Kings-Flames Preview: Light 'em Up

The under-achieving Kings head to the 'Dome to take on the under-achieving Flames (stop me if you've heard this one before). Old friend Danny Taylor says "hi".

Last night was a pretty satisfying win against the Edmonton Oilers, and now the Kings head south to try to complete the Alberta sweep against Calgary. The Flames staggered to a 4-0 loss against the Coyotes in their last game, and are one of the few teams as desperate for wins as the Kings are these days.

Some fun with numbers: the Kings are 6-6-2 on the season, and sit twelfth in the West. They are three points out of a playoff spot, although they have at least one game-in-hand on every team ahead of them in the standings. They are eleven points out of the Pacific Division lead currently held by the Anaheim Ducks. The Flames are 5-6-3, fourteenth in the West and seven points back of the Northwest Division-leading Vancouver Canucks.

The last season series against the Flames was split 2-2, with the road team winning every game. The Kings went on a 10-game losing streak at the Saddledome which ended in October 2010, and haven't lost in Calgary since. This game is the beginning of a three-game homestand for the Flames, who have already played a disproportionate number of home games. They are L-W-L-W-L in their last five.

What does all of that mean?? Mostly nothing. The Flames may or may not be as bad as their record and the Kings are probably not as bad as their record, but none of that dictates what will happen tonight. Whichever team scores the most goals will win, and you're very welcome for that in-depth analysis.

Los Angeles Kings vs Calgary Flames (Saddledome)

Time: 7.00 PM Pacific

TV: TSN, Fox Sports West

Enemy reading: Matchsticks & Gasoline, Flames Nation

Flames (projected) lineup:



Not Danny Taylor

Injured: Bouma (knee), Backlund (lower body), Baertschi (hip), Kiprusoff (lower body)

Kings (projected) lineup:




Injured: Greene (back), Mitchell (knee), Martinez (too beautiful for this world/upper body)

Game notes:

  • 2004 Kings seventh-round draft pick, the late, great Danny Taylor might not actually be playing. The Flames claimed Joey Macdonald off of waivers from the Red Wings and threw him in net the game before last, so he's also an option. But let's hope it's Danny Taylor, because that's more fun for all of us. Bob Hartley hates fun: Danny Taylor will be saying "hi" from the bench, and Joey Macdonald will be in net, for his first home start with the Flames.
  • Speaking of goaltenders, Jonathan Quick was better! It didn't look like the Oilers got many quality chances last night, but Quick still stopped 23 shots and was as solid as he needed to be, particularly when the Kings had difficulty getting it together to start the game.
  • The Flames scored only four goals against Quick in four games last season, but I'm still betting Jonathan Bernier gets the start in the back-to-back against the weaker team.
  • Not a goaltender: Keaton Ellerby, who got beat up pretty bad by the Oilers. Is it Andrew Campbell time? Probably not yet. But if Ellerby gets worked over again, it might be soon. His TOI hit 13:44 last game, his lowest with the Kings thus far - obviously, Coach Sutter's not happy. Keep an eye on Ellerby tonight.
  • "No one cares about us. There's 30 teams and you have to make your own nest." Bob Hartley said this the other day, and I just thought it was kind of funny. "No one cares about us." He's the Jack Johnson of coaches, y'all.
  • More fun with numbers: the Flames have the third best power play in the League and the third worst penalty kill, while the Kings have the seventh worst power play and the eleventh worst penalty kill. Don't expect this to be a special teams showcase.