The ’14-’15 season has come to an end and the Los Angeles Kings have been left on the outside looking in for the first time since the ’08-’09 season. We’ve already gone over why Kings fans should be okay with missing the playoffs. Now with the playoffs set to get underway in just a couple of days, Kings fans will be looking for a new team to be fans of, or at least pull for during the post season.
Lets not waste too much time and just jump right into it.
The Western Conference
In the West, the Anaheim Ducks finished atop the conference and drew the Winnipeg Jets who finished in the second wild card spot. Rounding out the Pacific Division bracket is the Vancouver Canucks facing off against the Calgary Flames in a Western Canada showdown. In the Central Division bracket, we have the St. Louis Blues who won the division which matched them up against the the first wild card team, the Minnesota Wild. Finishing out the Central Division bracket is the Nashville Predators and Chicago Blackhawks.
It is no secret who most Kings fans will be pulling for in the first round and through out however long the Ducks are in the playoffs. The Jets will have a new contingent of fans in Southern California come the start of the playoffs. If the Ducks advance to the next round and so on, it is safe to say the Kings fans will be at least rooting for who ever the Ducks are playing against in that series as long as the Ducks are in it.
Outside of the Ducks’ series, Kings fans could go with the idea, “We want a team we lost to to win it all because that makes us look better.” That would thrust the Flames and Canucks into the spotlight for Kings fans. But then again that whole Canucks and Kings rivalry thing might make that hard.
Then Kings fans might think if we can’t win, no one in our Division can, which would bring in the Central Division. The Blackhawks. Yea, right. No chance. The Blues. Just about as good a shot as rooting for the Blackhawks.
All of that leaves the Jets, Predators and Wild. Playoff hockey in Winnipeg and Minnesota is sure to be a thing of beauty. While the Predators may break through and see some post season success for the first time.
The Eastern Conference
In the East, the New York Rangers grabbed the President’s Trophy and the Eastern Conference’s number one seed along with it. The Pittsburgh Penguins grabbed a victory on the last day of the regular season which secured their spot as the second wild card and a first round date with the Rangers. Rounding out the Metropolitan Division bracket is the Washington Capitals and the New York Islander. The Montreal Canadiens finished as the East’s number two seed and the the Ottawa Senators capped off a late season rally and snuck in via the second wild card spot setting up another all Canada showdown. Finishing out the first round of this year’s playoffs is the Tampa Bay Lightning and Detroit Red Wings.
The Rangers might be a long shot at getting support from Kings fans looking for a new team. There’s something about playing a team in the playoffs that creates a hatred. Which eliminates the Rangers and keeps all of the other Eastern Conference contenders in contention.
Maybe Kings fans will pull for the Red Wings since Detroit is like a twice removed cousin now after their move from the Western Conference to the Eastern Conference. But then again hockey fans are pretty stingy and they probably won’t want the Red Wings to add another banner to their rafters. If they are using that ideology, then they definitely won’t want the Canadiens to grab their 26th championship.
Possibly Kings fans will feel some kind of connection to this year’s Cinderella stories because the Kings were that Cinderella story when they won their first Cup a few years ago. That would give the Senators, who were 14-points out of the playoffs at one point, full rights to the new fandom.
If non of that appeals to Kings fans they still have the Lightning, Capitals and Penguins as possible new favorites.
All in all, it is impossible to group the entire Kings fan base into one unit and say they will pull for one team. Maybe there is a Kings fan out there that just wants SoCal hockey to win and will be rooting for the Ducks, who knows.
But for now if you’re a Kings fan comment below what team you will be rooting for during the playoffs and why . If you’re not a Kings fan and think those fans should cheer a certain way during the playoffs give them your best sales pitch in the comment section.
The real season is right around the corner.
Eric received his BA in Journalism from California State University, Northridge. Eric has contributed to RinkRoyalty.com, Buffalowdown.com and California Rubber Magazine.