In what is becoming one of our new features, we're reaching out to the SBN blogs of our opponents on Game Day to get a sense of the match-up from the other side. Today, I posed three questions to Niesy over at Jewels From The Crown. Without further ado...
1. Is this officially a "Cup Hangover" in LA? Obviously, 29 other teams would probably kill to be in the position to have the "Cup" part of that, but I would assume it's been a bit of a shock to see such pedestrian-to-bad numbers from the goalies and defense for the Kings. Is it a question of knocking off rust, or is something bigger going on?
N: I'm never sure what people mean when they say "Cup hangover" -- do they mean physical exhaustion, or mental sluggishness? In any case, the Kings have been out-shooting and out-chancing opponents, which bodes well for them turning things around (I wrote a bit about this here). Their defense, despite the loss of Willie Mitchell and Matt Greene, has been good at limiting chances against; Drew Doughty and Rob Scuderi have taken on a lot to shelter Jake Muzzin. So far Jonathan Quick has been subpar, and that's hurt them. Both he and Anze Kopitar are taking a while to get back to form after injuries, and several veterans have been getting up to speed.
So I'm not sure if that's a post-Cup phenomenon, or if it's the result of some injuries and this weird season after the lockout. It's going to be a bit tougher for them this year, since every opponent gets fired up at the thought of playing the champs. What's going on in their own heads, I can't say. If anyone starts cruising, Darryl Sutter can put a boot to their asses.
Bottom line: I think things will be fine as long as Quick gets back to his own career average, and the power play is fixed.
2. I see that Jeff Carter has three goals. Tell me: is he still a giant red-bearded douche?
N: Carter's been so good, you probably don't want to know. But his skin is a disturbing shade of Cheeto orange, and he's got a head shaped like a peanut. Someone should tell him he lives in Cali now so it's possible for him to tan naturally.
3. How hard is it to get up for a game that comes on TV at 4 PM locally? We piss and moan here in Columbus about the 10 PM start times; how rough are 4 PM start times in terms of work, traffic/commuting, etc.?
N: Most Kings fans just wind up missing half of the game for those 3 or 4 pm starts. So you have to sneak updates at work, depending on what kind of boss you have, or watch it later. I try to shift things around so I can watch them all, but it doesn't always work. At least there aren't any Atlantic games this year. Those are even worse.
Our thanks to Niesy, and be sure to head over to JFTC for their Game Day coverage!