THE ROOT TO THE PLAYOFFS: Jan. 30th – Feb. 1st

The LA Kings have 34 games left in their 2014-15 season and they likely won’t make the playoffs without some help from the rest of the league. 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.

 

FRIDAY, January 30th

Buffalo at Vancouver

This game is a Rule 1 no-brainer.

Root: SABRES
ACTUAL RESULT: Canucks win 5-2

Chicago at Anaheim

This is a rare instance where you should root for a Pacific Division team over a Central Division team. The Ducks are a virtual lock to finish first in the Pacific but the Blackhawks could be potential rivals for a Wild Card spot.

Root: DUCKS
ACTUAL RESULT: Blackhawks win 4-1

Nashville at Colorado

Nashville appears to be secure atop the Central Division while the Avalanche are making a push for a playoff spot. The Kings have a game in hand over the Avs, but are only three points ahead in the standings.

Root: NASHVILLE
ACTUAL RESULT: Predators win 3-0

Pittsburgh at New Jersey

The Kings own the Devils 7th Round Draft Pick, thanks to the trade that allowed Martin Brodeur to draft his son with their final pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.

brodeurs06301_672St. Louis Blues legend Martin Brodeur poses with two members of the Devils organization.

I admit the difference between drafting 205th vs 206th or 207th isn’t that huge an advantage … but it couldn’t hurt.

Root : PITTSBURGH
ACTUAL RESULT: Penguins win 2-1 (OT)
 

SATURDAY, January 31st

Chicago at San Jose

See Rule 2

Root: BLACKHAWKS
ACTUAL RESULT: Sharks win 2-0

Edmonton at Calgary

The Oilers can only play the role of spoiler at this point. Here’s hoping they douse the Flames.

Root: OILERS
ACTUAL RESULT: Flames win 4-2

Dallas at Winnipeg

The Jets are six points ahead of the Kings, but the Kings have two games in hand. The Stars are three points behind with the same number of games played. There’s no right answer in this one as long as it’s not a three-point game.

Root: NO OVERTIME
ACTUAL RESULT: Stars win 5-2

Florida at New Jersey

You should want Willie Mitchell to make the playoffs, however unlikely it may be. Plus there’s that 7th Round draft pick…

w640xh480_USPW_412646We miss you, Willie.

Root: PANTHERS
ACTUAL RESULT: Devils win 3-1

Islanders at Detroit

This matchup of Eastern Conference leaders doesn’t impact the Kings, but PumperNicholl convinced The Royal Half to place a bet on the Islanders to win the Stanley Cup before the season started while I tried to talk him into picking the Red Wings.

Root: RED WINGS
ACTUAL RESULT: Red Wings win 4-1
 

SUNDAY, February 1st

Minnesota at Vancouver

This game is one of those rare occasions where you may feel tempted to buck the rules. The Canucks neck and neck with the Kings and many think they may not have the staying power to make the playoffs. On the other hand, the Wild are within striking distance of the Wild Card spots and the more games they lose the further they fade into the rear view mirror.

This is why the rules exist. It won’t matter who claims the Wild Card seeds if the Kings secure a Pacific Division seed.

See Rule 2.

Root: WILD
ACTUAL RESULT: Wild win 4-2

ROOT RECORD THIS WEEK: 4-5-1

The only thing Jesse Cohen loves more than the LA Kings is talking to strangers about the LA Kings. You can follow Jesse Cohen on Twitter @KingsMenPodcast.