Los Angeles Kings
@ Calgary Flames
Thursday, Dec 17, 2009, 6:30 PM PST
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My normally hearty Northern European immune system has failed me and I'm sniffling like Joffrey Lupul after a trip to the bathroom. Just add me to the list of those related to the Kings that have fallen victim to some sort of ailment or another, along with Jack Johnson and Jarret Stoll. Stoll missed the game against Edmonton with a hamstring injury and it's 50/50 whether he'll play tonight. Jack Johnson took a Sheldon Souray slap shot off the foot/ankle and it doesn't take a doctor to figure out what's wrong with him. Alec Martinez (who himself missed about a month with an ankle injury earlier this season) was called up in Johnson's stead.
Every team goes through periods where they are hit especially hard by injuries and the Kings are no different. For tonight the Kings could potentially be missing 6 players: Stoll, Johnson, poor Wayne Simmonds, Smyth, Andrei Loktionov, and Brandon Segal. And that's not even counting Dustin Brown, who downplayed the injury he suffered in Tuesday's game by saying he just got the wind knocked out of him but I'm convinced he hurt his shoulder. Corey Elkins, a 24-year old rookie, will be their 3rd line center; Davis Drewiske, a 25 year-old defenseman, will be playing a wing. Trying times, indeed.
Luckily the Kings have an 8 day layoff after tonight's game. During that time they will get Ryan Smyth, Jarret Stoll and Jack Johnson back and will be able to re-engineer their line-up to something resembling what they had opening night. We're doomed tonight, barring Anze-related heroics, but things are looking up for the Kings.
The Kings had 4 players selected to Team Canada's World Junior Championship team, the most of any NHL team. The selections of Colten Teubert, Brayden Schenn and even vile traitor Brandon Kozun weren't really surprising, but I was pretty shocked that Martin Jones was chosen as one of two goaltenders for Team Canada. Jones wasn't even drafted; he was a free agent signing by Dean Lombardi* during last year's prospect camp. It's pretty impressive for him to be selected to Canada's team. I mean, I doubt he'll play but it's still pretty impressive.
It should be a pretty fun team to watch for Kings' fans this year. Teubert and Schenn will probably be on the ice together as both should be on Team Canada's shutdown pairing, while Kozun will likely play in a secondary scoring role. Schenn will probably be a lot of fun to watch, while Teubert will make me want to gouge my eyes out after he takes his 7th mindbendingly retarded penalty of the tournament. It's going to be awesome.
*I don't think there is anyone in the world I would let choose goaltenders over Dean Lombardi. I think he's at the level where I'd go after a guy if I were a GM because I heard Lombardi was looking at him.
Prediction: Kings lose, 1-3. Alex Frolov scores and then his arms fall off when he tries to lift them in celebration.