16: Kings-Sharks WCQF Game 4 Preview

Ezra Shaw

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks (Staples Center)

Time: 7:00 PM

TV: CBC, RDS, NBCSN, Fox Sports West

Enemy reading: Fear the Fin

Sharks (projected) lineup:

Pavelski-Thornton-Burns
Marleau-Couture-Nieto
Hertl-Sheppard-Wingels
Torres-Desjardins-Brown

Vlasic-Demers
Stuart-Braun
Hannan-Boyle

Niemi

Injured: Adam Burish; Scratched: Martin Havlat, Tyler Kennedy, Matt Irwin, Matt Tennyson

Kings (projected) lineup:

Gaborik-Kopitar-Brown
Pearson-Carter-Toffoli
King-Stoll-Williams
Clifford-Richards-Lewis

Muzzin-Doughty
Regehr-Voynov
Mitchell-Martinez

Quick

Injured: n/a; Scratched: Matt Greene, Jordan Nolan, Colin Fraser

Game Notes:

  • Well, it's ride or die time. Realistically, we're probably heading towards the latter but I'm still cheering for an historic comeback. If the 2010 Flyers could pull it off, it can't be that hard, can it? But if an historic comeback is not to be, I'd like to see the Kings go out with at least one decisive win in the series and a little dignity, please. I didn't sign up to cheer for the Tampa Bay Lightning or whatever.
  • At the very least, it'll be nice to see some semblance of offensive balance in the forward lineup again. Aside from the dearly departed Linden Vey, it's the guys who should be playing who are playing. I like it. Nice timing, Darryl.
  • Instead of talking about things which make me sad (bad bounces, fluky overtime goals, Robyn Regehr), I'm going to talk about a thing that makes me happy - Anze Kopitar. As you may have heard, he's a finalist for the Selke this season. While I generally think that the NHL awards, especially those voted on by the execrable PHWA, are stupid, and it's probable that (admittedly excellent hockey player) Patrice Bergeron has already won it, it's still a teensy bit gratifying to see Kopitar get some acknowledgment. I assume you've already read Robert's post on who should win the Selke - for some further fancystats thoughts, check out Extra Skater. (Yes, Kopitar played tougher competition for more minutes, and is still probably going to lose. Sigh.)
  • It just struck me that this might be the last game (or at least one of the last games) for a pair of defensive vets with the Kings, Willie Mitchell and Matt Greene. I have a lot of feelings about this, but I'm not emotionally prepared to get into them yet, so, I mean...please win this game, Kings. I'm not just not ready for the season to end - I haven't even begun to process that it might be happening.
  • ~Fun With Numbers~ from Extra Skater.
  • Prediction: Kings win and remain the greatest, now & forever.
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