Okay, good news: the LA Kings showed last night against the Carolina Hurricanes that they can still score goals. Now, let’s see if they can score them against the more-than-struggling Arizona Coyotes.
The Coyotes have just three wins and several significant injuries, so much like the game against the COVID-depleted Ottawa Senators, the LA Kings aren’t exactly getting their opponent at their best. Granted, it’s the Coyotes, so “best” is subjective at this point.
At this point, I’d usually mention something about the opposing team’s identity. What makes them hard to play against? What makes them successful? The answer, in this case, is that nobody knows what, exactly, the Coyotes are trying to be, least of all the Coyotes.
After a disappointing performance, both defensively and in net, from the LA Kings against the Hurricanes, this game is a chance to break some bad habits. No better way to get your head back into the game than by beating up on a struggling team, right?
The key to this game, similar to the game against the Senators, is to not get lulled into a false sense of security. The Coyotes have won two of their last three (Detroit, St. Louis) and might be thinking that they see a way out of their miserable season to date. The LA Kings can’t sit back and relax in this one because the Coyotes have enough players who can seize an opportunity when it’s there for the taking.
- Arizona injury list: Christian Fischer, Carter Hutton, Dmitrij Jaskin, Andrew Ladd (COVID protocol), Johan Larsson (COVID protocol), Nick Schmaltz, Anton Stralman, Conor Timmins. Timmins is already confirmed to be out for the season with a knee injury. Yikes.
- Do you think if someone went up to Jakob Chychrun after the game and asked him if he just wanted to, like, you know, maybe stay in LA, that that would work? He’s posting some career-worst stats after a break-out season last year. Maybe we can manifest some magic. Think the Coyotes might be interested in a slightly used Olli Maatta? (Yes, I know, that’s not how this works.)
- Get ready for more Jonathan Quick hype train time. After a very disappointing performance last night against Carolina, Quick will be called on to start for the LA Kings. Despite a shaky start, Quick is now top 10 in the leagues in terms of goals against average (1.88, fourth) and save percentage (.940, fourth).
- Todd McLellan rightfully pointed out the defense as an area of improvement after pretty much everyone other than Alex Edler struggled yesterday. After the game, McLellan said: “There’s some careless pinches, lack of cover, we got beat with speed a little bit, and a lot of that was backend reads more than the forwards.”
- Last night was the most goals the Kings have scored in a loss this season; they have yet to win a game when allowing three or more goals.
Puck Drop and Broadcast Info
- Thursday, November 11 at 7:00 p.m. P.T.
- TV: NHL Network, Bally Sports West, Bally Sports Arizona+
Tale of the Tape
LA Kings: 16.7% (23rd)
ARI: 15.2% (27th)
LAK: 76.7% (26th)
ARI: 67.2% (30th)
LAK: 53.8% (6th)
ARI: 49.0% (20th)
Goals Per Game
LAK: 2.65 (23rd)
ARI: 1.78 (32nd)
Goals Against Per Game
LAK: 2.59 (7th)
ARI: 3.67 (31st)