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Bruins vs. Kings 1/5/23 PREVIEW: B’s finish up season series with the Kings of Los Angeles

Welcome back to the “Oh god it’s 10:30” California road trip!

NHL: DEC 15 Kings at Bruins Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Just the Facts

The Time: 10:30pm EST

The Place: My Apes Gone Arena in Los Angeles, California

Place to Watch: NESN

Place to Listen: 98.5 The Sports Hub

Opposing SBNation Blog: Normally I’d say Jewels from the Crown but due to California law, pretty much all Californian blogs with the exception of Fear the Fin are dead. We will miss them dearly.

Know Your Enemy:

  • Gabe Vilardi is the King of Kings in goalscoring, leading LA with 16 in 39 games.
  • Kevin Fiala meanwhile remains the leading point-getter, with 39 points in 41 games.
  • On the power play, there are two names you should be aware of: Victor Arvidsson (and Fiala) who leads the Kings in power play points with 12 in 37 games, and Arthur Kaliyev; the leader in power play goals for the Black and Silver with 7 in 34. Kaliyev however is out for right now so uh...whoops.
  • So far an unsung hero of the Kings this year is Trevor Moore, who while not leading in any typical category has been a possession demon for LA; right up there with the archetypal 200 foot center Phillip Danault. Unfortunatley, he’s also currently day-to-day, so we’ll keep an eye out to see if he gets in tonight.
  • Drew Doughty’s still here. He’s pretty good still. I don’t have anything else, he’s just like that.
  • Thanks to some crazy game against Seattle, Phoenix Copley has become a major player for the Kings in his first 10 starts; having won 9 of them and posting a .908 SV%. Maybe not ideal for a team looking to be gunning for Vegas, but that’s waaaaay better than Jonathan Quick, who’s nursing a brutal .884 SV%.

Game Preview:

Man I hope you enjoyed that little bit of home-spun fun at a reasonable hour at the Winter Classic, because now the Bruins begin a very road trip heavy January, starting with the annual “why god why is this game at 10:30” visit to California; starting with LA.

LA is the only good team in California right now; having plenty of exciting young talent playing up to expectations, having finally figured out what they needed to survive a quickly heating up Pacific Division (goaltending), and have shot out to a commanding 2nd place out there, as well as being 7-2-1 over their last 10; which does includes some losses you’d probably rather forget, but at least that gives Bostonians and Angelinos a bizarre shared experience of having lost to the Coyotes in Tempe.

So far their Achilles heel has been that defense, which isn’t great, and that goaltending, which is arguably worse. But! As Boston’s already learned this year, they won’t let you relax for even a second. Given the B’s current struggles of starting on time and the fact that they’re going to be missing Jake DeBrusk, one would imagine Coach Montgomery is impressing the importance of a full 60 minute effort while they’re out there. Being the best third period team in the league may not matter if you dig a hole too deep to crawl out of.

Put on a pot of coffee, this one’s gonna be fun!