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Game Day #16: Kings-Sabres Preview

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In case you haven't heard, the Buffalo Sabres are bad.

Stuart Franklin

Los Angeles Kings v Buffalo Sabres (Staples Center)

Time: 7.30 PM

TV: Fox Sports West

Enemy reading: Die By the Blade

Sabres (projected) lineup:

Moulson-Hodgson-Ennis
Leino-McCormick-Stafford
Ott-Foligno-Tropp
Larsson-Girgensons-Flynn

Ehrhoff-Pysyk
Zadarov-Myers
Tallinder-Ristolainen

Enroth

Injured: Mike Weber; Scratched: Mikhail Grigorenko, John Scott, Jamie McBain; Gone and already forgotten: Patrick Kaleta

Kings (projected) lineup:

Brown-Kopitar-Williams
King-Richards-Toffoli
Carcillo-Lewis-Frattin
Clifford-Vey-Nolan

Muzzin-Doughty
Regehr-Voynov
Mitchell-Martinez

Quick

Injured: Jeff Carter, Matt Greene, Jarret Stoll; Scratched: Colin Fraser

Game notes:
  • The Sabres beat the Sharks the other night. The Sharks lost to the Sabres the other night.
  • The Sharks.
  • Lost.
  • To the Sabres.
  • For everyone who's about to jump on me all "but it was a shootout and shootouts don't count and I want ties back and the good old days etc." - cram it. The shootout exists and one team got two points and the other team only got one, so the first team is the winner and the second team is the loser. Deal with it, you weird old men yelling at clouds.
  • Now that we've all laughed heartily at the Sharks, please also note that this does not mean that Buffalo is secretly good or better than you thought they were. Mark Pysyk is on their top pairing. Steve Ott. Ville Leino. Steve Ott. Tyler Myers' enormous neck. Steve Ott. The rest of Tyler Myers. It's all a downright disaster. The Sabres are a typhoon of terribleness. A hurricane of horrible hockey. A terrific tire fire. They suck. So much. But the better team does not always win (see: the annotated history of the 2013-14 Los Angeles Kings thus far), and although the Kings are a better team than the Sabres, victory is far from assured.
  • For one thing, Matt Moulson is definitely going to score a hat trick tonight because that is the way the world works. For another thing, the Kings may be a bit rusty after having quite a few days off in a row. For yet another thing, the Kings are showing up tonight with a significantly injury-depleted roster for the first time this season. So don't get all cocky on twitter or whatever.
  • Linden Vey makes his NHL debut tonight! Who is Linden Vey? This is Linden Vey.
  • Of course, they're not exactly setting him up for success, between Kyle Clifford and Jordan Nolan. I'd prefer to see him on the third line with Matt Frattin, to see if they can get something going offensively. Still, I think re-forming the top line and bumping down Dan Carcillo are good calls.
  • I also want to see if these re-done defensive pairings work. I really like the look of them. In particular, I like the idea of hanging on to Muzzin-Doughty and I hope Alec Martinez can take advantage of this injury to Matt Greene to regain some consistency in his game.
  • Prediction: Kings win lots-3, Mikhail Grigorenko fills out his AARP application in the press box, Ryan Miller just storms out in the middle of the game and is never seen again.

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