The Los Angeles Kings are in Dallas tonight. The Kings are a good hockey club in the midst of a four-game losing streak. The Stars are a
good bewildering hockey club in the midst of a four-game losing streak. One of these things will change tonight. (not the bewildering part, but one of the streaks)
Knowing very little about the Kings - them only being the defending Stanley Cup Champions and all - we decided to ask Ryan Dunn of Battle of California to give us the low down on all the important things, and some of the unimportant things, before tonight's matchup. Don't believe a word he says.
My questions, his answers:
1) The Kings are once again near the top of the league in goals against average, and near the bottom of the league in goals for. Tell me, how can you stand to watch such a boring team?
Liquor helps. This season has been a real test of patience so far, even though the lack of goals is nothing new to the Kings. It's been something of a team trademark since the Terry Murray years. Then after the crazy playoff run last season, everything else seems dull by comparison. It's sort of like drug abuse where you want a new rush, which is eerily similar to sports I've found, since it makes you act completely irrational while draining you emotionally and financially if you get too invested.
Or so I've heard.
2) Dallas on the other hand are averaging a very respectable 3.0 goals per game, whilst allowing an even more impressive 3.46. Do you think the Kings can actually follow league trends and score more than a couple goals against the Stars?
The only line that's produced regularly slowed down finally and it may be a good thing. The trio of Jeff Carter, Tanner Pearson, and Tyler Toffoli possibly getting broken up allows a lot more flexibility with the rest of the forwards. So will the Kings start scoring? No.
3) The Kings this season. Streaky much?
Streakiness has been another hallmark of the team for a while now also. The past few regular seasons have had a lot of winning streaks followed by skids, and the playoffs really have been no different. The 2011-2012 season was saved by a late winning streak that carried into the playoffs. Then last season of course had the up and down series with San Jose and Anaheim. I can't explain it, so...Oh well.
4) The Stars like to try and force entries and turn the puck over at the blueline on the power play. How will the Kings' mediocre penalty kill deal with this? And what's with their even more mediocre power play?
The Kings' penalty kill suffered a few setbacks going into the season since the team released Willie Mitchell back into the great outdoors [Ed. Note - Mitchell is now playing in Florida, far, far away from The Great Outdoors setting of Pechoggin, Wisconsin, although the arena population appears similar to that locale and he did once play in St. Paul, Minnesota - Obscene Alex]. However, the bottom-line has been that the Kings have been taking way too many penalties. At least that's what I've been yelling at my TV.
5) With Anze Kopitar missing time due to injury, and Slava Voynov missing time for... other reasons... what young players have had an opportunity to make an impact at the NHL level? And how have they done?
First off, thank God Kopitar and Marian Gaborik are back because Jarret Stoll on the top line has been giving me indigestion. Thanks to the Voynov situation and cap space being tight, no one really was brought in to help. As for the defense and Voynov, it has prolonged the Brayden McNabb experiment. McNabb hasn't been terrible, but is visibly lacking in confidence at being a puck mover alongside Matt Greene. When he was with Drew Doughty he had less pressure on him, but the amount of minutes were a bit too much. He's kind of stuck now with adjusting to the NHL some more, and being in a role he isn't really suited to yet. [Ed. Note - if you haven't caught on yet, the underlying theme here appears to be that even fans of teams who just won a Stanley Cup are nearly as disgusted with their team as we are at times. - OA]
6) Jonathan Quick is currently riding a wholly unsustainable .939 save percentage. How far will the Kings fall when he comes back to earth?
Quick's numbers I think are going to drop as soon as the rest of the team rights the ship. He'll go from seeing thirty-five shots a game down to twenty or so, and for whatever reason, it makes him worse. Or at least his numbers. It probably has something to do with being busy and focused in on the play rather than waiting for a shot after large stretches of inactivity, or maybe Quick just wants to keep games close.
7) Corey Perry is obviously the most despicable creature to have ever played in the NHL, but Dustin Brown is a close second. What are your thoughts on these two cretins?
Corey Perry is actually not a creature but actually a piece of crap covered toilet paper that was stuck to the bottom of a shoe worn by Rick Perry. Over the years it accumulated debris to where it finally resembled a fully equipped hockey player. As for Dustin Brown, he is a saint. He only injures showboating rookies, and players on the Wild, Coyotes, and Blues. And I think we can all agree there is no crime in that. [Ed. Note - He's still a drooling, despicable... Hmm... searching for a word I can put on DBD... oh, heck, just use your imagination. - OA]
8) Following on from that, it must take skill to be as prolific a diver as Dustin Brown. Based on your observations as a fan, what diving tips can you pass along to us?
I'm convinced Dustin Brown is just a horrendous skater. You want to see a dive? Take a look at this punk on the Sharks.
9) And lastly, when the Kings lose tonight, what will the final score be?
2-0 [Ed. note: Look! A shutout for the Stars!]