HOW TO WATCH
Game Time: 7:30 PM Pacific
TV: Fox Sports West
Radio: iHeart Radio
The Opposition: St. Louis Game Time
Remember when the St. Louis Blues were bad?
Yeah, they’re not bad any more. Or at least they’ve had enough of a hot streak to propel them back into the playoff picture in a surprisingly weak Western Conference.
They’re led in overall points by Ryan O’Reilly, rebuilding his career after some highly demoralizing time in Buffalo, and in goals by Vladimir Tarasenko, who is always dangerous with the puck. Tarasenko has endured some scoring woes this year, which still leaves him with 27 goals, which is more than anyone on the Kings has. (Anze Kopitar leads the team with 19.) (Yes, 19.) (This season, man.)
The Blues had lost two consecutive games before coming into Anaheim last night. And they looked poised to lose that one too, down 4-3 with just over a minute left on the clock. But the Blues fought back and the Ducks, determined to challenge the Kings at their top draft pick goal, allowed two Blues goals in 12 seconds.
So the Blues win, the Ducks start thinking about where they’re going to put Jack Hughes in their lineup, and here we are.
A lackluster effort from the Kings against Montreal was a disappointment to be sure, but Matt Luff at least looked motivated when he finally drew back into the lineup. At the tail end of a lost season when maybe veterans could be seeing a tad less ice time to let players like Luff get more comfortable, it’s sometimes frustrating to look at his baffling usage. But at least he’ll keep getting a chance to shine while Austin Wagner recovers from his lower body injury.
Time and time again, the young players have been the saving grace of this season, and Luff’s lone goal against the Canadiens was the story the other day. Can he do it again against the Blues? Can any of the other young players make an impact, or a case for a larger role next season? Jonny Brodzinski’s playing for a contract, whether it’s with the Kings or somewhere else in free agency. Does he make a push to be recognized?
Does anyone from the home team, in fact, do anything useful?
We’ll see. Good luck.