Game Day Watch, 10/18: Montreal Canadiens @ Los Angeles Kings
The Kings look for a strong game from Auger, Kempe, and Cammalleri, while the Canadiens look for ANYTHING.
HOW TO WATCH
Game Time: 7:30 PM
Radio: KABC AM 790
Stream: NBC Sports (requires cable subscription)
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
if you’re a Kings fan: LA is flying high. Sure, the schedule hasn’t been very difficult! Sure, the games have all been in California! Sure, it’s early! Everyone feels good, though, and the problems so far are fairly surface-level. This is the last game of the homestand, and a win here builds in some much-needed October wiggle room before a six-game road trip.
if you’re a Canadiens fan: Montreal is scuffling along. Sure, they’ve had some tough matchups! Sure, their shooting percentage has been comically, unsustainably low! Sure, it’s early! In Montreal, though, none of that matters if your record sucks. Montreal gets the Kings twice in eight days and needs to solve their problems if they don’t want an uphill climb the rest of the way.
if you’re a hockey fan: The game is on national television and this might be your first look at the New Kings! You also get the LA announcing team of Alex Faust and Jim Fox, which is a big story for everyone who wondered why Sharks announcers were on NBCSN so often while the Kings’ guys couldn’t sniff it. (Helps that NBCSN already uses Faust for national games occasionally.)
PLAYERS TO WATCH
for the Kings: Justin Auger. Morning line rushes have Auger making his NHL debut tonight. It’s high-pressure — he slots in on a line that really has to start chipping in — and low-pressure — the line has been so bad so far that any contribution would be positive. We’ll see how he matches up against Montreal’s fourth-liners like... wait, Alex Galchenyuk, what are you doing there?
for the Canadiens: Al Montoya. Carey Price has had a rough go of things early in 2017-18, and Montreal can’t afford for that to continue. Having said that, backups matter (ask last year’s Kings), and Montoya was good enough for the Habs last year with a .912 save percentage. Assuming Montreal doesn’t start Price again in a panic, this will be Montoya’s first start.
- What’d Montreal do last night? Glad you asked. [Fear the Fin]
- In our recommended Tuesday game, the Devils took down Peter Budaj and the Lightning. [All About the Jersey]
- The Yotes still can’t buy a win, but their young backup goalie looked good last night. [Five for Howling]/
SB Nation named Jonathan Quick’s stunning stick stop against Buffalo as its Save of the Week.