L.A. Kings vs. Nashville Predators Open Forum: Let Us Prey

The Predators are abuzz.

Fresh off the acquisitions of Hal Gill, Paul Gaustad, and Andrei Kostitsyn, the Music City franchise fancies itself a contender. And contend they must to persuade Shea Weber and Ryan Suter to stay for, without them, they are another one of Gary Bettman’s failed experiments.

What makes Nashville special may be Dean Lombardi’s wet dream – a team built from the back-end out with star power on defense and a deep roster of forwards who are not great, but good enough. This is not to compare Nashville’s general manager, David Poile to Dean Lombardi because one is a great GM and the other is Dean Lombardi. Poile, with strangling financial restrictions, has built a team that consistently makes the playoffs and competes though it has yet to contend. He also chose an excellent coach and stuck with him. There is a culture in Nashville and it doesn’t just come with cowboy hats and boots. Necks are for losers.

And what of our Kings? 4 goal per game are suddenly the rage and L.A. better be careful because our fans’ expectations evolve quickly. If goals are our crack, we’ve spent most of the season in rehab but we’ve since broken out, have cash in our pocket and are only interested in winning. Whatever Jeff Carter is selling, we’re buying.

Will Jonathan Bernier start. Notice I did not place a question mark at the sentence’s end. I will not ask and not just because this isn’t baseball but rather Darryl Sutter has an unhealthy lifeblood of Terry Murray that runs through his veins on goaltending rotations. I refuse to hold out hope of pleasant surprises. It’s easier to scowl and wait.

Nashville is 9-13-3 against us on their ice. That will mean exactly nothing tomorrow as the Predators are 6-2-2 in their last 10 games and 21-7-5 at home this season. They’re hot. They’re good. We must be better.

This is your open forum.



Categories: L.A. Kings News

Tags: , ,

80 replies

  1. Times call for a desperate effort by the Kings against a fully loaded adversary. We’ll get a raw and honest glimpse of what they are capable of. This has to be a statement game. Can’t freaking wait to see the result. Go Kings Go!!

  2. One thing Nashville has is SIZE. I remember when we had it — (sigh) — although I like the addition of Carter, King, and Nolan.

    Gustad, Gill, and Kostitsyn were terrific pick-ups for those pricks. I use that expression — “those pricks” — without malice. I would apply the same term to a squad of B’nai B’rith Girls if they stood in our way.

    • I don’t think the Kings lack SIZE at all…Carter, Kopi, Brown (plays huge) Penner (has been much better) Clifford, Greene and Mitchell are all very much big boys! I fear St.Louis SIZE way more than Nashville’s.

      Kings must come out strong tonight and score in the first 5 minutes of the game. As we have noticed in the past few games if the Kings score first, and early, they seem to control the game. Plus, Quick seems way more on his game playing with a lead. This team is fragile and needs a boost of confindence early to succeed these days!

      Kings 4 Preds 2
      Go Kings Go!

  3. I donk think we’ll reach the 3 goal mark this time. Most likely a 1-0, 2-1 Kings win.
    I’ll be in class when the game starts, so my tv will be spared of the obscenities I would normally yell lol

  4. I doubt Suter and Weber will resign with the Preds.

  5. One only needs to look at Quick’s stats vs. Preds and Bernier’s stats vs. Preds to know that Bernier should start this game. I’m a huge Quick fan, and am glad he’s the main man here in LA. Bernier is the right choice for this matchup. Doubt Sutter will go for it.

    • All you have to go is look at the schedule to see that Quick will get the start. Kings have back to back games on the 8th and 9th against the BJs followed by the Wangs. Bernier will get BJs, while Quick gets the Wangs. If bernier were to start against the Preds he would be getting 2 starts in a row. Not happening.

      • Gaurentee that Quick gets the next two starts…and Bernier gets Det. Sutter doesn’t think the way you do. He is not looking ahead. Day off between games, Quick gets the start!

  6. I bought crack from Carter, but I must say…his Heroin is better.

  7. Nashville’s two-man forecheck has always been a problem for the Kings.

    Their team is one of many paradoxes. The are reputed as a defense-first team, but the defense starts in their offensive zone as they overload sides, two-man forecheck like demons and hold the points stubbornly. They defend you in your own defensive zone. I say this with great respect: they are a poor man’s Detroit in this way.

    Their “defense” holds the opponents to the 9th best goals gainst average at 2.46 per game, but their defensemen have scored 38 goals and 138 points. This compares to the Kings at 3rd best GAA 1.99, but our current defensemen have scored only 23 goals for 80 points. Even adding in scoring powerhouse, minus magnet and compulsive smirkotron Jack Johnson’s numbers only brings the Kings up to 32 goals and 105 points.

