The Road Kings are back to the comforts of living out of a suit case, taking their traveling carnival to Edmonton tonight for a game with the Oilers.
Pick your poison, the story could be about the Kings hot play on the road (winners of five straight). Or about Dustin Penner’s first game against the club that traded him to LA last month. It could easily be about the injuries to Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams too.
Or, even though they have the fewest points in the NHL, the story could just be the Oilers.
Here are some thoughts on the game from the Kings new top line center and a view from the blueline…
Michal Handzus – “It’s going to be a tough game. They’re a good team. They have a lot of skill and a lot of young players. So, they’re excited to play in the NHL. They go after teams. We’ve seen it before (this season). So, it’s going to be a tough game and we need those two points. But, we can’t expect an easy game. It’s up there (in Edmonton) and they skate fast. We’ll need to be on top of our game.
Jack Johnson – “It’s always fun going into Canada, where the spotlight’s on you a little bit more. Edmonton is a team right now with a ‘don’t have anything to lose’ attitudes. Those are tough teams to play against because if a couple of bounces go their way or something, they’re tough to stop, for sure. They still have a lot of talent on paper. It’s also fun to go up to Canada and play on some fast ice, some good ice. I’m looking forward to it.”
So far, the first three meetings of the season were all won by the Kings.
If they can pull out another one tonight, it might calm some of the fears hanging over the team in the wake of recent injuries. More importantly, it would take them two points closer to their current goal – qualifying for postseason play.