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Game Day #34: Kings-Coyotes Preview

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles KingsPhoenix Arizona Coyotes (Staples Center)

Time: 1:00 PM

TV: FSW

Enemy readingFive for Howling

Coyotes (projected) lineup:

Boedker-Vermette-Doan
Reider-Hanzal-Gagner
Erat-Chipchura-Moss
McMillan-Vitale-Crombeen

Ekman-Larsson-Michalek
Yandle-Schlemko
Summers-Murphy

Dubnyk

Kings (projected) lineup:

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

Muzzin-Doughty
Martinez-Greene
McNabb-McBain

Quick

Game Notes:

  • The Coyotes are a rebuilding team; they're trying to design a younger, more offensively talented group of forwards (thus they recently traded Rob Klinkhammer to Pittsburgh, and are rumored to be looking to move Keith Yandle for a scoring forward). But the process is just beginning, and right now the Coyotes can neither play two-way hockey (48.1% score-adjusted hockey) nor score very much (24th in the league in shot generation at 5v5, 26th in goals).
  • Martin Hanzal's second child was born yesterday! The big center is expected to play this afternoon. And despite the new availability of Natalia Hanzal, the Coyotes are expected to keep going with Devan Dubnyk in goal.
  • Jokes aside, Dubnyk is probably competent; he had a very rough 2013-14 (.891 in 34 games), but he was solid for years before that and he's been good again this year (.922 in 12 games).
  • As for the Kings, the Gaborik-Kopitar-Carter line will be great. While I would prefer to see Pearson and Toffoli with a skilled center, at least with Lewis all three guys are fast and buzz around the ice in an entertaining way. Unfortunately, expected ice time for that line is approximately four minutes.
  • McBain steps in for Regehr. It's hard to be worse than Regehr, but McBain might be; he certainly was in his first 9 games as a King (44.4% Corsi). Let's try to minimize his impact on the game.
  • Starting Quick over Jones is a little weird, given that this is a pretty short transition from last game and Quick has struggled lately. A gesture of confidence by Sutter after some rather harsh comments, maybe?
  • It always looks like the Coyotes are cheating because when you type out the pairing Ekman-Larsson-Michalek it looks like three people. Don't be fooled though, it's actually only two players and the Coyotes aren't trying to get away with anything there.