Friday, December 18, 2009

Friday's Footnotes

So, FINALLY, the Kings will get a few days off. It's been a brutal month from a scheduling standpoint. LA just finished playing six games in nine nights and their 10th game this month! Today's blog includes a game recap from Calgary, injury updates, some video and begins to answer a question - WHO IS THE BEST CENTER to play for the Kings this decade?

The Recap

Kings lose 2-1 in a night of firsts, I guess.

Flames captain Dion Phaneuf scored his first goal in 20 games to give Calgary the early lead.

Corey Elkins, skating in just his second game since being called up from Manchester, scored his first NHL goal. An accomplishment that was rewarded with a return trip to Manchester this morning. Sure he was an emergency call up, but is it really that important to see Purcell or Harold get more ice time at this point?

The Flames penalty killing was downright smothering. Some of the best the Kings have seen all year. LA gave it their all in third though, out shooting Calgary 16-3...and late in the game it looked like LA was going to tie it up...but, no.

THE first the Kings were hoping for was a win in Calgary. It's now been eight trips to the Saddledome without a win. They'll travel back to Alberta and try again on 12/30. Given that the teams could potentially meet in the first round of the playoffs, the Kings need to solve what's puzzling them up there.

If you don't have the Center Ice package and want to see some of the action (the goals, the big hits, etc.) CLICK HERE to watch the NHL approved highlights.

The Kings fell out of first place with the loss.

Injury Update

More information will be available in the days leading up to the next game (12/26 at Phoenix). For now, the GREAT news is that Ryan Smyth was activated earlier today and is on track for his return to the line-up when the Kings play the Coyotes. Jarret Stoll should be back by then too, along with Jack Johnson and Randy Jones. Wayne Simmonds will still need a few more weeks.

With guys healing, combined with the long break the team gets beginning today, three other players will join Elkins on the trip back to Manchester - Oscar Moller, Scott Parse and Alec Martinez.

The Debates

Over the next week or so will be presenting a special series where a few guests will debate some Best of the Decade topics involving the Kings organization. They asked me to weigh in on a few of the topics, staring with issue #1 that was posted earlier today:

Who is the Best Kings Center of the last 10 years?

To read what I had to say and see how my answers compared to the others CLICK HERE to read the articles. The only hint I'll give is that I didn't pick Anze Kopitar.


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