Monday, January 2, 2012

AVS GAMEDAY PRIMER: Los Angeles Kings, 1/2/12

The Good Guys: The Avs remain on a bit of a hot streak, having won 8 of their past 10 games after pumping Anaheim on New Year's Eve, and clawing their way back into the thick of the Western Conference playoff race. Pay no attention to the fact that they have played approximately 15 more games than anybody else in the league, and the fact that Matt Duchene will be missing a month of action; our fan base has been starving for something to hold on to, and our team has been giving it to us lately. Can the Avs pull out another win in Hollywood tonight, or are we California Dreamin'?

Or are we looking for excuses to work in lame 60s song titles?

Bunch Of Dicks: In what's been a bloody season for coaches in the NHL, the LA Kings have been one of the few teams that seem to have gotten a boost from their coaching change. The Kings fired their head coach Interchangeable, Unsuccessful Murray on December 12th, and eventually replaced him with Interchangeable, Marginally-More-Successful Sutter on December 20th. Since then, the Kings have gone 4-0-2 and vaulted to the top of the Pacific Division. Our future divisional rivals have done so on the back of solid goaltending from Jonathan Quick, and in spite of a ghastly 17 game goalless streak from Anze Kopitar, a player who has traditionally treated the Avalanche the same way a baby treats a diaper. Kopitar finally scored a goal against Vancouver on New Year's Eve, and is looking to build on that tonight.

We Like: How about a 2 goal effort from the captain Milan Hejduk on Saturday night in the Quacketeria?... Speaking of the Ducks, they absolutely reek of a team that knows they don't have a chance in hell to get back into the race this season. One less team for the Avs to worry about as the season progresses... The Kings are holding their second "Legends Night" of the season, in honor of former King Daryl Evans, and will be rocking sweet retro purple-and-gold uniforms with their original logo. We like them so much, we won't even quibble with the fact that the Kings' original logo is technically a queen's crown.

We Don't Like: The nagging thought that Anze Kopitar is going to run train on the Avs like he usually does.

Randomly: Whenever someone asks you what your New Year's resolution is, they aren't asking because they care about your answer. They're asking so they can tell you what THEIRS is.

Tonight's Hero: Until Anze Kopitar proves that he doesn't turn into a serial killer every time he sees burgundy and blue, pretty hard not to go with him in this space.

Tonight's Goat: Doesn't it seem like we're overdue for one of those games where the Avs take two or three costly bench penalties? Too many men on the ice, unsportsmanlike conduct, etc?

Final Thought: The Kings "Legends Night" tonight, as mentioned earlier, is in honor of former King Daryl Evans. Evans scored the game winning goal in overtime of game 3 of the Kings' 1982 playoff series against a burgeoning dynasty in Edmonton. Big-time highlights here:

Kings 4, Avs 3

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