    These ain’t your mama’s Nashville Predators; they score goals, they shut you down by either scoring goals or contesting possession in your end, and they don’t fall back in the neutral zone to let you come at them. Trotz has regularly out-coached and out-prepped Kings coaches since he came into the league.

    Maybe the Kings will ry to open it up out of frustration, and suffer for it. Maybe the Kings will stick to their strength and out-defend. This is gonna be a very tough game to win. With any luck Hal Gill will be spooked when one of those indoor blimps accidentally bounces off a rafter and knocks into his head. Or maybe Gill will get knocked out by their jumbotron if he forgets to duck passing thru center ice.

    No room for soft goals, no room for bad passes on outlet thru the middle, and we have to bury our chances. That’s three things that are counter to the Kings recent play. I can’t help but think the 3rd lines are gonna make the difference tonight.

  8. Hal Gill was a great pickup for them. He is so underrated defensively, everything I wish Matt Greene was. Gill may not be a pretty skater, but he can get around much better than Greene. His legs are so long and big, even if it doesn’t look like they’re moving fast, and they aren’t, he’s still covering a lot of ice with each push.

    I really like Gill, I think he’s awesome defensively. A few games Ive watched of Nashville, he has been better than Suter and Weber. Of course anyone can outplay anyone on a game to game basis, but he’s good.

    Andrei Kostitsyn, he may not be perfect or ideal, but he’s exactly what the Kings needed to do. He’s just another guy that brings skill, speed, and some size actually too, just another guy you add to your lineup, you add to your depth, and it starts to mount, and guys can sort of start playing as more than the sum of their parts. Pretty soon you have so many good players on so many lines, some guys can have slumps come and go, some guys can go invisible for long stretches, and it doesnt matter, because you have this safety blanket, there is always someone else creating, making good things happen.

    It’s like Chris Stewart with the Blues. If he was on, I don’t know, the Kings, it would be like OMG, he’s our star power forward, he’s our 35 goal guy, what the hell is happening? We need this guy! On a team with just Stewart and a couple other guys, when one of them isn’t performing, it just kills the team.

    But the Blues have so many good players. Backes, Mcdonald, Oshie, Perron, Sobotka, Arnott, Stewart, Steen, Im not the biggest fan of Langenbrunner but hes at least a real NHL top 9 forward… They are so good that even with Stewart struggling and Alex Steen out, they just keep on humming.

    Its not just about injury replacements, either. Not at all. Once they are all back, you will see how all those players just sort of piggy back on each other. It creates this blanket of depth like I said, and everyone is better for it.

    I felt the Kings getting Carter was a huge step in creating that. The first step, and once Lombardit traded Jonathan Bernier for another top 6 forward, and some draft picks and prospects for another top 9 guy or two, the Kings would have it, and they would be a team to reckon with in the playoffs.

    But then Lombardi just stopped. Hell, even on defense, they could have used Hal Gill. This is a good team defensively, but they only have six NHL defensemen, if that.

    Getting Carter was such a good first step, I thought Lombardi would built on it. He did the hard part, getting the sniper they needed, I thought the rest would come easy, just filling out the depth with Andrei Kostitsyn type guys if nothing else.

    But nothing. Nashville made the moves, LA didnt. Lol and I completely forgot about Gaustad. I heard people calling him a 4th liner, it’s ridiculous. He can play the fourth line, but he’s big and has some skill, one of the best 3rd liners in the NHL.

    Wish Dean had added some depth to this team.

    • We’re not short on depth or defense. Our system has been the only problem plus missing one more top-six forward.

      • Exactly..and only one NHLD man? Huh?
        Mitchell/Scudari/Doughty/and Rookie Voynov has been just fine.Greenernot consistant..but so much better then most.
        GO KINGS GO!!!

  9. BBF better start Bernier!

  10. And what of our Kings? 4 goal per game are suddenly the rage and L.A. better be careful because our fans’ expectations evolve quickly

    … Sigh. Just want to win the damned game. 1-0 or 100-99. Doesn’t matter.

    Will Jonathan Bernier start.

    … Doubt it. As Skebo pointed out, if he started today, he’d start two games in a row, and that would apparently be considered blasphemy in the eyes of the Lord of Goaltending. I just hope Bernier plays here and there from now until the end of the season.

