Los Angeles Kings v St. Louis Blues - Game Two

With the playoffs on the horizon, I wanted to put together previews of each series, but more specifically, I wanted to put together the type of previews I’d want to read. Bite-sized, few stats, and little splash of opinion for seasoning. This is my attempt at providing that.

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4) St. Louis Blues vs. 5) Los Angeles Kings

Head-to-Head in 2013: 3-0 Kings

A stat: Over their last nine meetings, the Kings have won…all of them.

Goal differentials: Los Angeles: +15, St. Louis: +14
Shots-per-game: Kings: 29.8 (12th), Blues: 27.8 (23rd)
Shots-against-per-game: Kings: 25.0 (3rd), Blues: 24.2 (2nd)

Goalies:

LAK: Jonathan Quick, .902 save percentage, 2.45 goals-against-average
STL: Brian Elliot, .907 save percentage, 2.28 goals-against-average

Top scorers: 

LAK: Anze Kopitar, 42 points in 47 games
STL: Chris Stewart, 36 points in 48 games

Reason to watch: You could very well be watching the first round of the eventual Cup champion. Both teams give up remarkably few shots per game, and have goalies capable of getting crazy hot.

Lately: Kings: 5-3-2, Blues, 7-3-0

Injuries:

Kings: Mike Richards (illness – he’ll be fine), Matt Greene (undisclosed, so who knows)
Blues: TJ Oshie (foot – should play in opener, which is huge for STL), Barret Jackman (ankle – will play), Scott Nichol (lower body – out indefinitely).

News: Jay Bouwmeester gets to play in the post-season for the first time in his NHL career. Neato.

First game: Tuesday, 8:00 p.m. EST

Flippant barstool opinion: This could be the worst series to actually watch between two good teams ever. De-fense, clap, clap.

Closing thought:

This series is going to come down to who gets lucky, who stays healthy, and/or who gets on a roll. You can’t always predict when the latter is coming, but sometimes a group just starts feeling good at the same time. Otherwise they’re pretty evenly matched, and I can see tip-ins, rebounds and lucky bounces affecting the outcome. That means if I’m coaching, I’m all over my guys to get to the opposition’s net, and to keep them away from ours.

Prediction: Kings in seven. I’d have picked less games based on the Kings top-end talent, but TJ Oshie’s return has me hesitant.

Your NHL.com preview:

Comments (8)

  1. kings will sweep cuz i said so.

  2. Could be the best series of the playoffs.

  3. Gimme a reason to watch this boring playoff series… I can’t think of one. *yawn*

    • Two talented teams, one of whom is the defending champs and scores at a pretty good clip?

      I get that the Blues are dull in that Hitchcockian way, but the Kings are a pretty fun team to watch even as a neutral.

      I mean, crap, at least you know these teams are GOOD. Can’t say that about anyone in the East outside of the Pens.

  4. The concern from the Kings’ perspective is if they lose Game 1, St. Louis will have the “we can’t beat these guys” monkey off their back. If they win Game 1, I think they win it in six fairly comfortably.

  5. Kings didn’t show up tonight, blues funneled over 70 shots at quick.. Blues Had 3 pipes, multiple open nets they missed on, could’ve easily been 2 or 3 goals up, & something like 30 scoring chances according the crazy updates on the arena board..

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