Previewing the Los Angeles Kings’ 2012-13 season:
Game 7 @ Anaheim, February 2, 2013, 7pm PST (10pm EST)
It’s been a long wait but the Freeway Faceoff is finally back as the Los Angeles Kings travel to the Honda Center to take on the Anaheim Ducks in the first of four meetings this season. To add a little spice to the storyline, this will be the first time the Kings play the Ducks as Stanley Cup champions – and we all remember a late-season discussion last year between colour analysts Jim Fox and Brian Haywardof the Kings and Ducks respectively.
When asked which of the two teams will win a Stanley Cup first, Jim Fox said that it would be the Kings while Hayward disagreed. But that wasn’t enough. Hayward took it upon himself to take his Ducks championship ring out from his pocket to show off and claim that his team has the better prospect system than the Kings do. What was most amusing is that the first name Hayward mentioned was defenseman Justin Schultzwho the Ducks had since failed to sign, watching him, as a result, sign with the Edmonton Oilers instead. Oh yeah, and Jimmy Fox was right – the Kings won the Stanley Cup a couple of months later (but we all know that).
Last season, the Kings went 5-1-0 against the Ducks and hope to start off on the right foot this season. While Anaheim did just play last night, they did beat Minnesota by a score of 3-1. So, while they may be tired, the Ducks won’t be short of too much energy for their cross-town rivals.
About to embark on a five-game road trip, the Kings are hoping for a little more offense in the next few games. Through six games, Kyle Clifford leads the Kings in points with five and Jeff Carter leads the way in goals with three which are decent numbers but next to Anaheim’s individual totals, Los Angeles could always be better. For the Ducks, 42-year-old Teemu Selanne leads the team with eight points while Daniel Winnik leads the way in goals in five. Should the Kings expect to win, they will have to find ways to contain both players especially Selanne who has had plenty of success against Los Angeles.
If the Kings can have their defense on par, then they should be fine in that department. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, expect Jonathan Quick to get his seventh-straight start for the Kings. As for Anaheim, as impressive as rookie Viktor Fasth has been between the pipes, he did just play last night so expect Jonas Hiller to get the nod against the Kings.
The 4-1-1 Ducks will look to extend their winning streak to two whereas the 2-2-2 Kings look to get back in the win column. Something’s got to give. Let the bitter rivalry continue.
Enjoy the game!