THE ROOT TO THE PLAYOFFS: Berra-ly Breathing
The LA Kings have two games left in their 2014-15 season and they will not make the playoffs without significant help from the Colorado Avalanche. Knowing which team to root for in any given matchup can be complicated so we’ve put together this handy guide for you.
Rooting Guidelines for games not involving the Kings:
RULE 1 – Always root for an Eastern Conference Team over a Western Conference Team. RULE 2 – Almost always root for a Central Division Team over a Pacific Division Team. RULE 3 – Always root for the higher ranked team when two Central Division Teams are playing each other.
RULE 1 – ROOT for the Avs
So it’s come down to this: Cheering for Patrick Roy…
Thursday, April 8th
Winnipeg at Colorado
If the Colorado Avalanche are able to upset the Winnipeg Jets at home, and the LA Kings are able to take care of business against the Calgary Flames, then the Kings will once again control their playoff destiny.
Sounds easy enough, right?
Well, it likely won’t be easy for the Avs. The Jets have gone 3-0-1 against them this season and are coming off back-to-back shutout wins over the Minnesota Wild and St. Louis Blues.
The Avalanche do not owe the Kings any favors. If they want to bench their entire roster to protect their young players from injury, they’re totally within their rights to do so. It’s unfortunate for the Kings, but they did that to themselves.
Meanwhile, the Jets can clinch a playoff berth with a win. Not only will that leave the Kings with one less way of making the playoffs, but it will also eliminate any incentive for the Jets to play hard in their season finale against the Flames. You know, the very team that the Kings would need to lose if the Jets beat the Avs.
It’s all somewhat confusing, so let’s just take it one game at a time.
I mean, the Avs are professional hockey players! Patrick Roy wants his team to win games!
Roy said the team will be alternating goalies for the final three games. Varly vs. NSH, Berra vs. WPG, Varly vs. CHI.
— Colorado Avalanche (@Avalanche) April 6, 2015
Patrick Roy finding out this morning that Reto Berra is on the Avs.
So the Kings playoff hopes may rest in the hands of Reto Berra.
Reto Friggin’ Berra.
In case the name didn’t scare you enough, or you have no idea who he is, let’s take a look at Berra’s career stats:
3.02 Goals Against Average
.898 Save Percentage
Not good. Not good at all.
But hey! Maybe Berra is like Richard Bachman! You know, a goalie who for whatever reason just owns a particular team!
*waits for stats to load*
Please own the Jets. Please own the Jets. Please own the Jets. Please own the Jets. Please own the Jets. Please own the Jets. Please own the Jets. Please own the Jets. Please own the Jets. Please own the Jets. Please own the Jets. Please own the Jets. Please own the Jets. Please own the Jets. Please own the Jets. Please own the Jets. Please own the Jets. Please own the Jets. Please own the Jets. Please own the Jets. Please own the Jets. Please own the Jets. Please own the Jets.
Reto Berra Career Stats vs. Jets:
4.43 Goals Against Average
.856 Save Percentage
So are there any silver linings here? Well we may as well grasp at straws since the season is on the line.
While they have struggled playing the Jets, the Avs have had some success against them at home. In the past two seasons, the Avs have gone 3-1-0 against the Jets at the Pepsi Center. Three of the four games have gone to overtime, which doesn’t help the Kings nearly as much as a regulation win would.
The player who has scored the most goals in the four games that Berra has faced the Jets is Dustin Byfuglien. He’s scored three times, and added an assist as well. Fortunately, Byfuglien won’t be part of this game because of the suspension he received for an especially stupid decision he made.
That’s fantastic news! The player who has had the most success scoring against Berra isn’t in the lineup! WOO!
However, there are plenty of Jets in the lineup who have had ample success against Berra. Leading the way are Bryan Little (2G, 3A), Andrew Ladd (2G, 2A), and Blake Wheeler (1G, 6A).
Here are some of their greatest hits against Berra:
It’s not pretty, folks.
But it is a chance.
And right now, after everything that’s happened this season, that’s all Kings fans can ask for.
Root: AVALANCHE in regulation