The Walk of Fame, Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica Pier. Los Angeles is all about glitz and glamour. It’s about star gazing, sunny weather, and Kim Kardashian. What about hockey? Do they really care? Now that the Kings are good for the first time since The Great One was in town, fans are starting to take notice. And with the Flyers in town tonight, they’d better be focused on beating Jonathan Quick rather than shopping at Bijan.
If you want to beat LA, the convo starts and ends with J-Quick. Playing on the West Coast keeps him out of the hockey spotlight for most fans. But he’s possibly the best goalie in the league right now. and he brings it, every night. He’s got two shutouts in his last 4 games, and has given up more than 2 goals just 7 times in 27 games. Last night the Coyotes lit him up for 6, so I expect him to be a bit sharper tonight. For us to have any success against him, we better not play as shitty as we did against Vancouver.
They’ve got a ton of talent sprinkled throughout their line-up as well. Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown lead the offense, while Drew Doughtyis one of the best defensemen in the league. He was a Norris candidate last year, but started off a bit slower this year because of injuries. Like the Flyers, they’ve only had on bad stretch of hockey (2nd half of November), while winning on a consistent basis the rest of the time. What else can we expect from a team coached by Terry Murray?
Tonight should be a very fun game to watch for a few reasons. First, the Christmas hangover should finally be gone, and we know the Flyers offense is capable of putting on a show. Dustin Brown is a hitting machine, and it’s not always clean. If he steps over the line and sets of a few fireworks, we’ve got the right personnel to clap back. Except for Shelley; he’s been suspended two games, again, for the sucker punch he threw an Andrew Alberts (see below). With Pronger and now possibly Timonen out, we’ve got to rely even more on our forwards helping out on D. If we’re as porous as we were the last two games, then it’s going to take a strong offensive push to cover up for that. All in all, this is a tough matchup, and if we blow this one, I’m going to start worrying. We need to keep proving that we can beat the best teams in the league, not just rack up points against the guppies.
- Quickwas pulled last night and Jonathan Bernier didn’t give up a goal in relief. He might start tonight, but he’s also solid. The Flyers tried trading for him during the offseason in hopes of solidifying our goaltending.
- Shelley proved once again that he’s an overpaid, worthless piece of shit. However, I like that fact that is was Alberts he nailed. If I was a blogger back when we had that bastard, I would have had a nightly rant against him. He was incredibly effective at falling down in our zone. He was one of the best set-up guys in the league, for the other team. His 79 game tenure with us was approximately 78 2/3 games too long.
- Has Lavy lost confidence in Bob? Is Bob losing the it that he had for most of the season? It seem plausible, given the Boucher was in net after the break. Not that he didn’t deserve it; he’s played excellent lately. But if Bob is the man, and the future, then he needs to play.
- Justin Williams and Michael Handzus play for LA. Both were fan favorites when they were here. Zeus isn’t scoring as much as he did for us, but Williams is on pace to crack the 30 goal mark, something he never came close to with us.
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Topics: Andrew Alberts, Anze Kopitar, Brian Boucher, Chris Pronger, Drew Doughty, Dustin Brown, Jody Shelley, Jonathan Bernier, Jonathan Quick, Justin Williams, Kimmo Timonen, Los Angeles Kings, Michael Handzus, Peter Laviolette, Philadelphia Flyers, Phoenix Coyotes, Sergei Bobrovsky, The Great One, Vancouver Canucks, Way Gretzky