Previewing the Los Angeles Kings' 2011-12 season:
Game 38 @ Winnipeg
December 29, 2011
5:30pm PST (8:30pm EST)
It may be a different franchise but the Los Angeles Kings will renew an old rivalry as they find themselves in Winnipeg to take on the Jets in the only meeting of the season between the two clubs. Tonight also marks the first time the Kings play in the city in nearly 14 years.
After struggling mightily for much of November and the early part of December, the Los Angeles Kings have since turned things around as they are 4-0-1 in their last five and 3-0-1 under new coach Darryl Sutter, which includes a big 2-0 win last in Chicago as they halted a seven-game losing streak against the Hawks.
The last time these two clubs met was when the Jets were still in Atlanta as the Thrashers. Los Angeles hosted the Thrashers for the home-opener on October 12 of last season when the home team won by a 3-1 score.
At 41 points, the Kings are currently tied for the eighth and final playoff spot in the West and just a point behind division-leading San Jose who picked up a regulation point in their overtime loss to Vancouver last night.
The new Jets have been led by Evander Kane, the player selected right before the Kings took Brayden Schenn in 2009. Kane leads the way in goals with 17 and points with 28, not to mention in shots with 132 and is in a three-way tie for the team lead with three power-play goals. From Blake Wheeler to Dustin Byfgulien to Bryan Little, the Jets certainly have other weapons so the Kings should be careful not to take Winnipeg lightly – not that they would, of course.
Having just played last night, one may think that Jonathan Quick will be given the rest to make way for Mr. Bernier. However, because Quick earned a shutout last night, that might not necessarily be the case. We’ll have to see what Darryl Sutter thinks tonight.
Los Angeles hopes to recreate a new era against the new Jets on a positive note and head into New Year’s Eve still with a winning streak on their hands.
Enjoy the game!
Photo: Courtesy of John Woods/AP