Game Day Watch, 2/25: Anaheim Ducks @ Los Angeles Kings
May the Kings score like Ryker Kesler today.
HOW TO WATCH
Game Time: 1:00 PM Pacific
TV: Fox Sports West, NHL Network
Radio: KABC AM 790
Stream: Fox Sports Go (requires cable subscription)
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
if you’re a Ducks fan: I bet life is SOOOO easy for you, isn’t it Ducks fans?! Four consecutive division titles, stress-free regular seasons, a sparkling home record. It’s February, and everything is just wonderful, isn’t it?! ISN’T IT?!
(Oh, you’ve also won only four of your last ten and are struggling with your offense? I DON’T CARE.)
if you’re a Kings fan: There are nine teams in contention for eight playoff spots in the Western Conference. The Kings are in ninth, and now, it’s a clear ninth. The good news is that LA still has four games against the team they’re primarily jostling with, Calgary, but that’s not going to matter if the Kings keep losing home games. LA’s struggles might be overshadowed today, though...
if you’re a hockey fan: ... because there is a significant chance of Jonathan Quick’s return to the lineup. It’s the season’s highest-profile goaltender injury, and the Kings have kept themselves in the hunt even with Quick out. Peter Budaj is second in the lead in games played and has sustained a decent .917 save percentage, but he’s showing symptoms of the heavy workload, and having a capable alternative would be huge for LA.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
for the Kings: Jonathan Quick. Obviously. Yes, Peter Budaj has put up a save percentage just .001 lower than Quick’s 2015-16 save percentage. Budaj’s got a .903 in January, though, and a fresh Quick down the stretch would be considerably preferable to a tied Budaj. Even the thought that Quick might be back is encouraging, and even if Budaj ends up starting today, Quick will be a topic of discussion throughout.
for the Ducks: Patrick Eaves. The 21-goal scorer arrived from Dallas yesterday for a second-round pick, which could become a first-rounder. The Kings are looking for someone to play with Anze Kopitar, but the most prolific goal-scorer on the market is going to play with either Ryan Getzlaf or Rickard Rakell. Look out.
- More on how Quick’s timetable changed from Jon Rosen. [LA Kings Insider]
- Fascinating hockey baby on the way. [Broad Street Hockey]
- Kevin Shattenkirk is vetoing trades, which is unfortunate for the Blues. [St. Louis Game Time]/
FLASHBACK. Here’s the last time Quick was in the lineup. Which Duck will draw his ire today?