(Preseason) Game Preview: Kings Face Avs After Dismantling Anaheim

Mitchell and Voynov, back together. Nice. - Jeff Gross

Let's take a look at some of the interesting subplots before tonight's tilt at the Pepsi Center. The Kings are coming off of a systematic destruction of the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday, so we'll also tell you about that.

Tonight's game is not being shown on television. And that's unfortunate. Here's why!

Los Angeles Kings v Colorado Avalanche

Pepsi Center, 6:00 PM. Listen on 1150 AM. Live stream available here.

Game Notes:

  • The big news: Willie Mitchell is back in the lineup.
  • He's not just back in the lineup; he's skating with 2012 partner Slava Voynov.
  • Anyway, I believe the appropriate way to describe my reaction to hearing that was, "All of the feels." (Yes, this news did deserve three bullet points.) I'd be really excited to see how he looks... if this game was being shown on television.
  • Young Avalanche netminder Sami Aittokallio gets the start in goal. The last time you saw him, he was being escorted off the ice with a devastating and career-threatening injury leg cramps, and some media members manufactured a controversy about fans booing. I'd link to our story about that, but we didn't write one. Because it was stupid.

    Anyway, he actually played pretty well up to that point, though LA eventually won in a shootout. That was Aittokallio's only NHL game (so far), and he'll split tonight's game with another goalie prospect, Calvin Pickard. You can read about that on the Avs' website, and it would be interesting to see their contrasting styles... if this game was being shown on television.
  • Those of you that were looking forward to facing #1 draft pick Nathan MacKinnon will have to wait until Frozen Fury. MacKinnon has a hip flexor and will not skate tonight. But you could watch another Avs forward prospect, Paul Carey, skate with Paul Stastny and captain Gabriel Landeskog... if this game was being shown on television.
  • Kings prospect Nick Shore is as lucky as Carey is. He gets to skate with our Number 10 Player Under 25, Dwight King! Oh, and that Justin Williams guy. And he gets to do so in Denver, where he played his college hockey. For a lot of us, it would be our first chance to get a glimpse of him with NHL teammates against NHL-ish competition... if this game was being shown on television
  • The three best forward prospects on the Kings will most likely skate together tonight, as Linden Vey centers Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson. That would surely be a sight to behold... if this game was being shown on television.
  • The four defensemen who are fighting for the 6D spot on the Los Angeles Kings will be competing directly against each other tonight. Jake Muzzin skates with Keaton Ellerby (Go Go Muzzerby!) while Alec Martinez will team up with Jeff Schultz. Which one will make an impression tonight? I guess we'll have to rely on the opinions of those who are actually in Denver. Because THIS GAME ISN'T BEING SHOWN ON TELEVISION

The Kings are currently riding high, after dominating the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday in a 6-0 victory. It sounded awesome. Sounded.

In honor of the six goals scored by LA, here are six key takeaways from that contest.

  1. Matt Frattin may have locked up the second-line left wing spot. Frattin scored in the first period, provided a screen on Drew Doughty's goal in the second, and sprung Jeff Carter for a breakaway goal in the third.
  2. Scott Sabourin followed up on an impressive first preseason game with a goal, showing some speed before beating Viktor Fasth with a wrist shot. As a free agent officially under contract with Manchester (and not LA), he's miles away from the NHL but has made an impression.
  3. Anaheim picked up 12 minutes of penalties and gave away a penalty shot in the game's first 25 minutes. Classic!
  4. Mathieu Garon was perfect in 20 minutes of action. He's not beating out Ben Scrivens, but hey, big improvement from allowing five against Phoenix.
  5. Jeff Schultz picked up an assist! Look for him to pick up a small fraction of the enormous scoring void left by Rob Scuderi.
  6. The other line combos: Pearson-Kopitar-Toffoli (got a bunch of power play time as well), Clifford-Stoll-Lewis (potential third line if Clifford slots ahead of Dwight King), Sabourin-Vey-Carcillo (shrug).
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