7:30 PST, Fox Sports West
Well that was fast.
All summer there was palpable optimism about the Kings, a feeling of hope that permeated all corners of the Kings blogosphere. Then the first game happened and you got stupid emo shit like, well, this.
The truth is the Kings are not doomed; not yet, anyway. They played one of the more craptastic games I've ever seen a Kings team play (the last one I remember crushing me that much was this one), but it's still only one game. And really, it's almost better to lose a game like that then it is to lose a close game that exposes some sort of flaw in your team. If you play hockey then you know there are some games where the puck always bounces the wrong way; if I let in 8 goals in one game, it's easier for me to shrug my shoulders and look ahead to the next game than if I let in 2 goals in the exact same spot and think about my mechanics for 2 weeks. Drew Doughty (twice!) and Wayne Simmonds (once!) each made bone-headed passes that pretty much handed goals to the Phoenix Coyotes, while Jonathan Quick did just enough to not stop the puck on about 4 attempts. Other games, pucks will bounce off Quick and hit the post. It was just one of those games.
The Kings don't have it any easier tonight, though; play like shit against the Coyotes and you'll lose 6-2, but play like shit against the Sharks and you'll lose 10-0. The Sharks had their own Game from Hell in their first game against the Avalanche but then rebounded nicely in a destruction of the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday. The Kings mixed up their defense a little bit to account for the Sharks' top line of Danny Heatley, Joe Thornton and Devin Setoguchi. Alec Martinez (who was pretty terrible on Saturday) is out, Peter Harrold is in alongside Jack Johnson, and Matt Greene is partnered up with Rob Scuderi. I imagine Greene will assume his usual role as Thornton-Stopper tonight, while Scuderi will account for everyone else. Who is going to play against the Marleau line? I don't know, but whoever it is has their work cut out for them.
Prediction: Kings win, 4-3. Goals by Frolov, Johnson, Stoll and Williams.