Sharks, Kings and Ducks are making California a playoff hockey mecca
If the Ducks make the playoffs -- and they need to gain two points or have the Dallas Stars fail to gain two points for that to happen -- it would be the first time the Ducks and Kings will be in the playoffs in the same season.
It would also produce another oddity: There would be more California-based teams in the playoffs than Canada-based teams.
The San Jose Sharks clinched a playoff spot last week and the Kings clinched theirs on Wednesday. The Ducks would make California teams three for three.
Of the six Canada-based teams, only Montreal and top-seeded Vancouver will compete for the Stanley Cup. Edmonton and Ottawa have long been out of contention and Toronto and Calgary were eliminated this week.
And yes, most of the players on the three California teams are from Canada, but it's still a quirky and interesting fact. Surprising too.
“Wow. I didn’t realize that,” Ducks winger Bobby Ryan said. “That’s actually an incredible stat. That just shows southern California -- I guess all of California -- is the place to be right now.”
You just know that NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman will be blamed for this by a lot of unhappy Canadians.
-- Helene Elliott
Photo: Sharks forward Dany Heatley, left, tries to skate past Ducks defenseman Sheldon Brookbank during the Ducks' 6-2 victory Wednesday at Honda Center. Credit: Jeff Gross / Getty Images