Game Day #11: Kings-Coyotes Preview

Mike Smith scored a goal last week. Don't worry, if you didn't see it they'll only show the replay roughly fifty times per minute on the Yotes' broadcast.

Los Angeles Kings vs. Phoenix Coyotes (Staples Center)

Time: 7:30 pm

TV: Fox Sports West

Enemy reading (for all your overdramatic-retelling-of-empty-net-goal-needs): Five for Howling

Coyotes (projected) lineup:

Klinkhammer - Vermette - Doan (?)
Chipchura -  Hanzal - Vrbata
Boedker - Ribeiro - Moss
Yip - Halpern - Bissonnette

Ekman-Larsson - Michalek
Morris - Yandle
Schlemko - Klesla

Smith (starter)

Injured: Lauri Korpikoski (lower-body injury), Shane Doan (lower-body injury, did take part in morning skate, game-time decision). Scratches: Rundblad, Stone

Kings (projected) lineup:

King - Kopitar - Williams
Richards - Carter - Frattin
Brown - Stoll - Lewis
Clifford/Carcillo - Fraser - Nolan

Regehr - Doughty
Mitchell - Voynov
Muzzin - Greene

Quick (starter)

Injured: Still nobody! Scratched: One of Clifford/Carcillo, Martinez, Ellerby

Game Notes:

  • Hi, our Canadian friend is occupied, so you get me instead. Unlike some OTHER guest preview writers, I won't try and troll her about the USA though, because: A) I am also half-Canadian, and happen to love just about everything about that there land of maple syrup and bilingualism (except curling, eww), 2) their healthcare system is still about a zillion times better than ours, Obamacare or no Obamacare, and 3) I can't think of a third reason right now, but a numbered list seems silly with just two reasons, so there you go.
  • I promised my friends and loved ones I would stop thinking about the Kings' last game for my own mental and physical well-being, but in case you missed it, uh.....bad things happened .Yeah. The Kings probably should have gotten at least a point, and they didn't. Let's move on.
  • Meanwhile, the Coyotes got the same team that beat the Kings on Monday the following night, continuing a proud tradition of the NHL schedule-makers totally screwing us. They got out to an early 2-0 lead, let the Calgary Flames come back and tie the game three minutes into the third period, but then took the lead right back 2:47 later and ended up sealing a 4-2 win with an empty netter (thankfully not by Mike Smith this time, lest we have to hear about it until the end of time).
  • That win continued a very strong run of play from the No Longer Bankrupt Bunch, as they have at least a point in seven straight games (5-0-2 during that stretch), and have won two in a row. Sadly they are not doing it with the ol' smoke-and-mirrors, as their Fenwick close of 56.4% ranks them fifth in the entire league. Their overall PDO is 101.9, which is a little high but certainly not even approaching the insane Avalanche/Leafs/Sharks trifecta of unsustainability (106.7, 105.4, and 104.2, in case you were wondering). If they keep this up much longer I think we'll probably just have to admit that the Coyotes are.....a good hockey team. (Sorry, I just threw up a little in my mouth, give me a second.)
  • The Coyotes are dealing with a couple of injuries, as forward Lauri Korpikoski suffered a lower-body injury and did not travel with the team to Los Angeles. Korpikoski usually skates on a dangerous second line with Martin Hanzal & Radim Vrbata, so that's not an insignificant loss. His spot on that line will be taken up by Kyle Chipchura (pictured here in his younger days).
  • Meanwhile, captain and all-around good guy Shane Doan missed the game against Calgary on Tuesday with a lower-body injury of his own, but did take part in the morning skate today and is considered a game-time decision.
  • The Kings' lines have been shuffled around again by Darryl Sutter, resulting in what you see above. I would bet Clifford gets that 4th line spot over Carcillo, especially since he got demoted off the 2nd line after his dumbass penalty against Calgary, but it's DS so you never really know. Personally I'd rather flip Brown and King there and then I'd be happy with it, but trying Carter at center again is long overdue so I'll take it, I guess.
  • Prediction: Kings win 3-2. I'm not sure if you believe in fate, but when I put my Ipod on shuffle for some ~hot tunes~ while I wrote this, the very first song that played (out of literally thousands) was "This is LA". FATE. WE WILL WIN.
  • EDIT: as BoC's Ryan Dunn just pointed out to me, Sutter pulled *a Sutter* with the line rushes this morning, swapping Dwight King and Mike Richards. So yes, Dwight King is on the top line again. Hold me.