It’s Kings vs. Coyotes
Wayne Gretzky (pictured) gave hockey in Los Angeles a significant boost in his eight seasons with the Kings, providing them with some cache in an overloaded market while boosting attendance and interest all the way down to the youth level. He had a similar impact as owner and later coach of the Phoenix Coyotes, though to a different extent and without nearly as much success. Now the Kings and Coyotes get ready to start the Western Conference finals tonight ( 5 p.m. on NBC Sports) in the desert. As Pacific Division rivals, the Kings and Coyotes play each other six times a season, building up enough animosity, from an entire team standpoint down to individual battles.