By Surly Jacob.
Tonight at Madison Square Garden two big talents with two sensitive groin muscles square off as Alexander Frolov and the Los Angeles Kings take on Marian Gaborik’s New York Rangers.
Frolov, who historically has had at least one juicy groin injury per year hopes to pick up his scoring against the best offense in the league. Gaborik leads the Rangers with 5 goals and 4 assists in 6 games, and much to New York natives’ delight, has yet to hobble off the ice this season clutching his unmentionables.
The NHL’s two hottest teams (when was the last time the Kings were a part of that sentence?) have a few storylines to go along with the pursuit of two points. The Kings will face Brian Boyle for the first time since trading him over the summer. Boyle recently expressed some bitterness towards his former club.
“It was frustrating in Los Angeles, so I was happy with the trade,” Boyle told News Day. Apparently he has picked up the name ‘T-Bone’. Hard to imagine why, as Boyle’s reputation is more fitting of the moniker ‘Tartar’, as he has yet to fully translate his tasty raw skill in to a well-prepared main course.
He also told NorthJersey.com that his time with the Kings “hamstrung me last year.” Even though he is being asked to play the same role with the Rangers as he was last year with the Kings, a tough, 4th line center, Boyle added “It paralyzed me, looking over my shoulder wondering if I could stick in Los Angeles. It’s a fresh start here.”
Big words from a big man with a little game.
On the Kings side, the line-up remains the same save for one key change. Erik Ersberg, the ‘Iceberg’, gets his first start of the season against the Rangers. The choice to start the Iceberg has charged some debate amongst Kings fans, as Jonathan Quick is set to start tomorrow night against a Detroit team that has struggled out of the gate and already lost Johan Franzen. Those wanting Ersberg to play tonight think it more prudent to play the better goalie against the Conference rival, while those wanting Quick to start tonight want the better goalie to play against the hotter team.
Either way, the Kings will be lucky to add 4 more points to their record by Thursday’s end, a tall order for any team playing back-to-back games in the middle of its longest road trip of the season.
I believe they can. First, they must shove those upturned New York noses in to their respective brains and wipe the blood off the ice with ‘Rags’.
Go Kings Go!