Game Day #26: Kings @ Sharks Preview

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks (SAP Center)

Time: 7.30 PM

TV: Fox Sports West

Enemy reading: Fear the Fin

Sharks (projected) lineup:

Hertl-Thornton-Burns
Marleau-Couture-Wingels
Havlat-Pavelski-Kennedy
Sheppard-Desjardins-Brown

Vlasic-Braun
Boyle-Irwin
Hannan-Stuart

Niemi

Injured: Adam Burish, Raffi Torres, Scratched: Matt Pelech, John McCarthy, Jason Demers

Kings (projected) lineup:

Brown-Kopitar-Williams
King-Richards-Carter
Clifford-Vey-Toffoli
Carcillo-Stoll-Nolan

Muzzin-Doughty
Regehr-Voynov
Mitchell-Martinez

Scrivens


Game notes:
  • See? I come back, write the preview, and the Kings win a game - one of the uncommon games where they are out-possessed and out-chanced, even. Winning games through luck is fun! Everything's fine now!!
  • Unfortunately, I'm still drowning in work, so this preview will also be brief. Like the list of penalties tonight, I hope. (I was going to throw in a pointed comment directed at one particular skater here, except upon review of the boxscore from last game, everyone was stupid. So, everyone stop being stupid.) (The Kings are notoriously stupid when playing the Sharks, so my hopes are not high.)
  • Win and you're in: the Darryl Sutter story. Every forward line except the third had a dismal outing against the Canucks, but hey, victory in a 3-2 league. I'm not at all concerned about the first line bouncing back, but let us join hands in a circle and make entreaties to our spirits of choice that Jeff Carter's post-injury malaise is brief.
  • The thing about pairing any non-elite defenceman with your elite defenceman is that sometimes the first guy drags down the performance of the second guy. It happens less frequently with Jake Muzzin beside Drew Doughty than it does with Robyn Regehr, so I'm not too fussed about their lacklustre game against the Canucks, particularly in the context of an overall weak game from the Kings. I will, however, start to get a little worried if they put up back-to-back weak performances against two strong divisional rivals.
  • After winning a bunch of games and then losing a bunch of games, drama drama drama, the Sharks are mostly winning again, and they've looked good doing it. They're also mostly healthy now, so I doubt the Kings can look forward to re-living the dummying they handed the Sharks last time (in terms of play, if not in score). Staying disciplined will be key, as it always is against the Sharks.
  • Oceans will rise, civilisations will fall, and Darryl Sutter will never ever remember that he has a back-up goalie. (I am not suggesting that Martin Jones start tonight - as I do not love pain - but I am beginning to get a little concern about Scrivens' workload. If Jones doesn't start once during the three games in four days stretch coming up, I will be vexed.)
  • ~Fun With Numbers~:
  • Team GP Points ROW Goal Diff PP% PK% S/G SA/G CF% (5v5SC) FF% (5v5SC) PDO
    Kings 25 35 (5th, W) 12 +14 (7th) 18.3 (17th) 83.8 (11th) 31.2 (9th) 26.0 (5th) 56.9% (2nd) 55.7% (3rd) 987 (20th)
    Sharks 23 35 (4th, W) 14 +27 (2nd) 19.6 (13th) 82.3 (16th) 35.9 (1st) 27.2 (6th) 54.1% (4th) 54.5% (5th) 1019 (7th)

  • Prediction: Kings win 5-3, Anze Kopitar continues to be the best centre in the West, and Tyler Toffoli out-Calders Tomas Hertl.

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