Welcome to the Game Day Fire Drill, for this, Calgary’s 34th game of the season on Dec. 17, 2009.
All that stuff I said about the Kings last time? I stick by that.
Frankly I don’t see how this team is first in the West. They have one player with what you’d call very good offensive numbers (only Anze Kopitar is above a point a game, anyway) and they are TERRIBLE on defense.
Look at the numbers: they’re fourth in goals against with 110, which is obviously excellent. But then they’re 24th in goals allowed, with 106. How does a team that’s plus-4 in goal differential climb to the top of the Western Conference and, indeed, into a tie for the league lead? It doesn’t seem possible. Jon Quick’s starts are a subpedestrian 2.60/.906. Backup Erik Ersberg’s are worse.
And here they are. One player with more than 30 points. Top of the league.
They got embarrassed by a mediocre Canucks team the other night, and yet they keep rolling. Maybe they’ve played a weak schedule (I don’t know one way or the other), maybe they’ve got a high shooting percentage (without having done the math, it looks pretty regular to me), maybe they’re backed by the Russian mob and intimidating other teams into giving up goals (this seems the most likely).
I dunno. But I really hope all this silliness stops tonight.
The Calgary Flames (19-10-4 for 42 points. Tied for sixth in the West, second in the Northwest) and the Los Angeles Kings (22-11-3 for 47 points. First in the West, first in the Pacific).
7:30 p.m. Mountain time and 9:30 p.m. Eastern time. All other time zones should give in to temptation.
Pengrowth Saddledome, Calgary, Alberta.
Calgary is 8-5-1 at home this year, but is on a three-game losing streak. The Kings are 12-7-1 on the road, and are playing their third Western Canadian team in four days.
What (to hate about the Kings)
Alex Frolov — The current whipping boy of coach Terry Murray (what is it with coaches named Murray and their seemingly irrational hatred of good players?) is starting to score again lately with three points in his last three games. This is a big improvement over his prior form and will undoubtedly hurt the Flames tonight.
Jon Quick — This kid is playing his ass off in net of late, and while the Kings’ goals against numbers are really quite bad, he’s not totally to blame. In fact, he was the NHL Player of the Week last week, so I mean that’s pretty good isn’t it?
Dustin Brown — He’s like Frolov in that he started out slowly but is rapidly improving to the point he’s not even a giant albatross around the neck of my fantasy team any more. Of course, my having said that ensures that he will regress to levels of poorness experienced earlier this season.
Because you’re it’s not on pay per view for once. Enjoy the game and prepare for this savage beating in the comments section.