Game Day Watch, 1/9: Dallas Stars @ Los Angeles Kings
No Benn, no Toffoli. Seems even.
HOW TO WATCH
Game Time: 7:30 PM Pacific
TV: Fox Sports West, Sportsnet
Radio: KABC AM 790
Stream: Fox Sports Go (requires cable subscription)
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
if you’re a Kings fan: The Kings have allowed the first goal of the game three times in a row, and even if they won two of those games, it’d be better not to play from behind tonight, wouldn’t it? The offense still hasn’t been inspiring in terms of, you know, goals.
if you’re a Stars fan: Dallas actually has lost three in a row, though. They’re another team whose playoff hopes are getting shaky, and they’ll probably need to be a 100-point-pace team in the second half. It’s not a crisis yet, but it could be if they lose both games in Southern California today and tomorrow.
if you’re a hockey fan: Again, the injury bug diminishes the quality of this matchup, with both Dallas and Los Angeles missing their leading goalscorers from 2015-16. Tyler Seguin and Jeff Carter provide appropriate firepower in place of Jamie Benn and Tyler Toffoli, fortunately, and both appear to be All-Star shoo-ins.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
for the Kings: Brayden McNabb. While Matt Greene, Kevin Gravel, and Tom Gilbert squabble over the #6 spot on defense, McNabb is struggling to reaffirm his place in the lineup. He followed up 17:30 against Detroit (his highest TOI since his injury) by playing under 12 minutes against Minnesota.
for the Stars: Patrick Eaves. Must be the beard, but despite a potentially debilitating foot injury, he’s tied for the team lead in goals and is on pace to shatter his career high of 20. He hasn’t played more than 60 games in a season since 2010-11.
- Colin Miller was scratched in Boston last night. I never though Miller’s new team would show less faith in their young defensemen than their old one, but Forbort and Gravel each have gotten longer leashes this season. [Stanley Cup of Chowder]
- Fear the Fin wonders whether Joe Thornton should get the three-year extension he’s asking for. Don’t do it, Sharks! [Fear the Fin]
- NHL.com ran a vote on who should crack the All-Star lineup, and it’s looking like Jeff Carter and Drew Doughty can make their travel plans for... um... Los Angeles. Peter Budaj also gets the nod over Cam Talbot, but it’s certainly possible that Ryan Miller steals that spot if no other Canucks are deemed worthy of a slot. (My lobbying for Alec Martinez appears to be in vain.) Teams will be announced tomorrow morning. [NHL]/
The Blue Jackets just don’t stop.
OT winner. #1 in the League. First team to 60 points.— NHL (@NHL) January 9, 2017
The @BlueJacketsNHL everyone. pic.twitter.com/fNxCXx8siU