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Waiting game for Los Angeles Kings and St. Louis Blues

April 24, 2012|By Lisa Dillman
  • Coach Darryl Sutter wants to know when the second round of the playoffs start so he can get his team into a "prairie schooner," as he he called it, and head to St. Louis.
Coach Darryl Sutter wants to know when the second round of the playoffs start… (Andrew D. Bernstein / Getty…)

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Kings Coach Darryl Sutter spent part of his post-practice media session on Tuesday talking about schedules, traveling and playoff logistics, spelling out the disadvantage for his team.

“That’s all part of not being a home-ice team,” he said.

The Kings-Blues series will start in St. Louis … eventually. Later, in Los Angeles, there could be six playoff games at Staples Center, from April 28 to May 4, if the Clippers secure home-court advantage. With the Kings, Lakers and Clippers all in the playoffs, it is a considerable scheduling challenge.

So the Kings might get a definitive answer about their playoff schedule later Tuesday. Until then, it was all a guessing game.

Sutter simply wants to know. And, as he said, then they can get in a “prairie schooner” and head over to St. Louis.

The Western Conference semifinals meets “Little House on the Prairie”?

Sutter also dismissed the statistic showing visiting teams doing better -- by a wide margin -- thus far in the 2012 NHL playoffs.

“As you go along, that’s all [baloney], quite honestly,” he said. “I know from the experience of it, the less travel you have ... you want to be in your own building. It still does have a psychological difference to the player…. You want to play the deciding game in your building, always.”

The Kings, who finished off their first-round opponent Sunday in Vancouver, had the day off Monday and were on the ice Tuesday in El Segundo. Injured forward Kyle Clifford got on the ice for some limited skating near the end of the main session but did not practice.

Dustin Penner and Dwight King swapped spots, with Penner moving to the second line with Jeff Carter and Mike Richards, and King joining Trevor Lewis and Jarret Stoll. It’s not a new look in the postseason, Sutter noted.

“We’ve got to continue to move around, right?” he said. “And we’re lucky we’ve got guys who can play everywhere … our left wing hasn’t excelled five on five, so we’re trying to find stuff to work. We did it in Vancouver.”

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Waiting game for Los Angeles Kings and St. Louis Blues

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