Game Day #57: Blackhawks @ Kings Preview

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Spor

Los Angeles Kings v Chicago Blackhawks (Staples Center)

Time: 7:30 PM

TV: NHL Network, Fox Sports West

Enemy reading: Second City Hockey

Blackhawks (projected) lineup:

Sharp-Toews-Hossa
Versteeg-Pirri-Kane
Saad-Shaw-Bickell
Bollig-Kruger-Smith

Keith-Seabrook
Hjalmarsson-Oduya
Leddy-Rozsival

Crawford

Injured: Nikolai Khabibulin; Scratched: Michal Handzus, Sheldon Brookbank, Michael Kostka

Kings (projected) lineup:

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

Mitchell-Doughty
Regehr-Voynov
Muzzin-Greene

Quick

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

Game Notes:

  • I could probably write ten or twelve bullet points about how the Kings can't seem to buy a goal, but we've spilled enough virtual ink on it and nothing's changed. Plus, it's Monday, and who wants to get even more depressed on a Monday? Instead, I'm going to try to inject some positivity into this whole experience. Yay!!
  • The Blackhawks are inarguably one of the League's elite, probably one of two or three teams that I think the Kings might not beat in a seven-game series if all that percentages and luck stuff didn't come into play. At nearly the quarter pole of the season and with the Olympic break imminent, the scrambling to solidify playoff seeding begins in earnest, and recent history between these two teams has not been kind to the Kings on the scoreboard. Win or lose, they'll get up for this game, and it should be great to watch.
  • We've also spilled a lot of digital ink talking about how great Anze Kopitar is, but I know we could always use a little bit of that. In this relatively trying time for the Kings, Kopitar's play has been one of the team's few bright spots. I can't recall if any of the links roundups mentioned this, but a few days ago, Habs Eyes on the Prize did a neat study of Selke contenders. While we could certainly quibble about some of the methodology, the overall analysis was super illuminating, and definitely highlighted the hockey greatness of the "Slovenian possession monster". (Also: lol David Backes.)
  • The Kings-Flyers game was bad and frustrating and tedious but now it's over and you never have to watch it again! So...that's something good, right?! Also, I was planning to be in LA for that game and this game, and now instead I will be in town for the Caps or Jets or Panthers or some nonsense, so be happy for me that I didn't watch that game in person. (I am sorry if you did.)
  • Drew Doughty seems to have a pretty good perspective on how to deal with this offensive slump.
  • I'm running out of nice things to say, so let's make fun of the Blackhawks for a while! Andrew Shaw is hideous! They're paying Michael Handzus! Brent Seabrook is super overrated! Corey Crawford's contract is SO BAD I mean who- wait, damn it.
  • Fancystats preview from Extra Skater. Joel Quenneville's deployment of his fourth line is...something.
  • Prediction: the Kings play well and everyone gets a gold participation star from me!!

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