February 12 2009 02:15PM
Even if the Flames weren't mediocre on the road and lousy at back-to-backs (they are and...they are), the Los Angeles Kings aren't a guaranteed two points anymore. In fact, I consider them a burgeoning heavy-weight that is probably a season or two out from making noise in the league.
Right now, the Kings may not be in a play-off position, but they do own a 7-2-1 record in their last 10, suddenly capable goaltending, one of the best shots against averages in the league (27.3/G, 2nd only to SJS) and one of the most intimidating collections of young talent this side of WAS or CHI...Kopitar, Brown, Frolov, O'Sullivan, Doughty and Johnson. Make no mistakte, there's no easy win here.
Where LA is potentially soft is there back-end, which is either young (Doughty, Johnson, Quincey) or just plain bad (Gauthier). Course, that won't matter if the Flames big boys can't put together some capable shifts at ES and on the power play this evening. And should the club lose and fall below the .500 mark on the road, expect the trade noise to start growing louder 'round these parts.