Over the past five years, the Kings have engaged in some spirited rivalries with the Vancouver Canucks and San Jose Sharks, yet few games have been as consistently intense as a matchup between the Kings and Arizona Coyotes. Guys have been suspended, hits have been questionable, and even the two captains have engaged in a war or words. For many Kings fans, Shane Doan is enemy No. 1 and they love to argue that point. Goaltender Mike Smith has also done little to endear himself to the L.A. faithful.
In their second-to-last game before the Christmas break, the Kings will host Dave Tippett’s club in an afternoon affair – which can be a scary proposition against any team, as the Kings tend to be more creatures of the night, not daytime darlings. Fear not, though, we’re here to get you primed and ready. Below are five notes that will very likely make you sound smart while watching all the action with a friend or loved one… or even at a sports bar talking to strangers…
Five Things You May Not Have Known about Phoenix Coyotes:
1. Keep an eye on Oliver Ekman-Larsson. He leads the team in game winning goals (four), with three of those coming in overtime. He is also second on the team with four power play goals and is fifth in team points. His 26:02 average per game of ice time leads all Coyotes players, as well.
2. Sam Gagner, who was part of the Coyotes three-team deal with Edmonton and Tampa Bay, finds himself mired in a horrible slump with just one goal in his last 18 games.
3. It is not much better for captain Shane Doan; with just two assists in his last 10 games and just one goal in his last 14 games.
4. Goaltender Devin Dubnyk has six of the Coyotes 11 wins this season, including the team’s only shutout.
5. Only Florida, Buffalo, and Carolina have found the back of the net fewer times than the 72 goals scored by the Arizona Coyotes.
What might happen on the ice, you ask? Be sure to click here to see the latest article in our Puck Probability series.
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