Sunday, October 22, 2006

Tonight's Game (Oct 22)

Game of the Day

Anaheim at Los Angeles - 6 pm

Only one game on the schedule tonight as the battle of SoCal resumes in LA. The Ducks have not yet lost a game in regulation while the Kings are coming off a win against the Coyotes. So far the Kings have beaten the teams they should have beaten (St. Louis, New York Islanders and Phoenix) and lost to the teams they should have lost to (Anaheim, Dallas x 2, Detroit and Minnesota).

Rob Blake has started to settle in and is playing much better hockey over the past couple games and Brent Sopel has played quite well too. Up front the Kings are led by their young players like Kopitar, Frolov and Brown. Coming off a strong offensive season last year, Craig Conroy has been playing in a checking role and has just 1 assist thus far. LA also may have a mini goaltending controversy as Garon is off to a hot start while Cloutier has been inconsistent.

The Ducks are also being carried by their youth as Kunitz, Perry and Getzlaf are all being counted on to produce. Of course you can't talk about Anaheim without mentioning Pronger and Niedermayer which gives the Ducks something that no other team can boast - two elite world-class defencemen who can play 30 minutes a night and often dominate at both ends of the rink.

These two teams have a pretty good rivalry going although it won't be great until both teams are playoff calibre and probably not until they meet in a playoff series. Anaheim is clearly the better team but I expect the Kings to be fired up at home for this one and they may even have some confidence on the PP after scoring four on Phoenix. I'm going with the Kings on this one - these teams meet 8 times and LA is going to win at least a couple..

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