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Kings Gameday: Gettin' Defensive

LA Kings (4-6-2) vs. St. Louis Blues (5-6-1)

7:30 PST, Fox Sports Prime Ticket

The Kings are currently leading the league in shots allowed per game. That's insane. Last season, if you'll recall, the Kings were atrocious at preventing shots and finished 28th overall with 32 shots/game. This season? 24. In the last game against Florida, the Kings allowed only 15 shots, and at the end of the 2nd the Kings had outshot Florida 25-6. The fuck, man. That's huge both for a team's confidence and for actually winning games. Think about it: even if your team has a fat starter and a small, doe-eyed, Swedish back-up that allow a goal every 10 shots, you're still only allowing 2 or 3 goals a game. I'm kind of used to a more, what's the word, shitty defense, so this has been a nice change of pace so far.

Imagine a picture representing shot differential right here

Of course, there's a yin to this yang: the Kings are allowing less shots but in doing so they're shooting less as well. The Kings are shooting, on average, about 26 and a half shots per game. Last season the Kings shot about 28.6. It's not a huge decrease, but it's something to keep an eye on. As long as the Kings shoot more than they allow, I guess it doesn't really matter what the numbers actually are.

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You know who's awesome? Kyle Quincey. It's kind of depressing knowing that the Red Wings can cut a guy from their defense and then he comes to the Kings and is immediately their best defenseman. Whenever Jack Johnson comes back I imagine he'll pair up with Drew Doughty because his old partner and Quincey are so good together. Sean O'Donnell with Tom Preissing? Hell yeah! ...I don't have any friends.

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The Kings are playing the Blues, one of the teams that will challenge them in the future when they're both actually good. This is going to be like watching Smallville, in that it's going to suck and you're going to feel embarrassed for watching it.

Prediction: Kings win, 5-2. Goals by Kopitar, Doughty, Quincey, Brown and Simmonds. I keep predicting the Kings will score a bunch of goals and one day it'll be true.