This is going to be a very close game depending solely on our PK situation and response. Look at those leading scorers and look at those rankings. 3rd in power play and last in penalty kill Second in average goals scored and last in goals against avereage We are an all or nothing score 6+ goals or lose team at the moment. The three big factors of the game are going to be how our defense responds - if they can step it up, how well the shutdown line handles the oppositions, and if the line that shall remain nameless can continue to shine and erase our mistakes. This is going to be a good one, but with a dangerous potential for disaster.
Luckily I get a +100 optimism modifier when I enter GDT's so Kings win 5-4. GO KINGS!
“Every good army needs a couple of criminals.” - Dean Lombardi
I'm more worried about playing the Blues than I was about the Sharks. They've got a fiesty young team led by a few crafty vets, nearly a mirror image of the Kings at this point. Should be a great game.
I think this is going to be a good test for the first line. St. Louis has an awesome checking line and with last change they're going to have McClement draped all over Kopitar all game.
It's also going to be a good test for the defense, since St. Louis has a stronger forecheck than the teams we've played so far. Doughty and Johnson both need to be careful and stick with the safe plays to get the puck out of the zone.
No Brewer or Jackman takes out a considerable amount of grit from their defense (although Roman Polak is still no fun to camp out in front of the net with). Not that this has been a problem but the Kings have no excuse for not crashing the net tonight.
EDIT: Based on his slow start, Berglund might be sitting tonight, and Alex Pietrangelo will be making his season debut. Blues' defense will probably look like:
... I don't want to get our hopes up but that isn't very intimidating.
That PK is going to haunt us, and I can see us having trouble with their speed. If there's anything going for us, it will be our slight size advantage up front. Use the body, out muscle the opponents and drive hard to the net.
And this is coming from Blues coach Andy Murray, speaking on his former team.
But the statement unfortunately also applies to the Kings penalty kill, currently ranked worst in the league at an abysmal 36.4% success rate, a full 20% lower than Montreal, the 29th ranked team. Safe to say, killing penalties effectively will be a key to the game tonight.
The Kings line-up will be identical to the last game's, with Trevor Lewis watching the contest in a suit and tie.
I think the Kings can pull this one out. I'm hoping to see a strong games from Brown and Johnson, and a little more steady control from Greene, who has been good but prone to looking at the puck for too long.