HOW TO WATCH
Game Time: 6:30 PM Pacific
Radio: KABC AM 790
Stream: NBC Sports (cable subscription required)
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
if you’re a Kings fan: LA had one of their best performances of the season on December 30 in Vancouver, and in the final three games before their bye week, they’re going to need to play that well. Facing two more division rivals on the road before getting the best team (in terms of point pace) in the Central Division is a tough ask.
if you’re an Oilers fan: Try to figure this team out. Every time the Oilers go on a run and inspire a slew of “The Oilers are back!” takes, they go right back to scuffling. As of late, they can’t even use the excuse that their possession stats look good; despite trailing for about 119 minutes during their last two games, they generated less than 50% of shot attempts over said two games and were fortunate to steal a point against Chicago. Before that, they did this against Winnipeg in a 4-3 loss:
Edmonton is running out of time to turn things around.
if you’re a hockey fan: The revenge games of Michael Cammalleri and Jussi Jokinen might not materialize, although Cammalleri has more opportunity for one... see below for reasoning there. If they don’t, you will have to be content with this being the season’s first LA-Edmonton matchup, and with a Pacific 2nd vs. 6th battle where the presumed better team is in 6th.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
for the Kings: Trevor Lewis. World Juniors are in full swing and the US Olympic team was just announced, but I’m proud to be an American hockey fan because #22 is killing it right now.
Trevor Lewis has been everywhere tonight, hasn’t he?— Jewels from the Crown (@JFTC_Kings) December 31, 2017
In the Kings’ last five games, Lewis has the best Corsi For%, Fenwick For%, and Scoring Chance For% of any LA forward. And on Saturday, for good measure, he was placed on the struggling power play and picked up an assist. And if John Stevens’ opinion matters (it does), we might see more Power Play Trevor Lewis tonight:
If you want to have a power play that has success, you need to recover hockey pucks. You can’t do anything if you don’t have the puck, and Lewie recovers hockey pucks. He’s got eight goals, so I think he deserves a little opportunity there.
(via LA Kings Insider)
for the Oilers: Leon Draisaitl. The $8.5 million man had points in six straight before the Oilers were shut out by Winnipeg in their New Year’s Eve rematch. After that, Draisaitl was the biggest loser in Edmonton’s inevitable line shuffle, being placed with Cammalleri and Drake Caggiula. The two have combined for 16 points in 46 games this year, so the German has a tall task tonight.
WORLD (JUNIORS) WATCH
- With the quarterfinals under way, an important dispatch from Kings prospect Kale Clague:
The outdoor game also brought us this very emphatic GIF of Kale Clague: https://t.co/sKOg32CGHv— Jewels from the Crown (@JFTC_Kings) January 2, 2018
- Other than Clague, who has seen heavy usage but hasn’t been scoring a lot, the Kings have two defensemen at the championships who have been fairly quiet, albeit in fewer minutes. USA blueliner Mikey Anderson has an assist in four games, while Jacob Moverare is scoreless for Sweden. In Moverare’s defense, I just assume that Rasmus Dahlin is stealing all the defenseman’s points.
- Clague and the Canadians advanced with a win over Switzerland today. Moverare and the Swedes have just started against Slovakia, while Anderson and the Americans take on Russia tonight.
Drew Doughty appreciates Jonathan Quick.