  11. Anaheim is 4 points behind the Kings – Just Sayin’

  12. Jim Fox just tweeted that Quick looks to be the starter tonight. No big surprise there. I just hope Sutter knows what he is doing. Record vs. NSH: Quick 0-4-1, Bernier 5-1-0.

  13. I don’t understand why everyone is so fixed on having Bernier play the Preds tonight. Quick is our guy and these are now playoff games. If we play the Preds in the Playoffs, do you play Bernier the whole series becasue of his regular season record against the Preds? No! You put the best line-up in, night in and night out, to give your team the best chance to win!

    The Kings must play much like they did last time in Nashville, getting through the neutral zone getting pucks behind the d with two man pressure and F3 supporting the strong side. If Nashville switches sides the D needs to be aggressive keeping the pucks in with F3 supporting. Very basic forecheck that is effective with our 3 lines who all can skate and force the Preds to turn and skate all night.

    My question is, who do you put Suter and Weber agianst? Richards line or Kopi’s?

    • I don’t understand why everyone is so fixed on having Bernier play the Preds tonight. Quick is our guy and these are now playoff games. If we play the Preds in the Playoffs, do you play Bernier the whole series becasue of his regular season record against the Preds? No! You put the best line-up in, night in and night out, to give your team the best chance to win!

      … Can’t speak for anyone else, but I’ll tell you why I’m fixed on it.

      Number one, they’re not playoff games. They’re regular season games. Number two, it’s very easy and convenient to say Quick is better than Bernier because Quick gets to play regularly and Bernier doesn’t. Number three, not only is Bernier’s record against Nashville quite solid, he’s coming off of a shutout in his last start and has been terrific since the All-Star break in those rare times when he’s had a chance to play.

      I don’t believe the team’s chance of winning changes at all if Bernier is starting as opposed to Quick.

      • I would have to disagree…first, just because it is not techinally a “playoff game” the Kings are 1 point out of a playoff game with 17 remaining, which means they should approach every game as if it is a playoff game. Second, Sutter doesn’t care what Bernier’s career record against the Preds is. Third, if their chance of winning doesn’t change, which by the way you’re totally contradicting yourself, why not start your number 1 goalie?

        I’m not doubting Beriner’s ability and his track record after the All Star Break, which I agree has been very good, it doesn’t take away from the fact that Quick is having very close to a Vezina type season. I put my money on him any day of the week over Bernier. Plus, Bernier’s shutout was against a Wild team, although had some good chances, is now the worst scoring team in the league.

        Honestly, the Kings need to score early because whether it’s Quick or Beriner the Kings will need that confindence and momentum to win this game.

        • first, just because it is not techinally a “playoff game” the Kings are 1 point out of a playoff game with 17 remaining, which means they should approach every game as if it is a playoff game

          … I know where the Kings are in the standings. It’s a regular season game. It’s not like the Kings are preparing to lose the game if they play Bernier instead of Quick.

          Second, Sutter doesn’t care what Bernier’s career record against the Preds is.

          … Apparently, Sutter doesn’t care about a lot of things. That’s his deal. Still doesn’t make it right.

          Third, if their chance of winning doesn’t change, which by the way you’re totally contradicting yourself, why not start your number 1 goalie?

          I’m not contradicting myself at all. Quick is the number one because he was anointed the number one. He didn’t earn it; it was handed to him at the beginning of the season in 09-10, and since then no one’s been permitted to challenge him. That’s fine – that’s the way the Kings want it, so it is what it is. However, I’m not convinced Quick’s better than Bernier, because I haven’t seen Bernier play regularly enough to tell one way or the other.

          I put my money on him any day of the week over Bernier.

          … Good for you.

          Plus, Bernier’s shutout was against a Wild team, although had some good chances, is now the worst scoring team in the league.

          … Didn’t Quick lose to the Wild this season? Gave up four goals to them, if I remember right?

          • I get all your arguements, but it is almost like you are convincing yourself that Bernier is the better Goalie than Quick, right now. Which couldn’t be farther from the truth. Bernier is the Back-up and will get spot starts, mostly on the back end of back to backs. This is the reality and whether you think Sutter “doesn’t care about a lot of things” he’s the guy DL put in place and is going to make the decisions. Bernier might be better down the road but hasn’t played consistent enough for me to think that some track record is the best option for the Kings.

            Plus, we are missing the point that you made earlier, “I don’t believe the team’s chance of winning changes at all if Bernier is starting as opposed to Quick,” and vise versa. So, play the guy that has allowed you to be in the position you are in right now. Cause, without him Bernier might be playing everyother game just to see if he is as good as you think he is.

