It’s strange, but this is the second time so far this season that I’ve noticed an odd scheduling pattern affecting a California team. The Anaheim Ducks recently played the Phoenix Coyotes three times in a row and now the Los Angeles Kings are preparing to welcome the Calgary Flames for two consecutive games.
Is it just a quirk of having to create a new, shortened schedule out of whole cloth at the end of the NHL lockout? Possibly. But the Kings will play the Flames at the Staples Center twice–tonight at 7 p.m. Pacific (10 p.m. Eastern) and then again on Monday at 7 p.m. Pacific.
This may very well work to Los Angeles’ advantage because they’re pretty darn strong on home ice. Apart from their most recent game, a 5-2 loss to the Dallas Stars at home, the Kings have won their past six games inside the Staples Center. That last loss didn’t sit well with coach Darryl Sutter, though, who said that he’d seen some mistakes creep into the younger players, though they’re things that can still be corrected.
The Kings are also going to honor Los Angeles goalie alum Kelly Hrudey as part of the team’s Legends Night Series this evening. He’ll sign autographs, there will be a pre-game ceremony, plus giveaways for fans and the team will wear their special purple and gold vintage jerseys for the second–and last–time this season. Hrudey still holds the team record for most shots faced and most saves made, plus he’s among the best in the Kings’ 46-year history in other metrics like wins, shutouts and goals-against average.
Speaking of those old-school sweaters: the last time the Kings wore those, they won 4-1 against the Colorado Avalanche on Feb. 23.
Sometimes, there really is no place like home.