Takes and trash talk from both ALL sides of the NHL's most obscure PATHETIC* rivalry

* Thanks, Kevin Lowe!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Kings Gameday: Expectations

Los Angeles Kings (o-o-o, not last!) @ San Jose Sharks (1-0-0, booooooo)

7:o0 PST, FSN West & FSN Bay Area

The Kings are not going to make the playoffs. Theirr defense is too young and their goaltending is not quite good enough. Still, I feel better about this team than I did about the one last year and I felt better about that team than the one before that. That's progress, right?

Offensively, I think the Kings are going to score a pretty healthy amount of goals. Last year the Kings played 24 games against the Stars (6th best team defensively), the Ducks (3rd best), and the Sharks (2nd best). They still finished 12th in goals scored. The Kings are playing less games against the Pacific and more against the rest of the league so I imagine just that factor will allow them to score more goals. The Kings also improved their 2nd line center with the addition of Jarret Stoll and have better players at every bottom-6 position except for 3rd line center and 4th line right wing. I don't think it's out of line to expect the Kings to score 245 goals this season.

Defensively, the Kings are a disaster. Terry Murray may establish a better defensive system than the one (was there one?) under Marc Crawford, but the Kings are still going to let in a lot of goals. I'm going to look at the defense individually, like I did with the offense last year. I only care about 3 defensemen on the team: Jack Johnson, Matt Greene, and Drew Doughty. As long as those three improve from last year, I'll be happy.

In terms of goaltending, I just want to see one goaltender play more than 55 games. It's simple, but having a goaltender get more than 55 games means 1) he's doing adequate and 2) the Kings aren't going to use 7 goaltenders again. I just want a little consistency, is that too much to ask?

The Kings went 32-43-7 last season and finished with 71 points. According to Alan Ryder the Kings were the unluckiest team in the league last season and went half the year without 2 of their 2nd line players. I think the Kings will be better than they were last season, just like they were the year before. Hopefully there's a breakout year and the Kings miraculously make the playoffs, but things usually improve year by year. I guess that's what I have to hope for.

Prediction: Kings lose, 5-3. Goals by Brown (x2) and Richardson. Let's save that win for the home opener.


Ksy92003 said...

New coach, new defensemen, new captains, new 7-year contracts..

Surprisingly a new penalty kill, but the same goaltender.

Same result, but this game was ugly in a different sense.

41-13 shots on goal? Aside from the Kings killing 6-for-6 on the penalty kill, this was just embarassing. The Kings were never able to get an offensive attack going, and the Sharks dominated the puck. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.. or they'll blow another 3-0 third period lead, like they did last year against the Blues.

Angie said...

Funny how you say the Sharks dominated the puck, from my seat, the Sharks looked sloppy tonight. At least compared to Thursday night. But can't complain too much, I did like the final numbers.


auggie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chris Kontos said...

Well, you know when you play a team below you, you tend to play to their level.

Saying the Sharks played sloppy tonight is like saying ones biggest fault is spending too much time at the gym.

Angie said...

Well ... there is that way of looking at it. :)

Nut said...


My Rivet said...

Labarbera was awesome. Preissing broke 4 on 1. Brown showed tremendous skill. There were a lot of positive things you pay attention.

Andrew Harkins said...

The positive is that the score was only 3-1 with a shot differential like that. The negative is that the Kings are expected to be bad defensively but good offensively, but ended up sucking in both categories.