On Saturday Night, the Los Angeles Kings will take on the Minnesota Wild at Staples Center for the first of four meetings this season. In their last 10 games, the teams appear to be going in opposite directions, with the Wild going 6-3-1 and the Kings going 3-5-2. The Kings are looking to get the season on track and find some sort of consistent chemistry on each line. We’ve seen flashes of greatness but, alas, no consistency. The Wild do struggle with discipline and don’t have a reliable penalty kill unit. If the Kings can stay out of the box, the power play, that is about the only thing showing up on the score sheet lately, will have its chance to shine. Drew Doughty needs to lead that charge. With two goals in the last two games, it would seem the Doughty is starting to find his stride. His power play point partner (say that 10 times fast!), Jack Johnson, is one of the pleasant surprises of the season so far. Johnson has been questioned about his defensive abilities in recent years but seems to have turned that around while still producing some big goals at key times. As pointed out by Helene Elliott on Twitter the other night, Jarret Stoll just doesn’t look right on the point during the power play and it’s about time for that experiment to come to an end.
It appears that Kevin Westgarth, Davis Drewiske, and Dustin Penner will be the healthy scratches for the Kings. Penner comes as a bit of a surprise as he’s been looking good, relatively speaking, of late. However, the Minnesota Wild are a fast skating team and sitting Penner is most likely a move geared toward keeping up with their speed. I have a feeling, if the Kings come out and have a great game, Penner may be the odd one out on a few more occasions. It sucks having $4 million in the press box but… This team absolutely has to get better, even if it comes at the expense of Dustin Penner. Finally, a coaching decision that I agree with! My bad, just learned that Penner has a hand injury so there goes my good coaching decision theory. Speaking of coaching; Terry Murray will be behind the bench for game number 1,000 tonight. A substantial milestone and I hope the players will have a little extra something in their step to make number 1,000 a win. Congrats to Terry Murray!
Below are a few resources to get you ready for tonight’s game. I’ll have a recap shortly after the game ends. Thanks for reading!
As always, for up-to-date news, you can always go to LA Kings Insider. Rich Hammond’s got it covered from all angles.
Tags: Davis Drewiske Drew Doughty Dustin Penner Helene Elliott Jack Johnson Jarret Stoll Kevin Westgarth Kings LA Times Lakingsinsider.com Los Angeles Kings Minnesota Wild Rich Hammond Staples Center Terry Murray Twitter Wild