ONE: Kings-Rangers SCF Game 4 Preview

Jim McIsaac

Los Angeles Kings vs. New York Rangers (Madison Square Garden)

Time: 5:00 PM

TV: CBC, RDS, NBCSN

Enemy Reading: Blueshirt Banter

Rangers (Projected) Lineup:

Kreider-Stepan-Nash
Hagelin-Richards-St. Louis
Pouliot-Brassard-Zuccarello
Carcillo-D Moore-Boyle

McDonagh-Girardi
Staal-Stralman
J Moore-Klein

Lundqvist

Scratched: Derek Dorsett, JT Miller, Raphael Diaz, Jesper Fast, Ryan Haggerty, Oscar Lindberg, Justin Falk

Kings (Projected) Lineup:

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

Muzzin-Doughty
Mitchell-Voynov
Martinez-Greene

Quick

Scratched: Robyn Regehr, Jeff Schultz, Jordan Nolan, Andy Andreoff, Patrik Bartosak, Derek Forbort, Colin Miller, Scott Sabourin, Nick Shore, Jordan Weal, Brayden McNabb, Andrew Bodnarchuk, Linden Vey, Andrew Campbell, Colin Fraser

Game Notes:

  • langluy's office internet picked a bad time to fall apart (much like the New York Rangers), so I'm filling in.
  • Reasonably confident about both these projected lineups. Vigneault wouldn't officially confirm that Carcillo (his suspension now served) will draw in for Dorsett, but everyone seems to think that's going to happen. On the Kings side, there's the possibility that Regehr replaces Greene, but I'm guessing Sutter will stick with the lineup that's gotten the Kings up 3-0. Of course, Sutter has messed with his lineup on the verge of a SCF win before, so who knows.
  • If Carcillo is in, that's good news for the Kings. He can't score or drive play, and he takes a ton of penalties. He would be replacing Derek Dorsett though, who has kind of the same issues (maybe to a slightly lesser degree). Still, hopefully this change disrupts a Rangers fourth line whose play has been a bright spot for them this series.
  • The Kings did not have their best game on Monday. Score effects exaggerate the Rangers' possession advantage (64% 5v5 Corsi), but even when the score was close the Rangers had a slight advantage (52.9%). The Kings will probably need to do better than that to win. Fortunately, they have a long track record suggesting they will.
  • A ton of last night's game was played on special teams so the even strength data is limited, but it's pretty clear that the Kopitar line had their best game of the series. One more great game from them might be all the Kings need.
  • It's easy to joke about the Rangers' power play, but they were generating some good opportunities in last game - 8 chances in 12 minutes of PP time by Nick's count. It would be a good idea not to give them 12 minutes of PP time again.
  • Obviously, no one can predict what a goalie will do from game to game. Jonathan Quick was just amazing on Monday. Will he be great again tonight? Maybe! I'm pretty hopeful he won't have to be.
  • I still haven't made up my mind, but I'm starting to think Jeff Carter has a seriously good case for the Conn Smythe if the Kings pull this off tonight. It's basically impossible to differentiate him, Kopitar, and Williams though; they've all been fantastic, contributing in different ways on different lines. Doughty has an argument too, I guess. Feel free to discuss this in the comments.
  • As an aside, people saying "it's better if the Kings win it at home" are insane. No. Win it now. Crush them.
  • As always, ~Fun With Numbers~ from Extra Skater.
  • Prediction: Kings win the game - and the series - 4-0. In so doing, they win the Stanley Cup. Trevor Lewis gets all four goals and wins the Conn Smythe, and the Kings are glad they locked him up before he could cash in as a free agent.

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