With the unbalanced schedule in the NHL, getting a chance to play an Eastern Conference team is rare enough for the Kings…getting a same-season rematch is practically unheard of.
Yet, that’s what today’s contest with the Flyers provides.
Their last match-up was a 7-4 defeat at Staples Center – a game that was tied 2-2 after one period. The Kings gave up four goals in the second period and the wheels came off late in the third when Kyle Clifford and Kevin Westgarth were given 10 minute misconducts and removed from the game in a 36-second span.
Regardless, they now know what playing the Flyers is all about. So, does that make preparing for today’s game any easier than if they were playing an Eastern team for the first time?
Westgarth – “Seeing a team earlier in the season is always helpful. We don’t see a lot of those teams from the East. You can do video and you can talk about their tendencies – inevitably it will be kinda similar to teams that you see (more regularly), so you can make some similes to another team that you maybe see a lot more. But, it’s never the same and it’s never the same personnel. So, yeah, I think for sure – we can’t give them any opportunities within about 20 feet of the net. They have some unbelievable snipers on that squad. The last game ended up 7-4 and that was a tough game. I think we started out great and battled hard. But, we didn’t have it in the end and that was one that kinda started our skid (in January). So, I think we’re definitely looking for a little retribution there and getting two more super important points.”
MM: Is this one of those games where you circle it on the calendar thinking you’re probably going to find a scrap or two in the game?
KW: It’s Philly, so whether it’s in the crowd or on the ice, it’s usually a good little tilt. Of course, I see milestone or kinda threshold games that I look to, for sure. But, I want to play in every game and I want to make sure I’m being a positive impact in every game – not giving up anything, while providing, at the very least, a physical presence and intimidation factor and playing some just good solid hockey.
The Kings have been playing solid hockey all around the last few weeks, going 6-0-2 in their last eight games and have earned a point in the first five games of this 10-game road stretch.
Another point today – or better yet, two – would keep things rolling.
A scrap for Westgarth would be icing on the cake.
Or would it really just be another training session before making his debut on Broadway later this week?
Westgarth on BizNasty – Paul Bissonnette of Phoenix Coyotes