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Kings-Coyotes Game Preview: Spring in the Desert

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The last leg of the Kings' road trip takes them to Arizona, where they face the Coyotes for the fifth and final time this season.

cousin-on-cousin crime
cousin-on-cousin crime
USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Kings v Phoenix Coyotes (Jobing.com Arena)

Time: 7.00 PM

TV: NHL Network, Fox Sports West

Enemy reading: Five for Howling

Coyotes (projected) lineup:

Doan-Hanzal-Vrbata
Boedker-Lombardi-Sullivan
Chipchura-Vermette-Torres
Klinkhammer-Gordon-Moss

Ekman-Larsson-Stone
Klesla-Morris
Yandle-Schlemko

LaBarbera

Injured: Michalek (lower body), Korpikoski (upper body), Smith (upper body)

Kings (projected) lineup:

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

Muzzin-Doughty
Scuderi-Voynov
Ellerby-Martinez

Quick

Injured: Greene (back), Mitchell (knee), Penner (upper body)

Game notes:

  • Well, news is a little grim today. Confirming what some were beginning to suspect, Pierre Lebrun reports that Willie Mitchell is out for the year.
  • Dustin Penner apparently hurt himself late in the game against Dallas. If anybody has any ideas where or how, feel free to share. I'm guessing that Brad Richardson will stay in the lineup, considering his performance in Dallas, but I suppose it's also possible that Colin Fraser will dress and Jordan Nolan will stay sitting.
  • Oh yeah, and the Kings traded for Robyn Regehr. Our initial thoughts are here.
  • Here is a list of Kings second-round draft picks during the Dean Lombardi Era: Joey Ryan, Oscar Moller, Wayne Simmonds, Slava Voynov, Kyle Clifford, Tyler Toffoli, and Christopher Gibson. Two excellent NHLers, one solid NHLer, one fairly solid prospect, one d-man who never panned out, one young goalie who looks pretty shaky, and one Oscar Moller. By my count, and assuming that Gibson never pans out, those are 4/7 odds. But Robyn Regehr blocks shots! Which have actually been proven to be correlated with poor performance! But ugh. Anyway.
  • The Coyotes have had a bit of a rough ride lately. Their most recent game, a shootout loss to the Sharks, dropped them to 2-5-3 in their last 10. They're now languishing near the bottom of the Western Conference. Although they're technically only four points out, Sports Club Stats has their playoff odds at just 7.8%.
  • Injuries to key players like Zbynek Michalek haven't helped. And, sadly, injury deprives us of the great Mike Smith for the game tonight. But maybe Jason LaBarbera will be obliging and roll around on the ice just for fun.
  • Your fun with numbers chart:
Team Games
Played
Points ROW Home/Away
Record
Goal
Differential
PP% PK%
Kings (5th, West) 35 43 19 8-8-2 +15 19.5 (11th) 81.2 (14th)
Coyotes (13th, West) 35 34 11 10-7-1 -7 15.7 (22nd) 82.7 (11th)

  • And here is a helpful chart comparing the similarities and differences between Shane Doan and Dustin Brown that I made the other day, which you may have seen on twitter (I am pretty proud of it):

Bf0x07lcyaaltz4_large

  • Springtime in the desert is a time of renewal and growth. Except for the Coyotes, because they suck and will be crushed tonight. Go Kings Go.