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Game Day #14 - Kings-Islanders

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Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Kings v New York Islanders (Staples Center)

Time: 7.30 PM

TV: Fox Sports West

Kings projected lineup:

Gaborik - Kopitar - Nolan???!!!???
Pearson - Carter - Toffoli
King - Richards - Brown
Clifford - Stoll - Lewis

Doughty - Muzzin
Regehr - Martinez
McNabb - Greene

Quick

Injured: Williams; Suspended: Voynov

Islanders projected lineup:

Kulemin - Tavares - Okposo
Grabovski - Nielson - Clutterbuck
Lee - Nelson - Strome
Martin - Cizikas - Boulton

de Haan - Hamonic
Leddy - Boychuk
Hickey - Visnovsky

Johnson

Injured: Bailey (hand), Carkner (back), Grabner (groin)

Enemy readingLighthouse Hockey


Game notes:
  • Last game, I wrote about how the Stars were the darlings of the off-season, but that was only because I forgot about the Islanders. Between signing well-regarded Leafs castoffs Nikolai Kulemin and Mikhail Grabovski, and trading for a decent second pairing in Nick Leddy and Johnny Boychuk (although it is a universal truth that you cannot trust a grown man who goes by "Johnny"), they retooled a significant portion of their lineup - for the better.
  • The Islanders were gangbusters to start the season, but have hit the skids a little lately - I think they're just slightly over .500 right now. It took them until overtime, but they eventually beat a Getzlaf- and Perry-less Ducks team last night, 3-2. Of course, since they played last night, backup Chad Johnson will be in net tonight, so that should be an adventure.
  • I miss Lubomir Visnovsky.
  • The roadtrip of sadness and bad times and Pennsylvanian shame is finally over. As Eric detailed earlier today, the Kings played generally approximately as well on the road as they did at home - at evens, with differences in goaltending and special teams. What remains troubling, of course, is that the underlying numbers are pointing to an about-average team in terms of generating offence and limiting opposition chances, which is not the Kings we are used to seeing. I'll give it a couple of games with a fully healthy team before I get really worried (obviously missing Justin Williams now will not help), but it's a situation that bears watching.
  • I can't deal with Darryl Sutter. If Jordan Nolan spends more than 2.5 shifts on the top line. I mean. I just cannot.
  • Like the promotion of Mike Richards, though. He's been much better than Jarret Stoll (as I think we've all been discussing almost since the season began) and I think letting him centre Dwight King and Dustin Brown will get better performances out of all three. (Watch them go scoreless tonight - I'm SORRY.)
  • Prediction: Kings win and a lot of people cry about Thomas Hickey for some reason.