Just the facts
When: Tonight, 10:30 PM
Where: Crypto.com (lol) Arena - Los Angeles, CA
How to follow: NESN, NHLN, 98.5 The Sports Hub
Rival SBN site: Jewels from the Crown
Know your enemy
- 29-17-7, 65 points, 2nd in the Pacific Division
- Anze Kopitar: 15G-35A-50PTS; Adrian Kempe: 25G-11A-36PTS; Viktor Arvidsson: 15G-20A-35PTS
- Jonathan Quick: 14-10-6, 2.55 GAA, .913 save percentage
- Another day, another game on the West Coast for the Bruins — note the additional half hour tacked onto the start time too.
- I haven’t followed many Western Conference teams closely this season, but I was surprised to see the Kings in second in their division, (relatively) firmly in a playoff spot. After all, there have been tough times in LA in recent years, with the team missing the playoffs four of the last five years (and getting swept in the first round in that one year they made it).
- The Bruins will be meeting a hot Kings team: LA has won five in a row and seven of eight. Its last two games were wins by a combined total of 9-3 over the Ducks and the Islanders.
- Unsurprisingly, however, is the fact that Anze Kopitar remains integral to LA’s success. The Slovenian, who seems like he’s been consistently good for a decade, has already equaled last season’s point total.
- Another key to their success: Adrian Kempe, whose 25 goals equal his combined total from the two prior seasons. Kempe is just a single point from tying his career high in a season, and there are still 20+ games to go.
- The Kings will have the names you’d recognize from their glory days of 10ish years ago (Jonathan Quick, Dustin Brown, Kopitar), but they’ve been rejuvenated by new blood Viktor Arvidsson and Phillip Danault.
- LA has benefited from a stingy defense this season, with a GA/G of 2.72, one spot behind the Bruins for seventh-best in the league.
- That defense has been bolstered by the improved play of Quick, who looked like he was headed out of a job after posting save percentages of at or below .900 for the past three seasons; so far this year, he’s sporting his best numbers since 2017-2018.
- One place the Bruins could take advantage tonight: on the power play, as LA’s penalty kill is ranked 28th in the league.
- It remains to be seen if Curtis Lazar is available for the Bruins tonight. His status will likely impact what happens elsewhere in the lineup (with Anton Blidh, Jesper Froden, etc).
- It’s hard to see Bruce Cassidy wanting to toy with much else, but I’m curious to see if Jeremy Swayman gets the start tonight as a hot hand.
See ya late, late tonight!