Scheduling Rob Blake’s jersey retirement against the Anaheim Ducks was a curious move by the Kings. Not the Colorado Avalanche, the team he won a Stanley Cup with, and not the San Jose Sharks, the team he was with when he retired as a player in 2010. However, there are reasons for picking tonight as the night, and we’ll assume they were good ones.
Blake suited up against the Ducks 72 times in his career – fifth most, behind Edmonton (88), Calgary (84), Vancouver (83), and Dallas (77). In those games vs. the Mighty Ducks/Ducks, Blake recorded 14 goals and 26 assists, along with 112 penalty minutes. Tonight’s pre-game jersey retirement will feature up to 40 former players and teammates, including a few who played for both teams, like Sean O’Donnell.
As for the game itself, if their two previous contests this year have proven anything, it is that they are still as closely matched as they looked in last year’s playoff series. It took a seventh game to determine a winner there. Thus far in 2014-15, both games have been tied after regulation, with each team ultimately winning in their own building.
For tonight’s rubber match, we are joined by Ducks beat writer Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register. Below are a handful of things each of us think just might happen…
Odds by MayorsManor:
1:1 – Jeff Carter and Corey Perry, friends off the ice, have some sort of skirmish on it.
2:1 – Drew Doughty will just about lose his mind over something Ryan Getzlaf does.
3:1 – The game goes to a shootout.
5:1 – Pat Maroon will do something super cool.
37:1 – Nick Shore scores the game winning goal.
42:1 – Former Kings and Ducks player Dan Bylsma will be in attendance.
1000:1 – Shore will join Alex Smart, Real Cloutier, Damien Brunner, and Derek Stephan in a very special club by scoring a hat trick in his first NHL game.
Odds by Eric Stephens:
1:1 – Fans in the upper reaches of Staples Center will start up the tired refrain of “Ducks suck” instead of a coming up with another original, merciless chant to rag on their rival to the south.
4:1 – Ryan Kesler will sprawl about the ice on a play and get a veteran’s call as he “draws” a penalty on a King.
7:1 – Corey Perry will stare up into the Staples Center rafters after he get flat-out robbed by Jonathan Quick because that’s just what Quick does to the Ducks.
10:1 – After a third consecutive penalty is called on one of his players, Bruce Boudreau will call a referee over to call it both ways and yell that the Kings are getting away with murder.
12:1 – You’ll see Rene Bourque skate like the wind at times, not do much with the puck when he gets it, wonder why a player with his tools hasn’t had a better career and then realize why Montreal was the latest team to dump on him.
20:1 – Hampus Lindholm will be staring at a two-on-one rush against him, make the right choice and not only break up the play but control the puck and start a rush the other way. He’s the best defenseman the Ducks have and he is 20.
25:1 – A Ducks fan in the crowd will grouse about they made the “brutal” drive from Orange County to Staples Center (on a Saturday) and vow never to return to that “horrible” place that is L.A.
50:1 – Some dude will think he’s funny and crack on Ryan Getzlaf being bald, conveniently forgetting he just got an earlier start on something half the male population will go through.
750:1 – Either Jakob Silfverberg, Patrick Maroon or Devante Smith-Pelly will score a goal. The three forwards have just 10 goals between them, with Silfverberg the most recent to find the net on Dec. 13.
200,000:1 – Bruce Boudreau will lean around the dividing glass between the benches and ask Darryl Sutter who he thinks will go after the Toronto job.
REQUIRED READING: Rob Blake covers all the key and controversial topics from his career in Los Angeles (link).
Also, we have other recent odds articles here.
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