PREGAME: KINGS LOOK TO SNAP PENGUINS ROAD RECORD
What does penguin taste like? Is it as yummy as duck?
The Pittsburgh Penguins make their way to the City of Kings (I don’t like the Angels, or Angels in general) tonight with an NHL record 7-0-0 road record to start their Stanley Cup hangover season (UPDATE – Rich Hammond just reported that everyone has been wrong, and the actual NHL record for road wins to start a season is 10-0-0 by Buffalo three years ago. So used to everyone screwing up Kings stats and records, surprised to see the entire hockey world miss this one). Not much of a hangover so far, but with a bit of grit and a few good bounces, the Los Angeles Kings are in prime position to give the Penguins a headache.
Many have talked about this game as a measuring stick. I prefer to think of it as a yard stick. Like the nuns in Sunday school used to have. Good for demeaning beatings. Sidney Crosby could use a good thwacking. Whether that comes from Dustin Brown making the golden child of the NHL more familiar with the boards at Staples than he’d like to be, or Anze Kopitar proving that there is a new superstar in the league, does not matter. Still, I’ll be rooting for both. Unfortunately, there is one Penguin the Kings’ won’t get a chance to properly thwack.
The hometown crowd will not get a chance to see superstar Evgeni Malkin, who is out with an injured shoulder. Depending on how you look at it, this is either a very good thing or a very bad thing. Good if you think strictly about the game at hand. Bad if you remember the last time these two teams met. I’m sure you haven’t forgotten, but here is a refresher:
So, no revenge for Wayne Simmonds or the Kings this year, but snapping that 7 game road streak would be a reasonable consolation prize. If the Penguins win tonight they will have the best road record to start a season of any NHL team ever. Personally, I’m more worried about Bob Miller jinxing it by opening up the telecast with “The Penguins can set a new NHL record tonight” than I am about the Kings playing poorly.
Fresh off a fantastic comeback win against the Phoenix Coyotes, this group of hockey players should have all the confidence they need to take down the reigning champs.
Not much else needs to be said, except of course, for,
LET’S GO KINGS!