KINGS @ PHOENIX COYOTES GAME PREVIEW
5-1 sounds like a good start. I mean, 4-1 is nice, but I want 5-1.
Yes, I’m greedy.
But so is Johnny Quick, who will be starting in goal tonight against the Desert Dogs at the jobing.com arena in Arizona. Can Quick keep up his impossible .97 GAA and .963 save percentage for one more game? You might as well believe he can so that when he does you look really smart and confident.
Yesterday I said the game against Carolina was one the Kings should expect to win. Tonight is one the Kings need to win. Every point lost to a division rival is a point to be regretted.
Luckily for the Kings, without Shane Doan, who was suspended for knocking Anaheim’s Dan Sexton into a pool of starry eyed confusion, I fear not the Phoenix Coyotes.
I do fear a hole on defense by the name of Dreeeeeeeeew.
No Drew for you. No Drew for me.
Tonight will be a testament to Terry Murray’s system and the team playing as a unit. Without the quarterbacking skills of Doughty, the Kings must band together with each defenseman picking up his game that extra little bit. Each forward, recognizing the added importance of getting the puck deep and keeping the cycle going in perpetual motion.
Something else I fear… Ilya Bryzgalov. That Duck castoff is great and never seems to suck against the Kings. No matter, if the Kings’s 1st line (read: Smyth-Stoll-Williams) continues to chug along as it has the last two games, there will be little that Bryz can do to prevent the onslaught. If Dustin Brown can stay out of the penalty box, Anze Kopitar keeps shooting the puck and Loktionov uses the confidence gained from his first NHL goal to his advantage, the Coyotes defensive core will have their work cut out for them.
However it is the second game in as many nights. A predicted reinsertion of Brayden Schenn should add some spark in the third period to what will be a tiring Kings’ team.
This game is the opposite of last. Against Carolina the Kings needed to jump on them early. Against the Coyotes the Kings need to play an even keeled game. Don’t get down early, keep things close and grind it out. Make sure there is plenty of gas left in the tank for the expected third period surge from the ‘Yotes.
Has a nice ring to it.