Game Day #14: Kings-Sharks Preview
The Kings try to gain some ground on their California rivals as the Sharks swim into town.
Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks (Staples Center)
Time: 7.30 PM
TV: Fox Sports West
Enemy reading: Fear the Fin
Sharks (projected) lineup:
Injured: Adam Burish, Brent Burns, Matthew Nieto, Dan Boyle; Injured and it couldn't have happened to a nicer guy: Raffi Torres; Scratched: Freddie Hamilton
Kings (projected) lineup:
- Don't know if you've heard, but the Sharks have been doing pretty well this season so far. Like, "have only lost one game in regulation" well. They've taken three-of-four so far on this five-game road trip, and will be well-rested, having last played on Sunday.
- I would like it if the Kings win this game. But what I would like most of all is if they do not somehow take THREE MILLION stupid penalties over the course of this game. I do not think this is too much to ask, but at 96:49, the Kings have spent more time on the PK than any other team in the league. Out of thirteen games, the Kings have spent over one-and-a-half of those games on the penalty kill. By contrast, Boston (tops in the league in this regard) has spent about two periods and change on the penalty kill. And, despite, ahem, certain Kings' predilection for penalty-drawing, the Kings' PP-PK time differential stands at -16:18, second worst in the league. Get it together, jeez.
- The Kings weren't stellar last night, but the endless, mind-numbing penalties just absolutely tanked a strong effort from Ben Scrivens. While San Jose hasn't exactly been lethal on the power play this season, I'd also rather that Staples Center tonight not be the scene of a special teams breakthrough for the Sharks.
- Tyler Kennedy is on the first line for the Sharks right now, so...how about that? (I don't have a joke here. I'm mostly just stunned.)
- This is the first look the Kings are getting at this latest incarnation of the Sharks, now with increased Tomas Hertl power and the mustachioed legend himself, Mike Brown. Unfortunately for the Sharks, rookie Matthew Nieto, converted winger Brent Burns, and defensive mainstay Dan Boyle - all of whom had been having solid starts to the season - are injured. On the other hand, preternaturally injury-prone Martin Havlat makes his season debut tonight. You may feel free to start a betting pool in the comments as to whether he lasts until the second period.
- The "Dwight King first-line winger" experiment rolls on. The third line has certainly performed better since Dustin Brown joined them, but I'm just not sure the cost-benefit analysis of leaving him there works out. As Robert & Eric discussed, we here at JftC believe that the best path to shaking up the bottom six successfully is looking east to Manchester. But that is not happening tonight. So, sorry to everyone at Staples who's paying to watch the top six exhaust themselves as Colin Fraser chips in his three-and-a-half minutes tonight.
- #FreeMartinez #FreeMartinez #FreeMartinez. I just don't trust Jake Muzzin right now.
- Prediction: Kings win 3-1, Joe Thornton keeps it in his pants, Jeff Carter does not.