So we’re ready for another matchup tonight between the Vancouver Canucks and the Los Angeles Kings. With any luck (and a not insignificant amount of skill), the Kings can win this game and head back to Los Angeles with a 1-1 split in the series. Even a defeat tonight is far from the end of the series, but it would certainly make it an uphill climb. So what are the Kings and Terry Murray planning for tonight?
According to Rich Hammond, the Kings lineup looks like this tonight:
Specifically worth noting is the absence of Randy Jones and Raitis Ivanans (fortunately on both counts), but far more surprising is the absence of Justin Williams. While I personally wasn’t terribly hard on his performance in the last game, he certainly didn’t stand out in a positive way. Clearly Murray is sending a message, and I imagine Williams will be back in next game to prove a point.
So who’s replacing these three guys? Peter Harrold on defense, and Scott Parse and Rich Clune on forward. They’ll be flanking Halpern who centers the fourth line, though as we’ve seen often, the lines change very easily mid-game with Murray behind the bench. It’s also an interesting note that Simmonds will be starting the game on the first line with Kopitar and Smyth. Hopefully his seemingly unstoppable energy will help that line start putting more pucks at the net. We’ll have to wait and see. As for now, Go Kings!