Damn it.

Simon Gagne is out. He is injured. The injury is undisclosed. He is day-to-day. Color me annoyed.

The LA Kings may skate, as reported, like this:

Penner-Kopitar-Williams
Parse-Richards-Brown
Richardson-Stoll-Hunter
Clifford-Lewis-Moreau

I have no opinion on those lines. I am sure we could play mad scientist and move names around but none of it means much if the boys pick up Gagne’s slack and everyone steps up, especially in funneling the puck down low and getting it to the high percentage scoring areas.

Simon’s strength is stick handling and puck possession. He and Justin Williams play a similar game on the offensive end of the ice, which is why I want to see Dustin Penner with his ass planted in front of the goalie, ready to pick up those rebounds and use the soft hands we keep hearing about but of which we have yet to see any evidence.

As for the Coyotes, well, they are the Coyotes. Very well coached, aggressive, expect quick, crisp passing and active defensemen. On defense, they are just as assertive and, unlike the Dallas Stars, will not collapse down low. Their defensive style is to take the point shot and lanes away, which means the LA Kings will have to ensure they funnel (there is that word again) the puck down low without taking haphazard shots on net that will just hit skates, shins and will result in a change of possession. In other words, screw the shot mentality unless a lane accompanies said shot. Something tells me tonight will come down to the transition game and turnovers.

Oh and Drew Doughty is back. Yay. Slava Voynov is heading to Manchester although I still haven’t read the official report (update: It’s official). *sniff*

Let’s chat.