You Again! [Game #59 Preview - NYI]
Didn't we just do this? The Kings defeated the Islanders 5-1 on Nov. 13th.
So, what have you been up to? There may have been a little dust-up vs. Pittsburgh you may have heard about recently, though it didn't get much press. They are 6-4-0 in their last 10 games.
Well, you're looking good! [Really?] They are nearing 400 man-games lost to injury (long-time Kings fans feel a shudder of sympathy), and the loss of their goalies has particularly hurt. Still, there have been some bright spots: waiver-wire pickup Michael Grabner has turned into an absolute phenom and might capture the rookie scoring lead (25 goals, 10 assists). Matt Moulson (dangit) and John Tavares continue to reliably score goals.
Al Montoya (.900 SV%, 2.39 GAA) will square off against Jonathan Quick. Not in a goalie fight, presumably. Um. You know what I mean.
Terry Murray, meanwhile, has shaken up the lines again made Andrei Loktionov a healthy scratch. (Moulson's probably sending him texts like "LOL, dude, I can relate.") My take? I understand that every game is important, and team defense needs to be tight. But Lokti brings skill to the lineup too, and the way rookies learn to eliminate mistakes is via experience. Richardson did play with a lot of jump in the Rangers game, though, so we'll see.
How's that workin' for ya? Their power play is better than ours (18%, 15th in the league). Their PK is 13th, at 82.1%.
OMG, did you hear about... Injured Kings: Parse (hip), Sturm (knee). Injured Islanders: Jeremy Colliton (ribs), Rick DiPietro (fractures, knee), Mark Eaton, Mike Mottau (hip), Trent Hunter, Kevin Poulin (knee), Mark Streit (shoulder), Doug Weight (back)
Okay, well, nice to see you as always... season series: Kings up, 1-0.
Tortorella said his Ranger team had "balls" to pull off their shootout win. You want resilience? The Kings were anything but well-rested, and yet still came back from 2 different third period deficits on the road, killed off a penalty at the start of OT, answered the bell in a physical match-up, and managed to get a point. If the Rangers had balls that night, the Kings' huevos were extra large.
So far so good, but their task is not yet done. I would like to help the Isles lock Matt Cooke in a basement somewhere and then go out for drinks, but I still want this win. Let's see if they finish strong.