Here we go again with one of those must/should/better/will-win games.
While not one of the teams stuck in the 2010 fall doldrums, the Ottawa Senators are a below .500 team with a record of 9-10-1 through 20 games. Any team under .500 is a team the Kings need to walk up to, bitch slap, and go home with their kickball and 2 points. They failed to do this against the Buffalo Sabres on Friday, failing to do so twice on the same road trip is not in the realm of acceptability. Particularly with a very good Montreal team coming up on Wednesday, the Kings’ must win tonight to ensure they come home with at least a .500 record of their own on the road. But we will let Bernier and the Kings worry about Montreal tomorrow. For now, impeaching the Senators is a contained singularity of purpose.
A few words about the home team.
The Senators have a decent powerplay and a less than decent penalty kill, at 17.6% (13th in the league) and 80.5% (20th) respectively. This matches up well for the Kings who look to get both of their own specialty team units back on track, or in the case of the powerplay, out of the junk yard and on the tracks in the first place. The Kings defense also looks to get back to a place where it is not blowing coverage on important shifts and, again, this bodes well in terms of matching up with the Senators. Ottawa has about half of a first line, a third line and two fourth lines. Wonder what that means? Take a look at the Senators’ roster and figure it out. They have two dangerous forwards in Jason Spezza and Daniel Alfredsson and two weapons on defense in Sergei Gonchar and youngin’ Erik Karlsson. Otherwise you have a bunch of jerks and jokers in Chris Neil, Jarkko Ruutu, Matt Carkner and Jesse Winchester. This would be one of those games where Kevin Westgarth is a necessary evil, though I expect Kyle Clifford to go toe-to-toe with one of the aforementioned d-bags.
If the Kings forwards can pressure the points to keep Gonchar and Karlsson in a state of frequent distress and Matt Greene keeps up the punishing fire that overwhelmed him in the third period against the Boston Bruins, then the Kings should skate to a victory akin to those won in the first three weeks of the season.
Kings will ice the same lineup as Saturday.
Also, the Senators have crappy jerseys (though their thirds are pretty cool).
Always and forever,
GO KINGS GO!
Categories: L.A. Kings News