Kings-Sharks Game 4 Preview

Thearon W. Henderson

The Kings try to bounce back in San Jose, aiming for a daunting 3-1 series lead.

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks (HP Pavilion)

Time: 7.00 PM

TV: RDS, TSN, NBC Sports Network

Enemy reading: Fear the Fin

Previous series coverage: Preview | Game 1 coverage | Game 2 recap | Game 3 recap

Sharks (projected) lineup:

Marleau-Couture-Pavelski
Galiardi-Thornton-Burns
Sheppard-Gomez-Wingels
Kearns-Desjardins-Kennedy

Vlasic-Braun
Irwin-Boyle
Hannan-Stuart

Niemi

Injured: Burish; Scratched: Demers?, Havlat?, Hamilton, Oleksuk, Pelech, Stalberg, Acolatse, Demelo, Petrecki, Tennyson

Kings (projected) lineup:

Brown-Kopitar-Williams
King-Richards-Carter
Penner-Lewis-Toffoli
Clifford-Fraser-Richardson

Regehr-Doughty
Scuderi-Voynov
Ellerby-Muzzin

Quick

Injured: Mitchell, Greene, Stoll (THANKS, RAFFI); Scratched: Martinez, the Manchester Monarchs

Game notes:

  • Kyle Clifford returns! He practiced on a line with Colin Fraser and Brad Richardson, so that's my rough guesstimate of what the bottom six will look like. We still don't know what his upper body injury was, but fingers crossed that he's actually healed, and not "it's the playoffs, so get out there anyway" healed.
  • #FreeDustinPennertotheSecondLine
  • I can't quite keep track of what's up with Jason Demers and Martin Havlat, but it looks like Havlat re-injured himself during Game 3, in a stunning turn of events. Demers, on the other hand, looks like he's ready, but McLellan hasn't decided if he'll be playing, whether as forward or defenceman.
  • We don't have individual #fancystats for Game 3, but Robert did put up a mid-series review. The Kings who aren't Jonathan Quick are getting worked over in a way they rarely experienced during the regular season. The Joe Thornton line is basically exerting its will, and the many miscues by all the defencemen not named Drew Doughty have been troubling - Slava Voynov in particular has been making some very interesting (read: terrifying) defensive choices. Plus, the offense has been struggling as the top line has been nowhere near as strong as expected.
  • That being said, and all credit to the Sharks for doing very well, but they also haven't seen the Kings play at their top level. Maybe Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams are banged up, as a lot of us have been speculating, and they simply can't get back to that top level. Maybe they've had an extra day off and now they feel way better. All we can do is watch. And maybe pray a little or make Logan Couture voodoo dolls or whatever.
  • Jonathan Quick owns. If you were one of those "trade him for a fifth round pick" people at mid-season, you are bad and you should feel bad. If you were one of those obnoxious fans of other teams calling him washed up/the new Cam Ward, a)why are you reading this and b)suuuuck it.
  • Prediction: Kings win, Quick is great, everyone on twitter whines endlessly about refereeing as I contemplate quitting the internet, and Raffi Torres remains gross.
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