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***HOME OPENER*** Phoenix @ Los Angeles - 10/3/09 - 7:30PM

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10-03-2009, 12:09 PM
  #1
johnjm22
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***HOME OPENER*** Phoenix @ Los Angeles - 10/3/09 - 7:30PM

.


Los Angeles Kings
(0-0-0, 0 pts)

VS.



Phoenix Coyotes
(0-0-0, 0 pts)




7:30PM (PST) @ Staples Center Los Angeles, CA


TV Broadcast: FS-W (Home), FS-A (Away)
Radio Broadcast: KTLK 1150 AM


GAME PREIVEW
With their team in bankruptcy, a coach that's been on the job for less than two weeks and a franchise that may not be in Arizona much longer, the Phoenix Coyotes still have to take care of business on the ice.

Trying to put all the distractions that have dominated the offseason behind them, the Coyotes open their season Saturday night at Staples Center, where they'll take on a Los Angeles Kings team that's also targeting its first playoff berth since 2001-02.

"It's tough, almost like the rink is the guys' safe haven, to just go out there and play and not worry about the extra stuff going on," defenseman Ed Jovanovski said.

After Phoenix finished 36-39-7 in 2008-09 and missed the playoffs for the sixth straight season, Coyotes owner Jerry Moyes placed the team in Chapter 11 bankruptcy with the hopes of selling it to Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie, who would relocate the team to Hamilton, Ontario.

The NHL strongly opposed this proposed sale, as did the city of Glendale, Ariz., and the league made a $140 million offer to buy the team to attempt to resell it.

On Wednesday, though, U.S. bankruptcy judge Redfield T. Baum denied both bids, but agreed that the NHL has a right to choose its teams' owners and where its franchises play.

The league is still considering its options following this ruling, which could include a new offer to purchase the team.

If Phoenix's complicated bankruptcy wasn't enough of an offseason distraction, Wayne Gretzky resigned as coach Sept. 24. He was 143-161-24 in four seasons on the Coyotes' bench.

"The one thing I learned through this whole time is that absolutely nobody knows what is going on," said captain Shane Doan, beginning his 14th season with the organization.

General manager Don Maloney immediately replaced Gretzky with Dave Tippett, who was fired by Dallas in June.

"What we're going to do is concentrate on what we have to do on the ice to earn the right to be a playoff team and earn the right to compete for the Stanley Cup," Tippett said.

The Coyotes have some solid defensive players they're hoping will make them a competitive team.

In addition to Jovanovski and the recently re-signed Keith Yandle, Phoenix added veterans Jim Vandermeer and Adrian Aucoin from Calgary in the offseason to bolster a unit that allowed 3.04 goals per game last season, 24th in the NHL.

"Our goal is to be a top-10 defensive team," Maloney said. "We don't yet have that superstar who's going to get us 40 or 50 goals a season, so we're going to have to play better defense this year."

That includes Ilya Bryzgalov, who posted a career-worst 2.98 goals-against average in 2008-09.

Former King Jason LaBarbera will also see time in goal after inking a two-year deal with Phoenix in the offseason.

Los Angeles plays its first game Saturday after finishing last in the Pacific Division in each of the last two seasons.

The Kings, though, are looking for two playoff-tested acquisitions to help them reach the postseason.

Less than a month after helping Pittsburgh win the Stanley Cup, defenseman Rob Scuderi signed a four-year deal with Los Angeles on July 2.

Scuderi, who should provide a strong veteran presence for 19-year-old Drew Doughty, Sean O'Donnell (suspended for first two games) and Jack Johnson on the Kings' blue line, had a career-high 16 points last season when he led the Penguins with 164 blocked shots.

A day after signing Scuderi, Los Angeles acquired veteran left wing Ryan Smyth from Colorado for defensemen Kyle Quincey and Tom Preissing.

Smyth has 25 goals and 27 assists in 81 playoff games.

"Ryan is the type of player who fits with our team," general manager Dean Lombardi said. "He fills an important need as he is a competitive, gritty scoring left winger and he fits with the overall identity we continue to build here."

