The Kings have reproached us all day long;
they use our name as a curse:
"Be careful Lubo! Or we'll send you to Edmonton!"
Our playoff hopes are fading!
Our beers are mingled with tears!
O Yahweh, because of your indignation
and your wrath,
you lifted our hopes last spring
only to throw us away.
It seems that all of our days are filled with darkness;
yet another season where hope withers away like grass.
But we acknowledge that you, O Yahweh, sit as king forever!
Though the Kings of Los Angeles may rise and fall,
your reign will endure forever!
And one day you will rise up and have compassion on Edmonton,
when it is once again time to show us favour.
Even the smallest pieces on this team are scrutinized by your people,
Even those who will never see a game are lavished with attention!
Los Angeles Kings (13-9-2) @ Edmonton Oilers (10-11-3)
Rexall Place, 7:30 P.M. MDT
Television: Sportsnet West
Visiting Team Scouting Report: The Los Angeles kings are a pretty good team this year. If it wasn't for suspect goaltending (Jonathan Quick's save percentage is currently .894 overall putting him ahead of only three goalies who have started at least ten games this year, bonus points for those who know the other three without looking it up) the Kings would likely have an even better record so far this year. Someone really ought to let Dean Lombardi know that his team is too good to tank now and that he should get a decent goalie.
Since Ryan Smyth has gone down to injury the Kings - who also lost defender Rob Scuderi in the same game - have put a no-effort useless Russian with Alex Frolov. The Kings have scored only two goals in each of the two games they've played since the switch. This is probably because with Frolov on the first line the Kings don't have much even strength scoring in other parts of the lineup (Oiler fans remember Jarret Stoll's booming shot on the PP and... well... his shots didn't go in quite so often at EV) which allows opposing coaches to get good defensive matchups reasonably easily, especially when the Kings are on the road. The Oilers, however, aren't interested much in matching lines, so we can probably expect to see
Crawford Terry Murray (thanks Shepso!) sneak Kopitar's line out against the Oilers third and fourth lines on occasion this evening.
Edmonton Oilers (10-11-3):
Penner - Gagner - Hemsky
Jacques - Brule - Horcoff
Moreau - Cogliano - Stortini
Reddox - Potulny - O'Sullivan
Gilbert - Souray
Smid - Visnovsky
Strudwick - Staios
Los Angeles Kings (13-9-2)
Frolov - Kopitar - Williams
Parse - Stoll - Brown
Ivanans - Handzus - Midnight Meat Train
Purcell - Richardson - Harrold
Jones - Doughty
Johnson - O'Donnell
Drewiske - Greene
Behind the Numbers:
- Anze Kopitar leads the NHL in points with 33. The next King on the list is Ryan Smyth with 23 (in 22 games).
- Ryan Smyth should have only played for 1 team over his career but is instead now playing for his 4th team in 4 seasons. It's also his 4th team in 15 seasons.
- Robert Nilsson is a team worst -12 in only 12 games so far this season. His only goal of the year was into an empty net.
- Ryan O'Marra is having by far his best season in the AHL this year with 5 goals and 3 assists in 20 games.
- Alex Plante has played 18 games so far in the AHL and has totaled 3 points and 22 penalty minutes as well as a -4 rating. His 0% shooting percentage likely isn't sustainable over the long haul (though we've been saying that about Ladislav Smid for over 2 years now).