Game Day #5: Kings-Blues

Let's not and say we did.

Los Angeles Kings v St. Louis Blues (Staples Center)

Time: 7.30 PM

TV: Fox Sports West

Kings projected lineup:

Richards - Kopitar - Williams
Pearson - Carter - Toffoli
King - Stoll - Brown
Clifford - Andreoff - Nolan

Doughty - McNabb
Regehr - Voynov
Martinez - Greene


Injured: Gaborik (??), Muzzin (upper body), Lewis ("upper-middle body")

Blues projected lineup:

Berglund - Backes - Oshie
Steen - Stastny - Lindstrom
Schwartz - Lehtera - Tarasenko
Lapierre - Ott - Reaves

Pietrangelo - Cole
Bouwmeester - Shattenkirk
Jackman - Leopold



Enemy reading: St. Louis Game Time

Game notes:
  • First of all, thanks to Langluy who provided the lineups and an outline for these game notes that I'm going to follow meticulously. The first one just reads "fake rivalry whatever", and truer words have never been spoken. Like, okay, I'm sure the Blues hate us and stuff, but do any of us really give a damn about the Blues? What's the first thought that comes to you when you hear "St. Louis Blues"? "That team we always beat in four straight in the playoffs?" "Somehow still the employers of Ryan Reaves?" "The new San Jose Sharks?" Congratulations: you're all right! I'm sure they hate us though because everyone else does.
  • Patrik Berglund is back in the lineup after missing Saturday's game with an upper-body injury, and it looks like he'll slot onto the top line with David 'I'm really still their first-line center' Backes & TJ 'if it wasn't for the shootout no one would know who I am' Oshie. Berglund had no points and was a -1 in the Blues' first game of the season, which means he is on pace for zero points and a -81 rating. Not good.
  • Of course, Berglund moved to the wing because the Blue acquired Paul Stastny in the offseason. Stastny is a good player who has already been greatly missed by alleged hockey team the Colorado Avalanche. He has a goal and three assists in two games with the Blues so far, which means he's due for some regression and will never score another point in the NHL again. Sad. :(
  • Langluy's next note reads "hahaha Brian Elliott'. I don't really think there's much that needs to be added there.
  • Even though he won't be back tonight, Jake Muzzin did take morning rushes today and stayed on the ice for extra work afterwards, so it sounds like he could be back imminently (maybe as soon as Sunday afternoon against the Wild). That's good news. Marian Gaborik, also out with a mysterious injury, did not skate this morning. That's bad news. Trevor Lewis wasn't on the ice either. That's, uh, news, I guess. Anyway, I thought Mike Richards had a good first game on the top line with Kopitar & Williams on Tuesday, but whether he can recreate that kind of performance against a team that won't be dressing human comedy reel Mark Hunt remains to be seen.
  • In the meantime, Brayden McNabb remains on the top pairing with Drew Doughty tonight. He hasn't looked woefully out of place, which is actually pretty high praise considering his lack of NHL experience (he played 37 games with the Buffalo Sabres prior to this season, which I guess in the most technical sense counts). In four games so far he's at least in the black in Corsi rel (in even strength play), though not by much (0.95%). He's fifth on the team so far in Corsi Against per 60 minutes, so the opposition isn't getting a lot of shot attempts while he and Doughty are out there. The big difference between Doughty/McNabb and Doughty/Muzzin so far is probably in shot attempts at the other end: his Corsi For per 60 is just 49.89, 14th on the team and well behind his own defense partner Doughty (55.57) as well as Alec Martinez, Matt Greene, and Slava Voynov. He's ahead of Robyn Regehr though so that's good! Of course, it's only been four games and blah blah sample size blah blah, you know the deal. Just going by my eyeballs, I think he's gotten more comfortable every game, and I hope he stays in the lineup when Muzzin does come back.
  • Prediction: Kings win 2-1. That just sounds like a Kings-Blues score to me.