Oh happy day.  So far.

Andrei Loktionov, one of my personal favorite prospects possessed by the Kings (even moreso than Brayden Schenn… put that in your Canadian pipes and smoke it!), is back in Los Angeles and scheduled to play alongside Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown tonight against the Phoenix Coyotes.  While I’m under no delusions that calling up the great and powerful Loki will be any sort of instant panacea to our ailments, I am highly excited to watch the aptly nicknamed “Jimmy Neutron – Boy Genius” in action once again.

Returning to the lineup as well is Wayne Simmonds after missing two games.  Coming out of the lineup are Alexei Ponikarovsky (as a healthy scratch) and Marco Sturm (back to the IR with knee tendinitis – whoop).  Going nowhere, Ryan Smyth and… Kevin Westgarth.  MmmmK.  To be honest, Westgarth is the least of our concerns.

The lineup shifts as follows:

Loktionov-Kopitar-Brown

Smyth-Stoll-Williams

Clifford-Lewis-Simmonds

Richardson-Handzus-Westgarth

And oh thank the fucking heavens, the defense pairings are back to:

Mitchell-Doughty

Johnson-Scuderi

Martinez-Greene

Does this lineup remind you of anything?  It should, this is almost identical to the lineup that went 12-3-0 to start the season.  Will the fact that the personnel on paper aligns closely with that formerly dominant team mean dominance now?  Not bloody likely, but its nice to hope.  I do think having the influx of a hungry, and more importantly very positive, young kid like Loki, looking to make the most of opportunity numero dos to stick with the big club, will have a good ripple effect on the team at large.  Positive excitement is just what a team slipping into the doldrums needs, and whether you agree with Coach Murray’s game plan or not, one thing I think we can agree on across the board is that his ability to feel and convey excitement is about on par with a drug addled teenager working as a greeter for Wal-Mart.

Still, the game is played with a puck and not with smiles.

Fight through the pain and say it with me,

GO KINGS GO!

Fuck Phoenix and everything about Phoenix and fuck undomesticated rabid dogs too.

GO KINGS GO!

Fuck this losing streak and fuck complacent hockey.

GO KINGS GO!

Fuck us and our rational senses that would divert our belief away from this team!

GO KINGS GO!

One more time dammit,

GO KINGS GO!