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Preview, Game Day #16: New York Islanders @ Los Angeles Kings

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What if we just started this game at 5 pm pacific time? Would that help, Kings?

i bet the kings didn't even score here. that would be so like them
i bet the kings didn't even score here. that would be so like them
Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

New York Islanders @ Los Angeles Kings

Time: 7:30 Pacific

TV: Fox Sports West, MSG

Enemy Reading: Lighthouse Hockey

Los Angeles Kings

Pearson-Kopitar-Gaborik
Lucic-Carter-Toffoli
Brown-Shore-Lewis
Clifford-Andreoff-Nolan

McNabb-Doughty
Muzzin-Martinez
Ehrhoff-McBain

Enroth
(Quick)

Scratched: Forbort, Weal, Greene Injured: King

New York Islanders

Nelson-Tavares-Okposo
Lee-Nielsen-Bailey
Kulemin-Grabovski-Bernier
Martin-Cizikas-Clutterbuck

De Haan-Hamonic
Leddy-Boychuk
Strait-Zidlicky

Halak
(Greiss)

Injured: Hickey, Boulton

Stats & Such
(Small sample size warning. Fancy stats courtesy War on Ice)

Team Islanders Kings
Record 8-5-3 9-6-0
Points 19 18
Division Rank 4th 2nd
Streak Won 1 Lost 1
Goals For/Game 2.75 2.47
Goals Against/Game 2.44
2.13
ES Goal % 48.1
46.3
ES Shot %
49.0 53.8
ES PDO 99.8
98.2
ES Corsi % 49.2 56.4
ES Fenwick % 49.5 55.7
ES Scoring Chance % 47.7
55.2
ES High-Danger SC % 46.7
53.0
Power Play % (Rank) 21.9 (7th)
21.3 (8th)
Penalty Kill % (Rank) 88.2 (3rd)
85.7 (6th)
Starting Goalie (tonight) Halak Enroth
Goalie Record 4-3-1
2-0-0
Save % .928 .984
ES Save % .930
.985

Notes:

  • The Kings lost to the Coyotes on Tuesday. I don't really want to talk about it, so let's not. Instead, let's just mention that the loss dropped the Kings' record in games that start at 7 pacific or later to 4-5. Their record in games that start earlier than 7 pacific? 5-1. So uh, I'm not saying we need to start every home game while y'all are still suck in rush hour traffic, but....I'm not not saying it.
  • Okay, sure, that's not a predictive stat and blah blah shut up nerd. There's plenty of good news in the Kings' predictive stats: they're now leading the league in Corsi at even strength, their 56.4% a full 1.2% ahead of the 2nd place.....Hurricanes?! Oh god we're sure this is predictive right? Anyway....yes, that's pretty damn good. If you score adjust it, things get even better for the Kings; they go down to 56.3%, but they've now got a 1.9% edge on the 2nd place team (the Blues). Good job Kings, way to attempt those shots! Scoring chances the Kings are a solid 2nd place at 55.2%, trailing....Buffalo??? Oh my god, let's stop talking about this because these stats are too weird.
  • Good news: it looks like Christian Ehrhoff might be back in the lineup tonight after 2 games off. Even though he was paired up with Greene during practice again yesterday, briefly teasing us all he would be nonsensically scratched again, it was Forbort that stayed on for extra work after the morning skate today. While it's worth noting it wasn't a full skate, that's still a good sign. I would assume he slides into Forbort's place on the 3rd pairing with Jamie McBain, but don't hold me to that.
  • Better news: Gaborik is back on the top line! Brown gets demoted down to the 3rd, presumably because he hilariously scored his 1st goal of the year in what was maybe his worst game so far, and Shore and Andreoff have swapped lines because Darryl finally got sick of the extended prank he was pulling on all of us.
  • Best news: Jonathan Quick ain't in net tonight!!! Sorry Quick lovers, but he has been pretty damn bad of late. His even strength sv% in the last 3 games? .890. Enroth probably isn't going to keep stopping all the pucks for the rest of the year, but surely he can do better than that.
  • (He's giving up seven goals tonight now that I said that. As always, I'm sorry.)
  • Our opponents tonight, the New York Islanders, are a weird bunch this year. Despite very little roster turnover, they've seen a pretty precipitous drop-off in their underlying numbers so far. Just a small sampling: their Corsi at evens has gone from 52.5% last year (5th in the league) to 49.2% so far (18th), their Fenwick has gone from 53.8% (2nd) to 49.5% (19th), and their scoring chances from 53.1% (5th) to 47.7% (22nd). Yeah. None of that is good. Despite all that, they do have a winning record so far, and even have one more point than the Kings. Unfortunately for the Isles, they play in a hockey division and not a semi-sentient dumpster fire, so despite being a point ahead of LA they're in 4th instead of 2nd and 5 points out of 1st instead of 1. God bless the deeply unfair practice that is sports divisions!
  • Aside from that, I know approximately nothing about this year's Islanders except their new arena is pretty bad and their policy on fans watching warm-ups is almost hilariously evil. I live in this city and still haven't been to a game at Barclays yet, because sticking a blanket over half my television screen is free. Even though it was a pain in the backside to get to and everything, Nassau Coliseum was a wonderful toilet bowl where I once sat right on the glass behind Darryl Sutter for like sixty bucks. I spent practically the entire game ignoring it in favor of watching him pace back and forth behind the bench, pausing only to be every player's gruff-but-kind-hearted grandfather, a decision I do not regret at all. RIP Nassau, I will miss you.
  • We won't get to see former Kings 1st round draft pick Thomas Hickey, as he's been out since October 26th with a lower-body injury (left leg). That's unfortunate, but uh on the other hand, not that unfortunate. Granted Hickey has only played a total of four games for the Isles this year, but in those four games he was an absurd plus 15.12% Corsi rel. Yeah. That's pretty good!
  • It's time for the triumphant return of which Mega Man villain are you, opponent? The New York Islanders are:
    Jewel Man
    JEWEL MAN!!! Okay, follow me on this one: the Islanders recently moved to Brooklyn, right? They now play in the Barclays Center, yes? Jay-Z was a driving force behind Barclays and his concert was the first-ever event hosted there, yeah? And Jay-Z famously throws up a hand signal to represent a diamond (the "rock" in Roc-A-Fella Records), okay? So therefore....the Islanders are Jewel Man. I'm not sure how this can be more clear, actually. Jewel Man comes from 2008's Mega Man 9. He can be a little tricky even though all he really does is run back-and-forth with his four diamonds surrounding him (he'll eventually fire them at you too, though this is easily avoided); this is because he's apparently been programmed to jump whenever you jump (a feature you'd think Wily would install in more of his robots....) and his surrounding jewels do a lot of damage if you slam into them. But if you happen to have his weakness, the Black Hole Bomb, he's a piece of cake. Not only does this weapon do 5 units of damage to him, but it will actually suck up his jewels, leaving him utterly defenseless and unable to attack until he creates new ones. I think all of you know what this means- the key to beating the Islanders is for Trevor Lewis, the Black Hole Of Offense, to take them on single-handily. You can do it Trevor!
  • PREDICTION: 'Black Hole Bomb' Trevor Lewis comes through and the Kings win 1-0 on the only goal of the game: his, that goes in off his skate of course. Enroth continues to be a literal brick wall, and Jonathan Quick decides maybe his humanitarian project to make every average backup in the league look like Patrick Roy in his prime by comparison is going a little too well this time.