I've been trying to write out how Terry Murray has tweaked the lines to find success the past two games. I can't find a good way to write it (probably because I'm a terrible writer) so I'm just going to put it in bullet-point form:
- The top line has changed from Smyth-Kopitar-Whoever to Richardson-Kopitar-Simmonds. I like it for three reasons: one, it challenges Kopitar to create goals since he's paired with two players who go to the net (and he responded, having a hand in all 3 goals last game); two, I like the gumption a line shows when they're all kids. It's like they don't realize what they're not supposed to do.
- The stopper line is now Frolov-Handzus-Parse. Michal Handzus always draws the toughest offensive assignment from the other team since he's all good and shit and he usually has either Wayne Simmonds or Alex Frolov to help him out. The emergence of Scott Parse as an OK player makes this line a pretty good stopper line. Nothing special, but good enough that the other team can't forget about it.
No one cares about the 4th line. Ivanans is back in. ...
Basically, watch tonight to see how Murray and Hardy control the game. They're going to roll their lines and force Ron Wilson to give them a bad match-up simply because the Kings are deeper than the Maple Leafs. (I mean, I think. I don't watch Leafs games because I don't hate myself.) Tonight's game is free thanks to a free preview of NHL Gamecenter so check that out. Or, you know, go to Google and find an illegal stream in like 2 minutes. I like this team the past two games and it's not just because they've won; I feel like the Kings have gone through the mid-season malaise and are ready to push for the playoffs. At least, I hope so.
I got the following e-mail from the voluptuous Chad:
Please tell me you didn't overlook this perfect, uncanny look-alike of Dustin Brown.
Well done, sir, well done.
Prediction: Kings win, 5-3. You laugh every time you see Dustin Brown.