Game Day #55: Kings-Penguins Preview

Harry How

Los Angeles Kings v Pittsburgh Penguins (Staples Center)

Time: 7.30 PM

TV: Fox Sports West

Enemy reading: Pensburgh

Penguins (projected) lineup:

Kunitz-Crosby-Gibbons
Jokinen-Malkin-Neal
Glass-Sutter-Megna
Pyatt-Adams-Engelland

Scuderi-Letang
Orpik-Martin
Maatta-Niskanen

Zatkoff

Injured: Beau Bennett, Chris Conner, Pascal Dupuis, Joe Vitale, Tomas Vokoun; Scratched: Andrew Ebbett, Chuck Kobasew, Robert Bortuzzo

Kings (projected) lineup:

King-Kopitar-Carter
Lewis-Richards-Williams
Clifford-Stoll-Brown
Nolan-Fraser-Toffoli

Muzzin-Doughty
Regehr-Voynov
Mitchell-Greene

Quick

Injured: Alec Martinez; Scratched: Matt Frattin, Jeff Schultz

Game Notes:

  • Who is even playing for the Pittsburgh Penguins these days? There's no way that "Jayson Megna" is a real name. What the hell is a Brian Gibbons? If he's playing with Sidney Crosby, should we be taking him to Sochi too??
  • Oh wait, my bad, he's American. Stand down, Steve Yzerman. (Also, he kind of looks like a discount James Neal, no? Or is this just me not being able to tell white people apart?)
  • Hey, remember when I said this: "This isn't a bad team, and that much is usually obvious when they play, but it is numbing to watch the same game play out over and over again, regardless of quality of opponent. They lose games they should win and they lose games they shouldn't win and it's not the losing - it's the listless, uninspired way they look while doing it." ? Yeah, about that. The entire game against the Coyotes was basically the embodiment of that. Super frustrating, and tedious to boot.
  • I fully buy that most of the Kings' current slump is luck and percentages, but like everyone's inspirational grandparent once told them, you make your own luck - by playing Tyler Toffoli in the top six. Get it together, Darryl. This might be the thing I say most frequently in my everyday life now, and that makes me sad.
  • The Penguins are a pretty good team featuring two of the best players in the world, but that doesn't mean that their bottom six isn't a tire fire, or that their defence doesn't feature extremely past-their-primes Rob Scuderi and Brooks Orpik. The Kings are more than capable of hanging with the Penguins, and maybe the psychological effect of finally getting back from the road trip of horror and shame will give them a boost as well.
  • Corsis & Fenwicks & such. Note the crazy zone start ratios for the Penguins - the Malkin line up in the o-zone all day every day, and the bottom six way over on the left (and getting pretty correspondingly creamed, possession-wise). Also, Tanner Glass sucks.
  • Prediction: 5-3 Kings. YEAH, I SAID IT. GOALS ARE HAPPENING TONIGHT.
  • (Happy New Year, guys.)
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