Thursday, March 19, 2009

Game Day Vs. LA Kings 3/9/09

First of all, yes. I've been slacking big time on posting, but what can I say? Sometimes real life and the the job that pays the bills gets in the way.

Anyway, the boys are back in action tonight against the "lowly" LA Kings. Granted, the Kings are 13th in the Western conference, with only 68 points. And Boston still (precariously) sits atop the East with 99 points. And sure. La has lost three in a row. And the Kings haven't won a road game since February 24th. Sounds like it should be a rout, right? Well, yeah, it SHOULD be a blowout.

BUT, the Kings do have some pretty potent offensive talent. Alexander Frolov has 28 goals, Anze Kopitar has 25 and Dustin Brown has 23. Defenseman Kyle Quincey (a Detroit castoff) has 34 assists. Problem for the Kings is, that's pretty much their entire offense. So I fully expect the B's, with Chara, to be able to shut them down. But the Kings don't usually go quietly. Six of their last seven games have been one goal affairs.

In net, we'll most likely see former UMASS goalie Jonathan Quick. Quick has been good since his recall from Manchester, with flashes of greatness. His 2.65GAA and .908 save % aren't bad behind a suspect defense.

Speaking of that defense.....the Kings only have one defenseman with a positive +/-. That is Quincey, and he's only a plus one (not very good considering his point total). Most recognizable name for Bruins fans is old friend Sean O'Donnell. If you don't like Sean OD, you don't like hockey. Class act, steady veteran presence. He was a candidate to be moved at the deadline, but the LA brass valued his leadership so much they never seriously considered moving him.


LA isn't exactly cut from the Anaheim Ducks playbook. They don't have a roster full of brawlers, but what they do have is Raitis Ivanins. The big Latvian only has ten bouts (only being a relative term I guess), but he's a heavyweight contender. At 6' 4", 250lbs., he is no push-over. He generally goes with only other tough guys. He's danced with Parros (twice), Boll, Boogard, Walker, Shelley, Rupp.....nobody that isn't used to a throwing a few. Ivanans is also pretty much everything the anti-fighting crowd hates. He has plenty of "staged" fights, including several at the drop of the puck. The rest are agreed upon by both parties. He won't jump anyone in the heat of the moment (generally speaking), so I suppose if you don't want to fight him you won't have to. BUT, one thing he WILL do, is continue to throw punches once he gets your jersey over your head. I hope Shawn Thornton has his scouting report in order, because if he tries giving him a break if it comes to that, Ivanans will come up swinging. And his arsenel pretty much consists of trying to land the knock-out blow with huge rights. He does throw some nasty body punches as well to get the opposition to drop their guard a bit.

After a couple days of hard practices, I expect the B's to put in a solid effort all night (I've been dead wrong on that assumption a lot, but...). So, I'm looking for a beat down.....say, 6-1? It's a stretch, but what the hell? Your goal scorers tonight are Kessel, Wheeler, Ryder, Lucic, Chara and Krecji. And yes, that's more of a wish list of guys that need to get going, but I'm sticking with it. Since it's a beat down, I expect a fight or two as well. Ivanans is the logical King....but I'm going to pick an illogical (to a degree) Bruin and say Chara steps in. I can see Ivanans trying to stir the pot with someone else, and Z stepping in to settle it down. I also think tonight may be a night for Looch to drop the gloves. He REALLY wanted to last game, but couldn't find a partner. Tonight, I say he finds one in Matt Greene. Greene is a decent size match-up for Lucic, at 6'3" 225lbs. Greene also has nine fighting majors, so he's a likely suspect. And Lucic sort of fits the profile of the guys Greene has gone with this year. So far he's squared off with May, Barret Jackman, Rupp, McCormick, Winchester, Commodore, Matt Bradley, Ethan Moreau and Ben Eager. Not non-fighters, but just that second level below the big boys. Right in Looches neighborhood. Could be a good one. For what it's worth, has him winning NONE of his fights. B's need to get their game going starting tonight. They have a week off after Sunday's HUGE tilt against the Devils. No need to conserve energy with such a light schedule. Get after it tonight and carry that through Sunday. Then they can rest up a bit for the final puch into the playoffs. These next two games could say a lot about how they fare in the tournament, Go B's- Kynch

No comments:

Post a Comment