Anze Kopitar, who had a team-high 66 points last season, is expected to be joined on the top line by Justin Williams and Smyth.

The Kings are hoping for a breakout season from Alexander Frolov, who begins the final year of his contract. The former first-round pick led the team with 32 goals last season, but he has reached 30 twice in six seasons.

Second-year coach Terry Murray looks for a bigger contribution from Jon Quick this season after the 23-year-old goaltender went 21-18-2 with a 2.48 GAA in 44 games in 2008-09.

"He's a very strong guy and I think he can handle a lot of work, but at the start of the year, I always think 60 games and then adjust accordingly from that point," Murray told the Kings' official Web site.

Los Angeles is 2-5-0 at home against Phoenix since the start of the 2007-08 season.

Associated Press



INJURIES
LOS ANGELES
Sean O'Donnell - Suspension (Eligible to return Oct. 8 vs. Minnesota)
Rich Clune - Groin IR.

COYOTES
Francis Lessard - Suspension (Out until at least Oct. 10 vs. Columbus)
Taylor Pyatt - Knee (Probable for Oct. 3 at Los Angeles)

Sportsline.com



RECENT MEETINGS
09/15/09 - LAK @ PHX - Pre-season 4-3 (Kings)
09/15/09 - LAK @ PHX - Pre-season 4-2 (Coyotes)

*Kings All Time Record against Phoenix: 66-85-25-4

NHL.com


KINGS STARTING LINEUP

Smyth - Kopitar - Williams
Purcell - Stoll - Brown
Frolov - Handzus - Simmonds
Ivanans - Richardson - Lewis

Johnson - Scuderi
Drewiske - Doughty
Greene - Martinez

Quick


LEADING SCORERS (Last Season)
Forwards
Kopitar, LA - 66PTS (27 G / 39 A, -17)
Doan, PHX - 73PTS (31 G / 42 A, +5)

Defensemen
Doughty, LA - 27PTS (6 G / 21 A, -17)
Jovanovski, PHX - 36PTS (9 G / 27 A, -15)

NHL.com



PROBABLE STARTERS (Stats are from last year)
Quick, LA - 44 GP (21-18-2)
GAA 2.48 / SV% .918

Bryzgalov, PHX - 65GP (26-31-6)
GAA 2.98 / SV% .906

NHL.com



TEAM STATS (Last Year)
GAA
LA – 2.76 (11th)
PHX – 3.04 (24th)

Avg. Goals
LA – 2.46 (27th)
PHX – 2.50 (26th)

Power Play %
LA – 19.2 (14th)
PHX – 14.5 (28th)

Penalty Kill %
LA – 82.9 (7th)
PHX – 76.8(28th)



NHL STANDINGS


NHL GAMES TODAY



SEASON PREIVEW


MEMORIES






GO KINGS!!

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Old
10-03-2009, 12:13 PM
  #2
Telos
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Kings win 4-2. GO KINGS! Please put LaBarbera in goal.

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Old
10-03-2009, 12:15 PM
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Ziggy Stardust
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Phoenix still has a team?

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Old
10-03-2009, 12:16 PM
  #4
FootKnight
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First GDT of the season. Feels good.

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Old
10-03-2009, 12:19 PM
  #5
Cutty Sarkn3ss*
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9 Hours and counting. . .

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Old
10-03-2009, 12:27 PM
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Snyper8
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no better game to make a statement than the season opener. GO KINGS!!!!

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Old
10-03-2009, 12:28 PM
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Reaper45
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The drinking starts shortly.

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Old
10-03-2009, 12:39 PM
  #8
Dave33
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I'm just praying that it being the home opener prevents the usual flat start against the 'Yotes.

4-1, the good guys take it.

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Old
10-03-2009, 12:39 PM
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reaper45 View Post
The drinking starts shortly.
It started last night, and will continue throughout the day!


GO KINGS! IM SO STOKED!

