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The Anaheim Ducks’ Corey Perry (center), the Los Angeles Kings’ Jonathan Quick (right) and another Kings player putting in work during a recent game between the two clubs. Photo courtesy of wsbtv.com

 

By NICHOLE CHOICE

HERE SHE IS AGAIN!

OUR RESIDENT HOCKEY LADY, NICHOLE CHOICE, HAS BEEN WATCHING THE WAR FOR FIRST PLACE BETWEEN SOCAL’S TWO NHL TEAMS WITH OBVIOUSLY GREAT INTEREST, THE KINGS’ AND DUCKS RECENT GAMES AGAINST EACH OTHER TAKING ON A UCLA vs USC TINT IN THEIR INTENSITY.

CHECK OUT WHAT SHE HAS TO SAY ABOUT THE LATEST HAPPENINGS WITH OUR TWO HOCKEY CLUBS…

 

Greetings, hockey family!

We are in the home stretch of the 2015-16 NHL regular season! Can you believe it?!

The season ends on April 10th, and playoffs commence just three days later!

And what an exhilarating season it’s been! Breathtaking, actually!

Let’s catch up! Let’s chat about what’s been going on since last time, as well as what exciting possible scenarios we have to look forward to this spring!

We’re going to start with the Los Angeles Kings, who have unfortunately been having somewhat of a rough time in recent days, but there’s still an immeasurable amount of hope, optimism, and belief in the air.

Plus statistics are on their side, too, so we’ll get into that in a little bit…

So, to summarize what’s been going on with the Los Angeles side of things is that we were in fact victorious this weekend over the Edmonton Oilers, but it was bittersweet yet encouraging at the same time, as it was on the heels of three straight losses.

The Kings’ spot in the Western Conference is secure, but this past week has been concerning.

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The Kings’ defenseman Luke Schenn (left) grapples with a Duck for control over a puck during a Freeway Faceoff clash at the Honda Center in Anaheim. Photo courtesy of news.yahoo.com

 

However…

Bear in mind this wouldn’t be the first time the Kings have bounced back against tremendous odds.

Travel back with me in time to the sweet year of 2014, when the Kings obtained the Stanley Cup over the New York Rangers.

Prior to that victory, they faced a tremendous setback in April in the series against the San Jose Sharks.

In fact, the Kings made history by being the first team to ever win a series after having lost the first three games; that has never happened before.

So the thought of these Los Angeles Kings rebounding when the entire world (except for us!) counted them out is not so farfetched after all.

Up next for the L.A. Kings are, in fact, our good friends the San Jose Sharks (ironically enough!) tonight; Monday the 28th.

 

Highlights from the Los Angeles Kings vs Anaheim Ducks game at Honda Center on February 28, 2016 – Ducks won 4-2, led by a hat trick by Corey Perry

 

And the Kings’ most recently conquered team, the Edmonton Oilers, will be facing off against the Anaheim Ducks that same day.

So let’s check in and catch up on those Anaheim Ducks now, who have so far won seven and lost six matches this month.

Not the strongest odds, as 50/50 is not usually considered championship material, is it?

To their credit, these Anaheim Ducks have ricocheted back to fine form during their victory over the Ottawa Senators this weekend, as after two back-to-back losses to the Montreal Canadiens last Tuesday and a succumbing to the Toronto Maple Leafs last Thursday.

This is hopeful because up next for these Ducks are the Oilers, who are not having their best season ever, and that’s a huge underestimation.

It’s been in fact downright disastrous for the Oilers this year, so the Ducks are favored to win in Monday’s matchup, and every little victory means so much right now!

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Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm (right) trying to put a King into the boards as they fight for first place in the Pacific. Photo courtesy of ak-11.com

 

As always, and especially by this time of year, there is one thing weighing most heavily on the minds of SoCal hockey fans…

The prestigious Stanley Cup, of course! And which of our teams is most likely to obtain this coveted goal!

Though it’s been tough lately, according to a recent ESPN Power Ranking (click on the link below)…

National Hockey League Power Rankings from ESPN.go.com – March 21, 2016

Our Los Angeles Kings are ranked #1, whereas it had been the Washington Capitals for seemingly the longest according to the network, as most favored to win the Cup.

Now earlier this month, the Capitals beat the Ducks, but were forced to surrender to the Kings just a couple of days later, so who is to say?

This has been a rollercoaster of a season, to say the least!

ESPN, by the way, ranks the Ducks at #4 on that list and overall, the tend seems to be that the top teams are playing hard during this home stretch, and things are changing quickly.

Don’t forget the games tonight: Ducks are facing off at 6:00 pm PT and the Kings dropping the puck at 7:00 pm, so get your dual screens ready!

See you in April!

 

Editor’s note: With a little less than two weeks left, these Kings and Ducks are in a virtual street fight for the Pacific Division crown with L.A., at 95 points, three points ahead of Anaheim.

This issue may well be settled at the final Freeway Face-Off between these two increasingly heated rivals a week from this Thursday, April 7th, at Staples Center in what will be the next-to-last regular season game for the Kings and the third-to-last for the Ducks.

 

Highlights of the latest Anaheim Ducks vs Los Angeles Kings game, played at Staples Center on March 5, 2016 – Ducks won, 3-2

 

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Jonathan Quick and Corey Perry battling by the nets at Staples Center. Photo courtesy of dailyherald.com

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