Rink Royalty co-lead writer Paul Bonnaire wrote up this one, he was unable to post it due to work. Full credit goes to him for this article.
Today the Los Angeles Kings (23-16-10) play host to the Ottawa Senators (27-17-6). This is their only Regular Season meeting.
The Kings are coming off of an abysmal performance Saturday night against the Colorado Avalanche losing 3-1. Their offense, again, was missing while the Kings only put up a total of 26 shots on goal.
What are the keys to going in to the All-Star Break a winner against one of the hottest teams in the league? It all relies on good puck management, converting on second, possibly third chance rebounds and continue to be physical against a team that is the fourth most penalized in the NHL.
Scouting the Senators, veteran Forward Jason Spezza leads the team 50 points (20 G, 30 A). Spezza is in his 10th NHL season with his one and only franchise. In 7 games played against the Los Angeles Kings All Time, Spezza has 4 points (1 G, 3A) and is a minus 1. Contributing to Ottawa’s success this season is the intensity of league leading defenceman Erik Karlsson. Karlsson this season in 49 games played has 46 points (7 G, 39 A) and is a plus 7. Milan Michalek has 23 goals and 9 assists and Daniel Alfredsson has 15 goals and 21 assists.
The Kings need to find consistency. I don’t want to beat a dead horse but with so much talent transcending through each line, something has to give in this above ground talent pool that is the LA Kings. Our top line is heating up since RW Justin Williams replaced “Pancake” Penner on the top line. Williams has 9 points (3G, 6 A) in the last seven games and it’s good to note that he has 14 points in 27 games played against Ottawa. Now here is the ringer, center Mike Richards in 21 games played against Ottawa has 21 points (12 G, 9 A). Nothing is more exciting to me than seeing Richards skating away on a shorthanded opportunity.
The home crowd pours in to Staples Center passionate and ready to will their team to victory. It is up to the team to rise to the occasion and ignite their Pride, Passion, and Power.
The Kings, 4-2-4 in their last 10 games need these two points like hockey needs physicality. Lets go back in time to 2001 to see physical play at it’s nastiest and most out of hand.