Game Day #32: Kings @ Leafs Preview

the Kings come to visit me

Los Angeles Kings v Toronto Maple Leafs (Air Canada Centre)

Time: 4.30 PM

TV: NHL Network, Fox Sports West

Enemy reading: The Leafs Nation

Leafs (projected) lineup:

van Riemsdyk-Kadri-Kessel



Injured: David Bolland, Tyler Bozak, Colton Orr; Scratched: Morgan Rielly, Carter Ashton, Troy Bodie; Suspended: Neon Dion

Kings (projected) lineup:




Injured: Jonathan Quick, Trevor Lewis; Scratched: Linden Vey, Matt Frattin, Matt Greene

Game notes:

  • The Legend of Martin Jones, you guys. Part of me wished he'd retired after last night's game just so he could be like "yeah, 67 per cent of my NHL starts were shutouts. DEAL WITH IT." and then run off into the night. Martin Jones for Calder, Vezina, Hart - and Jack Adams too, while we're at it.
  • True story: the only things I care about in this entire world are Martin Jones and the fact that I will be seeing the Kings in person tonight, so that's pretty much all I have to preview.
  • Okay, fiiiiine, I'll talk about the Leafs. They are not very good.
  • (You want more?)
  • They're probably not as bad as you think they are, though. I mean, yes, they have no top defensive pairing, which means they're on pace to give up more shots in 82 games than any other team in recorded NHL history. But they've gotten steady scoring and phenomenal goaltending, which means they are actually still in playoff position in the no-good very-bad East.
  • Injuries may have actually benefited the Leafs, as Tyler Bozak's absence has kept the superior (in terms of hockey skills and also not-being-racist skills) Nazem Kadri at 1C, the wholly ineffectual Colton Orr has been kept off the ice, call-up Trevor Smith has actually been quite effective offensively, and freshly-acquired Patrick Holland is better than whatever they had going on there before, I guess.
  • I'm sad that we're going to miss out on Jonathan Bernier v Ben Scrivens drama. I'm even more sad that, all joking aside, rookie Martin Jones is being forced to play back-to-back games when the Kings have another perfectly competent, rested (allegedly healthy) goaltender available. "The hot hand" is not a thing that exists, statistically speaking, and I am not particularly excited to see Phil Kessel breaking in alone on Martin Jones - neither should you be.
  • The Kings line up the same as they did last night against the Habs. I'm guessing Coach Sutter will want to wait to re-insert Matt Greene when the Kings get a bit of breathing room and can re-set, but who even knows why or how he does anything ever. #StayFreedAlecMartinez
  • Oh, also, the Leafs powerplay is very good and their penalty kill is very bad while the Kings are obviously the reverse, so special teams match-ups tonight will probably be pretty funny, if nothing else.
  • ~Fun With Numbers~:
  • Team GP Points ROW Goal Diff PP% PK% S/G SA/G CF% (5v5SC) FF% (5v5SC) PDO
    Kings 31 44 (4th, W) 15 +23 (6th) 15.8 (22nd) 86.3 (4th) 31.3 (10th) 26.2 (4th) 57.1 (2nd) 55.9 (2nd) 993 (17th)
    Leafs 31 35 (7th, E) 12 -1 (16th) 23.7 (4th) 77.0 (26th) 26.7 (28th) 37.1 (30th) 42.4 (29th) 42.2 (29th) 1033 (4th)

  • Prediction: Kings win by a lot, I shriek a lot, and also pay a lot for beer. Happy Kings day to me!!