Kings Links: Playoffs? Reign Are Battling, Monarchs Are In, and Kings Decide Their Fate

Plus, award nominations for Bernier and Brown, further updates on the playoff situation, and a proposal!

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  • The Kings clinched a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but our AHL and ECHL affiliates are both in the postseason as well! Here's where we stand.
    • The Manchester Monarchs were facing long odds to even qualify for the postseason, but bolstered by the return of Tyler Toffoli and strong goaltending by Martin Jones, they reeled off six wins in seven games to pass the Norfolk Admirals (Anaheim's AHL affiliate) and the Connecticut Whale, who ended the season with four and six game losing streaks, respectively. They also beat out the Hershey Bears to clinch the seventh spot. The Monarchs will play the Columbus-affiliated Springfield Falcons in the first round of the Calder Cup playoffs; Game 1 is this Saturday. We'll be keeping you updated on their progress.
    • The Ontario Reign are currently in the second round of the ECHL playoffs as they battle for the Kelly Cup. Defeated 3-2 in Game 1 by the Idaho Steelheads, they rebounded with a 5-0 blowout in Game 2. The next three games will be in Idaho, with Ontario returning home on April 30 and May 1 for Games 6 and 7 (if necessary). You can buy tickets here!
  • The Kings have announced their nominees for the Masterton Trophy and the Clancy Trophy. The nominee for the Masterton, awarded for "perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey," will be Jonathan Bernier. An atypical choice, but the most appropriate on the Kings, and a decent reward for a really good season. [LA Kings]
  • Speaking of Bernier, he gets the start tonight against the Minnesota Wild. [LA Kings Insider]
  • The nominee for the King Clancy Award, which takes into account "leadership qualities on and off the ice" and "noteworthy humanitarian contributions," is Dustin Brown. I'm willing to bet that with his polarizing style of play, many opposing fans aren't aware of Brown's long history of charity work. Congrats to both players. [LA Times]
  • Speaking of Brown, Dan Rosen of sat him down for five questions. [NHL]
  • Brown faces off against Anze Kopitar for a spot in the NHL14 cover vote. Electronic Arts kinda sucks, but we'll remind you later, because do you really want another Flyer on the cover? [NHL 14]
  • Speaking of Kopitar, he apparently got engaged. Whaaaa [Slovenske Novice, via LGK]
  • The Anaheim Ducks clinched the Pacific Division last night, and will open the first round (and if they make it, the second round) at the Honda Center. [Anaheim Calling]
  • Some playoff probabilities via Sports Club Stats...
    • The Kings' recent surge has given them an 83% chance of hosting Round 1, and a 96% chance of being involved in the 4-5 matchup. Three points in our final three games ensures the #5 seed, and four points ensures the #4 seed.
    • At this point, a first-round matchup with either San Jose or St. Louis is almost guaranteed, and a win in the season finale may allow the Kings to avoid the Sharks and draw the Blues.
    • If the Kings and the Ducks were to win their first-round matchups, and the Canucks lost their first-round matchup, the Kings and the Ducks would face off in Round 2.
  • Finally: in the wake of the recent explosion in West, Texas, Defending Big D (SBN's Dallas Stars blog) has posted some ways to help. The Dallas Stars have planned events in Texas; if you live elsewhere, consider donating through the Salvation Army's website.

Stay tuned for coverage of tonight's game. If you have any interesting stories or articles to share, use the comments!