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Game Day #13: Kings @ Stars

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Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Kings v Dallas Stars (American Airlines Center)

Time: 5.30 PM

TV: Fox Sports West

Kings projected lineup:

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

Doughty - Muzzin
Regehr - Martinez
McNabb - Greene

Quick

Injured: hey! nobody!; Suspended: Voynov, Nolan

Stars projected lineup:

Benn - Seguin - Nichushkin
Cole - Spezza - Hemsky
Roussel - Eakin - Garbutt
Horcoff - Fiddler - Sceviour

Goligoski - Daley
Benn - Dillon
Oleksiak - Gonchar

Lehtonen

Injured: Peverley (heart), Nemeth (arm)

Enemy reading: Defending Big D


Game notes:
  • The Stars were the darlings of the off-season, making splashes with the signings of Jason Spezza and Ales Hemsky, and indicating that they were ready to move from the ranks of the exciting-but-mediocre to the real contenders in the West. It's hard to argue that they don't have a well-constructed hockey team, but they've stumbled out of the gate, going 4-3-4 to start the season. Their most recent game was a 4-1 defeat at the hands of the Minnesota Wild (who, to be fair, have been legitimately very good so far this season) on Saturday.
  • Part of the problem is that their excellent young winger Valeri Nichushkin has been out for almost a month. He has been cleared to return from his "hip/groin issue" - although coach Lindy Ruff maintains that he remains a gametime decision, it seems likely he'll play. Old man Sergei Gonchar is also likely to make his season debut tonight, which is probably less scary for the Kings, but I've always had kind of a soft spot for him, so.
  • The Kings have, to put it bluntly, not played well so far this season. I'm sure being on an extended roadtrip, dealing with injuries and suspensions and call-ups and everything can certainly be daunting, but they were rubbish in Carolina and it would be nice to get a good game in before heading back to Staples. I'm not even asking for a win, just a good game.
  • In the rush to declare Jonathan Quick's early season success unsustainable, I think he hasn't been given enough credit for actually playing well. I mean, it is generally unsustainable, but he also has been good and it's been nice to see. Good job, buddy.
  • And for the Kings not to take a million penalties. Like. A lot is made of the Kings' physical style, but the rate at which this team takes penalties - win or lose - is both totally unnecessary and also a little embarrassing. At this point, they're the kid eating paste in the back of the classroom. "Oh, was I not supposed to do that?" No, you weren't.
  • Please share Jarret Stoll trade scenarios in the comments because I need light at the end of this tunnel.
  • Prediction: Kings win 5-4, yolo, etc.