Kings-Sharks Game Preview: Tyler Toffoli Day

Harry How

The Kings and Sharks are back at it tonight, with Kings top prospect Tyler Toffoli launching his NHL career.

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks (Staples Center)

Time: 7.30 PM

TV: Fox Sports West

Seats: Los Angeles Kings Tickets

Enemy reading: Fear the Fin

Sharks (projected) lineup:

Couture-Thornton-Burns
Clowe-Marleau-Pavelski
Sheppard-Gomez-Wingels
Desjardins-Handzus-Burish

Irwin-Boyle
Vlasic-Braun
Murray-Stuart

Niemi

Injuries: Havlat (Havlat-itis)

Kings (projected) lineup:

Brown-Kopitar-Williams
Richards-Carter-TOFFOLIIII
King-Stoll-Lewis
Clifford-Fraser-Penner

Muzzin-Doughty
Scuderi-Voynov
Ellerby-Drewiske

Bernier

Injuries: Greene (back), Mitchell (knee)

Game notes:

  • Have I mentioned that Tyler Toffoli is playing? Because he is. Now let's discuss how there has basically never been a non-hilarious draft picture. I mean, look at that thing. It's majestic.
  • Other changes from last game: Dustin Penner gets dumped to the fourth line for Toffoli's debut (with Jordan Nolan a healthy scratch), Jonathan Bernier in for Jonathan Quick. Nolan has not been playing particularly well, Penner will almost definitely be able to give the fourth line some more presence, and Bernier in for Quick was a foregone conclusion. So, other than Darryl Sutter actually pulling the trigger on inserting Toffoli into the lineup, no surprises.
  • It turns out that Brent Burns is still a pretty good forward. One of the Sharks' best, in fact. World Junior aficionados everywhere drone tediously, "I tooold you so."
  • The game on Thursday was a bit of a disaster for the Kings. Stop me if you've heard this one before, but the Kings dominated possession for long stretches, and got done in by some very poor goaltending in the early going, before Jonathan Quick got pulled.
  • Re: Jonathan Quick. He might not be a career .930 sv% goalie, but he is certainly not a .891 sv% goalie. He had back surgery, he's clearly not in top form, he's struggling, and he will get better. Until then, Jonathan Bernier has been performing very respectably - which is about as much as this very good team needs. I feel your pain, Kings fans. I know we aren't used to cheering for a good team. But let's all just take a collective deep breath and chill out. It'll be okay.
  • This is the start of a five-game homestand which is comprised exclusively of games against other teams in that "teams that aren't Chicago or Anaheim" clusterf*#& in Western Conference standings. I'm not a huge believer in game-to-game momentum, but it obviously wouldn't hurt morale to start off this stretch with a win against a Pacific Division rival.
  • Go Kings Go
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