The Kings come into tonight's tilt in 6th place in the West, and third in the Pacific with 85 points. Not a lot has changed for L.A. since their visit to the United Center last week. Anze Kopitar is still a machine even though he's fallen off the league's scoring leaderboard, Dustin Brown is going to hit everything in sight, Drew Doughty is making a legitimate run at being a Norris Trophy finalist, and Jonathan Quick will almost assuredly get the start in net. Terry Murray's crew has been touch-and-go since the Olympic break, going 3-3-1 since the real games resumed. We know this team can play both up-tempo or gritty and has the depth of personnel for both styles. And oh yeah, they have arguably the worst fucking goal song in the league, right up there with Nashville.
And then there's our battered, bruised, and depleted Men of Four Feathers. In talking with Sam today, both he and I expect them to come out with a snarl akin to that of a wolverine who has been fed a kilo of angel dust (better Faith No More album, by the way). All of the talk to the media after the game seemed to indicate that the Hawks are mad as hell and not going to take this anymore, and Duncan Keith had some particularly choice words on the subject, suggesting that the Hawks may have to start getting dirty themselves. We'll see how that works out for them, but fully expect that the Hawk forwards are going to try to get close enough to Jon Quick to find out what scent of Febreeze the equipment managers use on his gear. And though recently the results haven't gone their way, the Hawks have been putting up 40 shots a game pretty consistently, so it's not all gloom and doom. What the lineup will consist of is really anyone's guess at this point, so I'm not even going to speculate, but Antti Niemi will be getting the start in net. Three points out of the next four and no further injuries would keep this brief road trip from being an unmitigated disaster. With any damn luck that begins tonight. Let's Go Hawks.