TV: MSG PLUS (HD) RADIO: WFAN 660 AM
Last 10 Games: Los Angeles 1-1-0 / New Jersey 1-1-0
Know Your Enemy: The Royal Half
Our EA Sports NHL 12 Simulation Results: The LA Kings came into NJ and were able to skate away with a 3-1 victory behind 2 goals from Simon Gagne. Not at all unrealistic as we watched Gagne single handedly beat NJ many times while he was with the Flyers.
What we think of the Kings: Just take a quick look at the LA Kings roster and you realize that they have a lot of talent throughout the lineup. Like I mentioned in our simulation results, Simon Gagne always seems to play well against NJ but if he doesn’t, we have to worry about Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown, Mike Richards and Dustin Penner just to name a few. Penner will be making his season debut tonight so I would imagine a little extra energy from him. Drew Doughty and Jack Johnson do a great job patrolling the blue line and even if you can get by them, Jonathan Quick doesn’t give up a lot of goals. The Kings have made great improvements over the last few years and certainly seemed poised to make a deep playoff run. This isn’t a team we can take for granted tonight.
Tonight's Game: One of the things that the Devils did well at in their win against the Hurricanes on Monday was not allowing the Hurricanes to take control of the game once they managed to tie the score. The Hurricanes managed to find the equalizer twice but were never able to take the lead. This is something the Devils didn’t do well with last season and against a very potent offense like the Kings, an important aspect of the game to try and manage. At times, I thought the Devils moved the puck efficiently but there is always room for improvement. The big part of the win Monday night was that the some of the Devils proficient scorers found their way into the box score so we certainly hope that Parise and Kovalchuk can repeat that performance tonight.
Team discipline has been a huge issue for me over the first two games and I want to see a big improvement on it tonight. While the Devils have been perfect on the Penalty Kill so far, giving up 13 power play opportunities is way too many. The lack of discipline has been surprising considering the Devils were the least penalized team last season and DeBoer’s Panthers were the 2nd least penalized team. The Kings are 2 for 7 so far this season in power play opportunities this season.
The Power Play continues to be a source of frustration for NJ but then again that seems to follow them from year to year. I’m not sure I’ve ever been happy with the results the Devils put up while up a man.
If the Devils can get passed the top two lines that the Kings will be throwing at them and find a way to cut down on the penalties, I think the Devils stand a good chance at getting a win or at the very least a point. I would imagine that the Kings will be suffering from a little fatigue having started the season in Europe and hopefully NJ can use that to their advantage. After all, the Devils have yet to hit the road this season and should be well rested since they last played Monday afternoon.
According to our Fan Confidence Index, it looks like the fans have a lot of confidence in the Devils so far this season as they currently sit with a CFC score of 94.
Follow us on twitter during the game and remember to rock the stadium tonight. Let’s Go Devils!!