If you thought that the Bruins would get a small reprieve in this West Coast road trip, think again friends. The Bruins are now in LA, waiting for an eventual meeting with the 2012 Stanley Cup Champion Kings. For those playing at home, the Kings are currently sixth in the Western Conference with 57 points – which may make them one of the best sixth place teams ever. I mean, the Kings have done a great job treading water while their other-worldly, USA, hot dog eagle boner goaltender has been out.
Apparently the Kings are loaded with goaltender depth in their organization though. Martin Jones was called up from Manchester (yes, the Monarchs for those who are unaware) and was sensational. Jones played in 11 games, had a 1.41 GAA and a save percentage of .950 with 3 shutouts. Just a phenomenal job from him. Ben Scrivens, who was acquired in the Jonathan Bernier trade to Toronto, has been just as good. Scrivens is rocking a 1.91 GAA and a .931 SV% in 19 games played (and 15 starts).
Actually, it's Quick who hasn't been living up to the billing and Quick's numbers are still pretty good. Quick has a 2.19 GAA, but his .910 SV% (which I believe is the true measure of how a goaltender preforms) isn't anything to write home to Mama about.
Then there's the guy who really worries me: Anze Kopitar.
Yesterday, my good friend Coach's Sister asked me who my vote for the Hart Trophy (NHL MVP would be) and I had to think about it. When I think about an MVP, I think about what that award truly means. It's supposed to be given to a player who is the most valuable to their team meaning if a team lost that player it would be fucked.
If the Penguins lost Sidney Crosby would they be fucked? Initially you want to say yes, but then you have to remember that they have guys like Evgeni Malkin, James Neal, Chris Kunitz (unless it doesn't fit the argument and you then tell me Chris Kunitz is a by-product of Sidney Crosby), Kris Letang, etc. Alexander Ovechkin? Well Ovechkin is pretty one dimensional and while Washington may be fucked without him – defensively they are fucked with him.
So I thought about it and I told her Anze Kopitar.
Without Anze Kopitar, the Kings aren't a playoff team. I believe he's the definition of an MVP. I would vote for Anze Kopitar and if you don't like it, you can suck it. Also, I'm not going to use plus/minus because it's an arbitrary stat, but if I did use it I'd use it correctly. But hey, I don't get paid to write for a legit hockey blog so what the fuck do I know?
Two days from now Shawn Thornton can make his return and it begs the question of who gets sent back to Providence. I think Justin Florek is probably the best candidate because he's here on an emergency basis. I have a lot of thoughts about this so I may do a separate post.
Also, if you make it through the whole game, you're a rock star.
In some good new territory, Loui Eriksson has shed his green jersey which means he was cleared for contact. Eriksson won't play today, but it's a step in the right direction. If I had to project a game for him and let it be known this is throwing a dart at a dart board while wearing a blindfold, I would say January 14th vs Toronto.
Milan Lucic missed the game vs Anaheim because he was sick, but I'll guess he's going to play.
Milan Lucic – David Krejci – Jarome Iginla
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – Reilly Smith
Carl Söderberg – Ryan Spooner – MATT FUCKING FRASER
Dan Paille – Greg Campbell – Justin Florek
Zdeno Chara – Dougie Hamilton
Matt Bartkowski – Johnny Boychuk
Adam McQuaid – Torey Krug
Puck Drop: 10pm EST
Radio: 98.5 The Sports Hub
Know The Enemy
Our brothers from our West Coast mother
Ben Scrivens with a nice video bomb