Now that everybody has had their turkey and a day of shopping it’s time to get back to hockey.
In no particular order, here are the ten things you need to know heading into the game tonight:
* Brayden Schenn scored his first two professional goals last night in a 7-2 win for the Manchester Monarchs (AHL). Kings GM Dean Lombardi was recently quoted as saying he expects Schenn to stay there for the full two week conditioning assignment. He’s more than half way home now, with his final game expected to be Sunday.
* The Kings put John Zeiler on re-entry waivers (per Bob McKenzie of TSN). That’s a somewhat curious move.
* In more Brown news, he’s moving to left wing tonight to make room for the newest option/solution/choice at right wing, Wayne Simmonds. The second line remains the same. And the Colonel, Kyle Clifford, moves up to the third line. (nickname story here)
* On this day in 1969, Butch Goring scored his first NHL goal in a 5-1 loss at Detroit. He would add 274 while wearing the purple and gold, finishing his Kings career with 275 goals – enough to rank fifth on the club’s all-time goal scoring list.
* Kings’ first round draft pick, Derek Forbort, missed yesterday’s home game (North Dakota) vs. Notre Dame. Earlier this month he missed several weeks due to illness. No word yet on what was ailing him this time or if he was a healthy scratch. The local beat writer thinks he will play tonight when the two teams meet up again (puck drops at 5pm PST).
* Jonathan Bernier continues to struggle. Discussed here.
* Marty Turco, who has been struggling himself lately (losing four of his last five starts), is not expected to start in goal tonight for the Blackhawks. Instead, they’ll go with the guy that was in net last night when they beat the Ducks in Anaheim, Corey Crawford (per Chicago Tribune).
* Special teams always seems to be a story and tonight is no different. The game will feature Chicago’s pretty good power play (ranked 8th best in the league, at 22%) versus LA’s slightly better penalty kill (their 86% is 6th best in the league and they’ve been even better at home). The flip side is equally intriguing. LA’s dismal power play (just 15%, 20th in the league) will match up with Chicago’s horrible penalty kill (just 78%, 25th in the NHL).
And now you’re caught up.