BLOGS:
Fear the Fin
Battle of California
ARE THE LA KINGS IN THE PLAYOFFS?
Holy shit... Game 81. The last regular season home game for the Los Angeles Kings. Let's be honest, if the Kings lose both of their games against the San Jose Sharks Thursday and Saturday... it could be their last home game of the 2011-2012 NHL Season. I can't stand Northern California and that means I can't stand the Grateful Dead... but wow... what a long, strange trip this season's been. And now the LA Kings only need 1 point to make the playoffs and if they win both these games against the Sharks they'll probably win their 1st Division Title since 1991. You all remember 1991, right?
"They watched together Friday night: Bruce McNall, the man who brought Wayne Gretzky to Los Angeles, and Gretzky, the man who was the key to bringing the Kings the first division title in their 24-year history.
And when it was over, when the Edmonton Oilers had beaten the Calgary Flames, 6-5, in overtime, to eliminate the Flames from the division race and hand the Smythe title to the Kings, they both spoke from McNall's home.
"I'm excited to bring the first Smythe Division championship to Los Angeles," McNall said "This is the first step toward the ultimate goal, to bring a Stanley Cup to the many fans. I'm proud of all the players, coaches and staff for what they have done to provide a championship."
Gretzky said he was "extremely excited to finish first. We worked hard all year to achieve this goal. Whether we play Edmonton or Vancouver in the first round is not the biggest reason for finishing first. It was to get pride, tradition and history started for this organization. That was the most important reason. Eventually, you've got to play the best team to win the Cup anyway."
Dave Taylor, finishing his 14th season as a King, dedicated this first title to "all of the players who have worn Kings colors over the years."
Oh hello, my youth.
So what were the current LA Kings players doing in 1991 while the LA Kings were clinching the Smythe Division?
1 year-old Drew Doughty was wearing out his tape player listening to Ten.
4 month-old Kyle Clifford was getting the inspiration for the man he'd become today.
Dean Lombardi was getting on-the-job training as the assistant general manager
to Jack Ferreira for the expansion San Jose Sharks.
8 year-old Dustin Penner was jerking off to Blossom.
And two 6 year-old boys learned what it means to be best friends.
Just get a point tonight, Kings. And try not to have to play Vancouver in the 1st Round. Or St. Louis.