Kings Gameday: Catastrophe!

ST. LOUIS MO - DECEMBER 16: Drew Doughty #8 of the Los Angeles Kings reacts to giving up the game-winning goal against the St. Louis Blues at the Scottrade Center on December 16 2010 in St. Louis Missouri. The Blues defeated the Kings 6-4. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)






Amazing things about Thursday's game:

 

-Willie Mitchell got hurt again

-Drew Doughty was on ice for every single goal in the game (all 10 of them)

-Kevin Westgarth took more than one shift on the 2nd line

-Alexei Ponikarovsky, though, was benched for ineffectiveness

-Over his last 3 games, Jonathan Quick has a 2.33 goals against average and a .92 save rate, despite playing like balls 2 out of the 3 games

-Hey, the Kings scored 2 power play goals!

 

That fucking sucked. That was pretty much a worst-case scenario for the Kings: going against an injury-ravaged team, the Kings looked soft and lackadaisical in their own zone and they lost Willie Mitchell for the 2nd time this season. That means our top 2 penalty killers are both out since Matt Greene is most likely out for at least tonight's game. The Kings are in a bad way and Terry Murray has responded by pulling out his trademark batshit lineups. Starting about midway through the 2nd, the Kings moved their bottom 3 lines around to the following:

Smyth-Stoll-Westgarth

Ponikarovsky-Lewis-Moller

Clifford-Handzus-Simmonds

If you're thinking, 'Wow, that's weird as hell,' you're right. Murray likes to skate a fighter and Murray likes to roll 4 lines, but he doesn't seem to notice that those two ideas are antithetical to one another. I actually like the bottom six for those lines, but that 2nd line is worthless especially if it's going to play more than the other 2. Just a weird, baffling game all round.

The Kings now look to Jonathan Bernier to right their ship against the Nashville Predators. This is actually a good situation for Bernier to get a game: either he plays well and gets more starts, or he plays poorly but everyone blames the defense because it has sucked. Quick seems like he's starting to slow down a little bit after his hot start and Bernier can put himself back into the discussion with a good game tonight. Here's hoping because the Kings sure need it.

Prediction: Kings win, 2-1. Goals by Kopitar and Stoll.

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