This is a long road trip for the Kings. It’s like nine hundred games played in seven hundred days, and half of them are against Boston and Pittsburgh. You can understand rotating players in to give other players a night off. Injuries already have cropped up inevitably.
But not to Marian Gaborik. There’s also the unpleasant fact that unless you are Jeff Carter trolling Columbus, you aren’t scoring goals for the Kings. Aside from Jeff Carter’s two goal performance, the Kings have zero goals in regulation in their past three games. One of those had Gaborik, a guy who is paid to score goals, not playing. Instead the lineup had lovable face pounders like Kyle Clifford, Andy Andreoff, and Jordan Nolan in.
I personally like these guys in the lineup. One at a time though. Two maybe, against like the Ducks so they can beat the piss out of Ryan Getzlaf and Ryan Kesler and other assholes named “Ryan” (scientific fact: all Ryans are complete douche bags). All three in the lineup is, well, less than ideal. All of them on the same line has been a move Darryl Sutter has loved pulling over the past few years and it suuuuuuuuuucks. However, they aren’t exactly third line material, though occasionally Andreoff finds himself in that role.
So you don’t typically play all three of them at once. The Kings are already known for being a bigger team what with Dwight King and Anze Kopitar and the aforementioned Carter. The team can’t score goals, so maybe you throw in the goal scoring type. Especially when you only have one other winger in the lineup that’s scored more than 17 goals in the last decade (Toffoli).
Gaborik has been hurt to start the year, and yes he only has one goal on the season so far. He’s getting older. He’s an offense first player on a defense first team. But you need someone who scores. Trevor Lewis is your mainstay top line winger right now. You can’t punch pucks into the net (yet). And Gaborik can’t score goals if he’s not seeing minutes or even seeing the ice.
Or they can put Carter on Kopitar’s wing and give Nic Dowd and Nick Shore more minutes like I have been yelling about for months.
Prediction: Kings still can’t score but get a goal from Andreoff waved off after he punches the puck over the line.