Will the real LA Kings team please stand up?
On the road this season, the club is a perfect 7-0. Conversely, they’ve gone just 1-2-3 on home ice thus far.
After their most recent loss at Crypto Arena on Thursday night, coach Todd McLellan initially said he didn’t think the team was nearly as ‘sharp’ as they needed to be, pointing to a multitude of turnovers and repeatedly icing the puck against one of the league’s top faceoff teams as key culprits. One thing he didn’t want to subscribe to was any sort of an emotional letdown following a win in Vegas the night before or travel as an excuse.
He also managed to find a few positive notes when we asked if there was anything he liked about the game.
“I liked that we were resilient,” McLellan began. “I thought our penalty kill did a really good job again, it’s done that for a while. I liked [Blake Lizotte’s] line, I thought they gave us a large amount of energy and real good minutes again. There were some individuals who had good nights. Kempe had eight or nine shots on goal again. Your leading scorer, if he’s generating that much, that’s a real good sign. I have to think about the game a little bit to really get into specifics but there were some good things.”
On the plus side of LA’s five home losses is the fact three of them have come after 60 minutes of regulation time. While not earning two points in those games, still going to bed those nights with a point in the standings is a positive development following a performance where the team didn’t have their A-game. It’s been part of the evolution of his team over the past couple of seasons, and something McLellan enjoys seeing — still being competitive when you’re not at your best; a sign that you’re working towards something special.
Perhaps one of the challenges for McLellan and crew at the moment is they have one very hot goaltender and one equally cold netminder. Cam Talbot is playing stellar between the pipes, taking the number one spot and running away with it. Meanwhile, Pheonix Copley has put up really bad numbers, even in a small sample size. Despite a 4.58 GAA and a .792 save percentage, McLellan was adamant in his support for Copley on Thursday evening’s postgame media availability.
Would he dare go back to Copley on Saturday as a means of trying to get his game going, or does he return to Talbot coming off his shutout vs. the Flyers last weekend?
As noted in yesterday’s 10 Tidbits article, there have been internal discussions about sending Toby Bjornfot to AHL Ontario to get some games in. They decided to hold off on that idea for now. Does that mean he’ll possibly draw in tonight? He has only played one game for the Kings this season and it was a month ago.
Forward Jaret Anderson-Dolan was sent down yesterday and he played for the Reign on Friday night. We’re awaiting the decision to see if he stays down for tomorrow’s game in Ontario. That was still up in the air as of last night.
According to morning skate notes, McLellan switched up the lines, as noted below.
Kings Projected Lineup vs. Flyers
Byfield – Kopitar – Kempe
Fiala – Danault – Moore
Laferriere – Dubois – Kaliyev
Grundstrom – Lizotte – Lewis
Anderson – Doughty
Gavrikov – Roy
Englund – Spence
Likely scratches: Anderson-Dolan, Björnfot
Injured Reserve: Arvidsson (LTIR)
Key Game Info
Puck drop is set for 7:30 pm PST and will be televised by Bally Sports West.
For those live in attendance, the LA Kings Booster Club will offer their popular ‘Puck for a Buck’ contest — featuring Arthur Kaliyev for this game. Just $1 could win you an autographed puck from an NHL star. Visit their table outside sections 317-318 on the upper concourse for more information.
Across the Ice
Here’s how the Flyers lined up for their last game, a 6-3 victory in Anaheim last night:
Flyers lines and pairings in warmups:
Foerster – Couturier – Atkinson
Tippett – Frost – Konecny
Farabee – Cates – Brink
Deslauriers – Laughton – Hathaway
York – Sanheim
Seeler – Walker
Zamula – Belpedio
— Charlie O'Connor (@charlieo_conn) November 11, 2023
Cal Petersen will not get a revenge game in LA tonight. Carter Hart will start on goal for Philly instead.
Lineup updates for #PHIvsLAK:
— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) November 11, 2023
On This Day in Kings History
On November 11, 1997, Luc Robitaille scored his 400th goal as a member of the @LAKings. Robitaille scored two goals, Yanic Perreault recorded a hat trick, and Stephane Fiset made 39 saves in an 8-2 win versus the Vancouver Canucks.#LAKings #GoKingsGo pic.twitter.com/zMsxOXwDrn
— The Kingstorian (@Kingstorian) November 11, 2023
Lineup graphic via ALo Images
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