It is not easy to get excited over the National Hockey League regular season. I mean, they play an 80-game schedule to determine which 16 of the 21 teams make the Stanley Cup tournament. But this is going to be a significant week for the Kings. . . .
Tonight: Calgary at the Forum. Thursday: Edmonton at the Northlands Coliseum. Saturday: Boston at the Forum. By Sunday, we will have a better idea whether the first-place Kings can win a divisional championship for the first time in their 24 seasons. . . .
The best record the Kings ever hung up was 42-17-21 for 105 points in 1974-75, when Bob Pulford's defensive wonders finished second in the Norris Division. . . .
What the Kings want to do this time is finish first, gain some home-ice advantage in the playoffs and not have to play Edmonton and Calgary back to back. They have proven they can eliminate one or the other, but not both. . . .
Calgary is still looking to make a trade. The NHL trading deadline is believed to be the 58-minute mark of the last game of the season. . . .
The Kings' worst record? In 1969-70, they went 14-52-10 for 38 points. . . .
Tonight's sellout will be the Kings' 22nd at the Forum this season. The season before Wayne Gretzky arrived on the scene, 1987-88, they had six. . . .
Dave Taylor, a noted practitioner of the work ethic, deserves a standing ovation when he's introduced during pregame ceremonies recognizing his 1,000th NHL point. . . .
When Bruce McNall and Gretzky complete negotiations to buy the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League, they should think about drafting fullback Bart Hull of Boise State. He's the brother of Brett Hull and son of Bobby. . . .
Santa Anita ought to try a new gimmick--getting the races off at post time. . . .
Jose Santos won the Strub Stakes aboard Defensive Play, but he's finding the competition here much tougher than in the East. . . .
An exciting 4-year-old could be Magical Mile, who once was considered a Kentucky Derby prospect before being injured. . . .
Rick Henson, son of former track announcer Harry Henson, soon will join Hollywood Park as an assistant general manager. . . .
Hollypark officials are busting their buttons over the Eclipse Award given Itsallgreektome, the track's resident turf specialist. . . .
Next barrier to fall should be the 20-foot pole vault. In fact, it might have fallen Sunday if the bar had been set a half-inch higher when Sergei Bubka set the indoor world record of 19-11 1/2 in Moscow. Of course, they were operating under the metric system there. . . .
Greatest College Basketball Team Ever Controversy (Cont.): Former syndicated sports columnist David Israel votes for the 1976 Indiana Hoosiers, who went 32-0. "They had everything--power inside, great perimeter shooting and overwhelming defense," Israel said. "They were nine deep and also had the best coach in history." . . .
If John Thompson became general manager, it would be a lot easier for the New York Knicks to re-sign Patrick Ewing. . . .
Most lopsided cross-town basketball rivalry in the NCAA must be Rice vs. Houston. The Owls' victory the other day was only their fourth in the last 43 games against the Cougars. . . .
UCLA Coach Jim Harrick says the only shooter he has ever seen with a quicker release than Don MacLean is Jerry West. . . .
How important is bench strength? The Arkansas substitutes outscored the Nevada Las Vegas subs Sunday, 32-5. . . .
Home-field advantage: Dan Duva, whose home base is in New Jersey, wanted the Evander Holyfield-George Foreman fight to stay in Atlantic City. Bob Arum, who lives in Las Vegas, wanted it switched to Caesars Palace. . . .
A match I would like to see is Terry Norris vs. Meldrick Taylor. . . .
It is hard to understand why free agent Candy Maldonado, who had 22 home runs and 95 RBIs for Cleveland last season, is still unsigned. . . .
Dodger minor league pitching instructor Goose Gregson is no relation to former New York Met catcher Greg Goossen. . . .
Only 10 more days until pitchers and catchers report to spring training. . . .
If the Hall of Fame wants to bar people for unsportsmanlike conduct, how about the owners and commissioner who participated in Collusions I and II?