San Jose Sharks: Drew Doughty Wants to "Knock Them out of the Playoff Picture"

Scott SemmlerAnalyst IIMarch 21, 2017

SAN JOSE, CA - NOVEMBER 07:  Drew Doughty #8 of the Los Angeles Kings and Douglas Murray #3 of the San Jose Sharks go for the puck at HP Pavilion at San Jose on November 7, 2011 in San Jose, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The whole "Beat L.A." phenomenon has never fully taken effect in the NHL between the San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings, compared to its Giants/Dodgers counterpart in baseball.

However, that may be taking a turn for the worst this upcoming week, as the Sharks and Kings square off in a fight for not the Pacific division title, but simply a playoff birth in the Western Conference.

The two teams are separated by just one point with two games to play, and both are at least three points clear of the ninth seed in the Western Conference playoff picture.

Even on the brink of such an important couple of games to decide the season standings, there was even more added motivation for the two teams, as Kings defenseman Drew Doughty did not hold back when asked about the upcoming match-ups with the Sharks.

Doughty said: “We definitely want to do whatever we can to knock them out of the playoff picture. We want third place, and that’s what we’re going to play for. These two games mean a lot, not only for third place but just being able to push a team like that out of the playoffs is a big momentum boost for us.”

Credit Doughty for being straight-forward and to the point, and this should be how nearly every contending team in the Western Conference should view the Sharks right now.  They are a dangerous team with a talented roster, and taking that out of the playoffs only makes the road to the Stanley cup that much easier.

The Kings need just one point in the final two games of the season to clinch a spot in the Western Conference playoffs, while the Sharks need just two points.  

The comments, mixed with an ever-growing rivalry, should make these final two games against each other become must-see television, as two teams battle for positioning in the Western Conference.