Is it over?

No practice today — it’s Tip-A-King day down at L.A. Live — so, a question. Is it over? The Kings never quite charged into eighth place, but they got close, and now they’ve settled back into 12th. They’re four points behind eighth-place Edmonton (with one game in hand) and three teams are between them and the Oilers. The Kings are also two points ahead of last-place Colorado (with one game in hand) and two teams between them and the Avalanche.

So, with 24 games left, is it realistic to think the Kings can make the playoffs?

My instincts say no, but I’ve also never covered a Kings team as unpredictable as this one. Never would I have guessed that they would beat New Jersey and Washington on the road, then come back and lose to Atlanta and Phoenix at home. Quite simply, it’s a young team, and this is what young teams do. They look great one night and awful the next, sometimes literally.

Making the playoffs this season would be the Kings’ biggest accomplishment since 1993, but they’re going to need to play much better at home and they’re going to need some amazingly poised play from young defensemen and from rookie goalie Jonathan (“Please don’t shoot high”) Quick, because they’re about to face pressure like they’ve never seen before.

Statistically, it’s nowhere close to being over, but what do you think?

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