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Preview, Game Day #21: Los Angeles Kings @ Florida Panthers

An irrelevant late November game against an irrelevant east coast team that starts while you're still at work. Don't you dare miss it!!!

that's not a chair kopi that's a man
that's not a chair kopi that's a man
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Kings @ Florida Panthers

Time: 4:30 Pacific

TV: Fox Sports West, Fox Sports Florida

Enemy Reading: Litter Box Cats

Los Angeles Kings

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

McNabb-Doughty
Muzzin-Martinez
Ehrhoff-McBain

Quick
(Enroth)

Scratched: Forbort, Weal Injured: King, Greene

Florida Panthers

Huberdeau-Barkov-Jagr
Jokinen-Bjugstad-Smith
Pirri-Trocheck-Grimaldi
Howden-Mackenzie-Thornton

Ekblad-Campbell
Mitchell-Gudbranson
Kampfer-Petrovic

Montoya
(Luongo)

Scratched: Bolland, Wilson Injured: Kulikov

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

Team Kings Panthers
Record 12-8-0 8-8-4
Points 24 20
Division Rank 2nd 6th
Streak Lost 2
OTL 1
Goals For/Game 2.55 2.70
Goals Against/Game 2.25
2.65
ES Goal % 44.6
51.6
ES Shot %
53.6
45.5
ES PDO 97.8
101.7
ES Corsi % 56.6
47.7
ES Fenwick % 56.1
47.3
ES Scoring Chance % 55.3
46.2
ES High-Danger SC % 53.1
43.8
Power Play % (Rank) 20.6 (10th)
22.2 (6th)
Penalty Kill % (Rank) 84.6 (5th)
75.0 (27th)
Starting Goalie (tonight) Quick Montoya
Goalie Record 9-7-0
2-1-1
Save % .910 .922
ES Save % .915
.928

Notes:

  • This is gonna be a quick one, because: A) it's an early game, B) I'm actually pretty busy with my actual job for once! & C) who gives a crap about the Florida Panthers?
  • So things aren't going great for the Kings of late. Two losses in a row on this long Eastern road trip have seen them fall out of 1st place in the Pacific for the first time in a while. They're now 2 points back of the Sharks, albeit still with a game-in-hand. Of course, it's important to remember the Pacific division winner is likely stuck playing the 4th place team in the ridiculously tough Central, while 2nd place gets you a much easier matchup with 3rd in this crap division. I'm not saying I don't want that damn division banner, but if the Kings Can't Win The Division curse continues, there's a definite bright side. I mean, who would YOU rather play in the 1st round: Nashville or Vancouver? Exactly.
  • The opposition tonight is a mediocre Panthers team with some troubling underlying stats. They're another club that's seen a bit of a drop-off in puck possession from last year; their even strength Corsi % is down from 51.3 to 47.7 and their Fenwick has dropped from 51.0 to 47.3. They've gone from being a subpar team that underachieved their possession numbers a little to being a subpar team that's overachieving their possession numbers a little. That's....not a good change. Oh, and they also have the dubious distinction of having the worst % of high-danger scoring chances in the league at evens.
  • In the world of lineups tonight, it sounds like Quick gets the start in goal (he was the first goalie off the ice at the optional morning skate today; yes, both goalies were there) after giving up 4 goals in 2 periods yesterday before getting yanked. Yippee. Jordan Weal remained on the ice for extra work so once again he doesn't get to stay in the lineup for more than a game; presumably it's Andreoff in for him yet again, joy of joys. As for that third defensive pairing, I can probably just copy-and-paste this into every preview: I have no idea! We'll see when the puck drops tonight!
  • On the Florida side, David Bolland will be scratched tonight as apparently he's been terrible of late (I know, I'm shocked too). Their only real injury (unless you count the Savard contract they took off of Boston's hands) is to versatile defenseman Dimitri Kulikov, who went down with a knee injury on Saturday and is expected to miss the next 2-4 weeks.
  • It's time to bring some light into your lives courtesy of that all-important question: which Mega Man villain are you, Panthers? These cats just so happen to be:
    Solar Man
    SOLAR MAN!!! Yeah, okay, this is another "on the nose" one; the Panthers play in Sunrise, so they're Solar Man. He comes to us from 2010's Mega Man 10, the second of the two "let's just pretend 7 & 8 never happened and make this look like an NES game" editions. He's not a very difficult boss: he fires flames from his head that are very obviously timed and thus easy to avoid (though the triple falling shot he gains in hard mode is a little tougher to dodge), and he's another one of these "totally destroyed by his weakness" bosses. The Water Shield cancels out his attacks, reduces the size of his future flame shots, AND hits him multiple times. It's extremely likely you won't even take a hit if you have his weakness. Like the Panthers, Solar Man is kind of a piece of cake.
  • PREDICTION: Kings win 6-5, storming back after Quick is pulled for somehow allowing 5 goals in the first 4 seconds of the game, breaking all laws of time and space with the sheer force of his suck.