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Old
10-03-2009, 12:44 PM
  #10
Reaper45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KingsRule View Post
It started last night, and will continue throughout the day!


GO KINGS! IM SO STOKED!
I have to pace myself or I'll end up like a certain Kings poster who passes out in the bathroom at Staples.

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Old
10-03-2009, 12:46 PM
  #11
DeeMeck
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I just wanna go home happy.

Kings 4 (Kopitar 2, Williams, Johnson) 2-6 on PP

Yotes 1 (Doan), although Jovo always seems to score on us as well. 0-5 on PP

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Old
10-03-2009, 01:09 PM
  #12
agentfouser
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FootKnight View Post
First GDT of the season. Feels good.
hell yeah it does! man, how i missed hockey over the summer.

on a side note, i'd never realized that quick's stats were basically across-the-board better than bryzgalov last year.

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Old
10-03-2009, 01:15 PM
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DeeMeck
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Thats cuz Bryzgalov is 19-0, .86GAA, .975%, and 13 shut-outs against us in his career.

Yes, it's an exaggeration, but it sure is what it feels like.

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Old
10-03-2009, 01:19 PM
  #14
Taylor18
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Kings dominate

LA 8 PHX 2

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Old
10-03-2009, 01:22 PM
  #15
johnjm22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeeMeck View Post
Thats cuz Bryzgalov is 19-0, .86GAA, .975%, and 13 shut-outs against us in his career.

Yes, it's an exaggeration, but it sure is what it feels like.
I feel the same way about Hiller. That guy is a machine against us.

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Old
10-03-2009, 01:24 PM
  #16
Fangio
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is this the year

Hockey is back, the Kings are back, just win baby!

Kopitar and Johnson will have a big game, I can feel it.

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Old
10-03-2009, 01:36 PM
  #17
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I have been feeling a lil sick since wed but I am still heading to the game tonight. I hope theres no let down to the yotes.


Go Kings Go!

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Old
10-03-2009, 01:46 PM
  #18
BigKing
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Will be there with the flask of whiskey per the usual. I feel nothing but a win tonight.

I'm hoping Bissonete tries to impress his new squad tonight. He's a good fighter and would be a serious test for Simmonds. Hopefully he will step out of his weight class a bit and go with Ivanans.

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Old
10-03-2009, 01:49 PM
  #19
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LETS GO KINGS! Its been a long offseason but here we go!

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Old
10-03-2009, 01:49 PM
  #20
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I have to pace myself or I'll end up like a certain Kings poster who passes out in the bathroom at Staples.
I would like to know more about this.

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Old
10-03-2009, 01:57 PM
  #21
KopitarFAN
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5-3 Kings

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Old
10-03-2009, 02:07 PM
  #22
RR
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So, a few of us Yotes fan are in town for the game and a friendly wager for drinks after the game seems to be in order. We'll also be heading out shortly to begin tuning up for tonight in case anyone wishes to engage in some freindly pre-game batner. Tell us where, and we'll be there.

Obviously, we're looking for a big win tonight but just being here and having our 'Yotes for at least one more year makes this a damn special opener. Wish the Kings luck but everyone in the US has to realize a Yotes win tonight can go a long way toward making our Canadian detractors ****!

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Old
10-03-2009, 02:11 PM
  #23
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Kings dominate

LA 8 PHX 2
Rookies

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Old
10-03-2009, 02:18 PM
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigKing View Post
Will be there with the flask of whiskey per the usual. I feel nothing but a win tonight.

I'm hoping Bissonete tries to impress his new squad tonight. He's a good fighter and would be a serious test for Simmonds. Hopefully he will step out of his weight class a bit and go with Ivanans.

I dunno if I want Simmonds fighting someone that big (listed at 6'3 220lbs on the coyotes site, Simmonds is listed at 6'2 183lbs). I won't be complaining if he does though.

I've never heard of Bissonette, what type of player is he? Grinder? Goon?

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Old
10-03-2009, 02:19 PM
  #25
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