    • See Kostamojan’s post. Bernier rules the Preds!

      • Understood, but this isn’t the same Preds team he has “ruled,” and don’t get me wrong if Sutter said Bernier was starting I wouldn’t apposed to that decision either. I’m just saying I clearly see why Qucik is and should get the start.

    • Why does Albert Pujols hit .333 against every pitcher in the league but for some reason can’t hit Bud Norris (.192 lifetime in 26 at bats). There are only EIGHT players remaining on the Preds from the 1st win Bernier got against them.

      • Good question and I don’t know the answer, but I do get everyone’s point. Pujols in a Angels uni is as annoying as if Malkin put on a Ducks jersey! Go Dodgers!

  14. The good thing about playing against a team you just recently lost to is that you typically comeback with a strong bounceback response. The previous game is still fresh. It seems like a lot of those games are split. I look for a strong performance tonight and for JQ to pick up his first W against Nashville.

  15. I like Gill and that was a smart move by the Preds. I can’t see them keeping both Suter and Weber, so I think they back the truck up for Weber and trade Suter for a top forward. That still leaves them with two solid Dmen next year. I wanted the Flyers to go after Gill, we sure could use him with Pronger gone and Kimmo out.
    Hoping for a great first period and a lead that they can hold onto. If all 4 lines show up, and keep the forecheck pressure on, that should lead to goals. I was surprised that Bernier is not starting , given his record. GKG

    • They won’t have the chance to trade Suter. He’ll be a UFA July 1st if I’m not mistaken, which means they will need to sign him or lose him for nothing. The Preds took a huge gamble and if they go deep in the playoffs they might just win the Suter and Weber sweepstakes. Plus, they have Ellis and Blum coming up through their system which allows them some cusion for the blow they will receive if they lose one of them.

  16. … Yeah, his critics are right on – Kopitar NEVER takes it to the middle. Never.

  17. … Fluky, but it counts! I’ll take it.

  18. SCORE!!! Break Rinne!! Do it Boys
    GO KINGS GO!!!

  19. Rinne lets in an easy one. Flood, locusts to follow…

  20. Statement game tonite this is going to be a tough 4 game road trip and getting 2 points will be huge. Come on Kings let’s get it done! Score goals, play good D, and stay out of the box.

  21. For those crying about the benching …it’s working.

  22. Stick side weak side for Quicker????
    And Nashville knows..
    Shit
    GO KINGS GO!!!

  23. … Yeah, you guys are SO fucking right. Quick was the right choice tonight. Well played.

  24. Quick is blowing it… Ugh

  25. Are you kidding me this game?!?!

  26. That’s just a Perfect shot…tough

  27. Where’s the GD holding call???

  28. I just heard that Sutter’s logic on playing Quick tonight – it was something akin to treating it like a game 7 in the playoffs and you play your best goalie. Let’s take that obtuse mentality that was conceived in a vacuum and actually apply it. If your number 1 has lost every game 7 against the team you are playing and your number 2 has won every game 7, you play your number 1? Love it. Go Murray, er, Sutter.

    • Hey, this man was handpicked by our beloved GM. Please….. like, chill out dude. You are indirectly criticizing our GM….. do you realize that? lol

  29. Stevens
    “Seeing Eye Singles”
    That is a Classic!
    SCORE..Greener!!!!!
    tenacious and unrelenting..
    GO KINGS GO!!!

  30. Did we pick up a new #25 cuz there’s no way that’d Pancakes playing.

  31. Greene!! Just when I thought penner n Lewis were useless. Great shift

  32. … Rinne hooked! Amazing. Five goals. I don’t even know what to say to that.

  33. Kopis in full on beast mode. Benching works folks :D ain’t no way he’s getting outplayed by Fraser

  34. Short shifts. Go hard up and back and change it up. Keep them legs fresh.

  35. Fuck I’m missing a good game. Go kings!

  36. That’s a fucking Dive!

  37. Looks like Bobby has to have sex with his wife! He tweeted a while back if the Kings won 3 straight… ;)

  38. Did Quick play bad tonight? 4 goals is a lot..

  39. Back in a spot boys and girls and I ain’t even gonna mention the S word. Hopefully the Oilers can beat SJ.

  40. Whew that was close… Now its time for scoreboard watch. Not looking too good right now.

  41. Whew….. That was seriously the LONGEST 3rd period I have ever seen in my life. Great effort by the boy’s! Freak last goal by Preds made it uncomfortable. Hoping this gives the Kings a boost. HECK YEAH!!!!!!!

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