Game Day Watch, 10/23: Los Angeles Kings @ Toronto Maple Leafs
Is your team for real? Find out tonight, because apparently only the most recent game matters!
HOW TO WATCH
Game Time: 4:00 PM Pacific
TV: Fox Sports West
Radio: KABC AM 790
Stream: Fox Sports Go (requires cable subscription)
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
if you’re a Kings fan: After Thursday’s third period blitz of the Montreal Canadiens, LA fans were outraged by Mike Milbury’s immediate postgame proclamation that he was “not fooled” by LA’s 5-0-1 start. In his defense, no description of LA’s start by anyone was complete without mentioning that they were at home for most of it (fair) or that the other teams’ records were bad (sure, but that includes five losses to LA). After a 6-4 win in Columbus, though, the national media is starting to buy in. Even though the defense was shaky and it was Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown, and Alex Iafallo doing most of the hard work on Saturday! As long as it’s all about the last game, though... if the Kings win tonight, the hype will take off even more, and if they don’t, it was all a sham, I guess.
if you’re a Maple Leafs fan: After last season’s unexpected success it was easier for everyone to buy into Toronto, but their last game? It was bad! They lost 6-3 to their bitter Ottawa rivals after turning a 3-0 second intermission deficit into a 4-3 nailbiter. The Leafs are young, their goaltending has been rough, and they’re still 6-2-0, but there’s suddenly doubt. If they win tonight, I guess you can turn that doubt off, because say it with me: it’s all about the last game!
if you’re a hockey fan: I guess it depends if you think these teams are for real, doesn’t it?
PLAYERS TO WATCH
for the Kings: Jonathan Quick. He draws the tougher assignment on this back-to-back, and though his last couple starts against Toronto have been quite good, he had his worst showing of the season against Columbus. Granted, if 32 saves on 36 shots is your worst showing, you’re doing all right! And after allowing three goals on his first eight shots against, he was nails.
for the Maple Leafs: Frederik Andersen. The Leafs are not a defensive team, but even so, an .881 save percentage won’t cut it for the former Duck. That’s a season save percentage which is worse than Quick’s save percentage in his worst start of 2017-18. Can the big redhead find his form against a hot team?
- The Antti Niemi experiment in Pittsburgh was a short one. Would Vegas pick him up? [Pensburgh]
- Detroit is just dire right now. [Winging it in Motown]
- The best fourth line in hockey? It might be in Dallas. [Defending Big D]/
HIGHLIGHTS TO WATCH