Kings-Flames Game Preview: Fire's Out
The Kings try to douse the Flames again in the second half of their at-home series.
Alternative titles for this game preview: "smouldering ashes", "#wentforit", "free Jarome Iginla", "TYLER TOFFOLI TIME".
At some point, it was going to start feeling mean to make the "are the Flames still going for it" joke, and I think we've reached that point. Of all the fanbases, we are certainly one that can empathise with the pain of dealing with bumbling, direction-less management, and the tedium of watching a roster lacking elite talent - so, it's hard not to feel a bit bad for Flames fans.
That being said, I hope the Kings stomp them so hard (again) that they cry all the way back to Calgary, or wherever it is that they're going after this. It's cliche to say that every game is a must-win, but it's a safe bet that the Western Conference standings aren't going to un-pack themselves at all before the playoffs. The Kings are the better team, top-to-bottom, and while they certainly might lose this game, there is just no good reason for that to happen.
Los Angeles Kings v Calgary Flames (Staples Center)
Time: 7.00 PM Pacific
TV: Fox Sports West
Enemy reading: Matchsticks and Gasoline, Flames Nation
Flames (projected) lineup:
Injured: Bouma (knee), Byron (wrist), Glencross (upper body)
Kings (projected) lineup:
Injured: Greene (back), Mitchell (knee),
Richards (?? curse you, Tim Jackman)
- The lineups for today are more guesswork than usual. For the Flames, Curtis Glencross being out with injury, Sven Baertschi being demoted, and Mikael Backlund coming off of IR meant that the forward lines were adjusted on Saturday. I think this is how they lined up then, and I assume this is how they'll look again tonight, but who knows what Bob Hartley will come up with. I can't wait until the Flames try to run a Comeau-MacKinnon-McGrattan line. Gonna be great.
For the Kings, I know it hasn't been confirmed that Mike Richards is injured, but I'm assuming that the Tyler Toffoli call-up means that Richards will be out at least one game, even if it's just for precautionary purposes. Given that Brown-Kopitar-Williams is rolling again, I'd be hesitant to break them up, so I think Toffoli slots in on the second or third line, probably second.The Mayor says it looks like Toffoli will be a healthy scratch. Boooooo.
- Speaking of Tyler Toffoli, I don't know how many of you got a chance to watch him play with the 67s or the Monarchs, but I can confirm that that shot of his sure is pretty. Niesy has the low-down on Toffoli here, which may help soothe your Mike Richards-related grief a little bit. (But not mine. You will pry this therapeutic frozen yogourt from my cold, dead hands.)
- If the Flames don't trade Iginla for something before the deadline, I don't even know anymore, man.
Miikka Kiprusoff got pulled last game, and hasn't seemed particularly sharp since returning from injury. I'm pretty sure even 1999 Dominik Hasek couldn't turn this ship around, but Kipper's still got to be better for the Flames to have a chance tonight.Apparently Joey MacDonald will be in net. I guess that's one way to ensure Kiprusoff doesn't lose the game.
- Jonathan Quick got hung out to dry by his team on the goals against on Saturday. The Flames didn't have a whole lot of scoring chances, but he was solid when he needed to be - clearly inspired by Kelly Hrudey Night.
- I love Kelly Hrudey. What a man:
Go Kings Go