|FF XIII: No Pacquiao-Mayweather But We Got Clifford-Wilson|
|National Anthem: Kings Starting Lineup: Schenn, Clifford, Simmonds, Scuderi, JJ, Quick|
- I must bring out the crazy in Kyle Clifford. After seeing his linemate Brayden Schenn get nailed with a clean hit in the second period; Clifford chased down Avalance defenseman Ryan Wilson and dropped the gloves. If I remember correctly; Clifford received: 5 minutes for fighting, 2 minutes for instigating, and a 10 minute game misconduct. Now, he didn't quite reach the 19 PIMs that he got the last time I saw him play but he's going to be fantasy hockey GOLD if he keeps this act up. As I watched Clifford skate straight to the players tunnel after the fight, it reminded me that Wayne Simmonds did something very similar at FF XI. Instigated a fight in the first period and was watching the rest of the game in street clothes by the time the buzzer for the end of the first period rang. He went on to make the team, so maybe it's a good omen to fight at FF and receive a boatload of penalties.
- I have to give credit to Clifford or as the guy sitting behind me would like to call him: "THE BIG RED DOG!" He threw his body around and made plays in the corners. 'The Clunatic' should have taken some notes on the way Clifford played in the preseason beacause I think Cliff took his job. Clifford and Schenn skated on a line with Simmer. One thing is clear: Simmer can't carry a line yet; he looked lost without Zeus.
- Trevor Lewis earned himself a spot on this roster. Whether it's as the fourth-line center or 13th forward; Lewis did everything right on Saturday night. He skated hard and got in the forecheck a number of times. He really shined on the PK; carried the puck into the offensive-zone and took on about three Aves in the corner to kill valuable time off the clock.
- Drew Doughty scored a goal and took all sorts of minor penalties. I think he ended up with four minor penalties; one of them was a cross-checking penalty that he took immediately after he left the box. His offensive game is in mid-season form;. a couple end-to-end rushes brought the crowd to their feet.
- Justin Williams had a tough game. A couple terrible turnovers on the power play stuck with me. Our second-line still worries me. Brad Richardson is NOT the answer. Oscar Moller? Andrei Loktionov?
- Smyth & Kopitar look to have that chemistry working already. Kopi got the 1st. Smyth got the GWG.
- Thank you to Erik Ersberg. Kings put him on waivers today. He's a solid NHL backup that Terry Murray didn't trust. I wrote this up at the end of last season.
Why didn't Terry Murray play this guy more?! This may come as a shock to Kings fans but Ersberg numbers are nearly identical to Quick. He posted a 2.40 GAA and a .906 SV% for the season. In the seven games that Ersberg started this year: 3-3-1 record with a 2.43 GAA and .911 SV%. If you throw out the early season 7-0 blowout loss to Atlanta, where Ersberg gave up four goals on seven shots in relief of Quick; his overall numbers are stellar: 2.07 GAA and .921 SV%. He's proven over his three seasons in Los Angles that he's a capable backup goaltender. Now whether Terry Murray or Kings fans are willing to admit it is another story. With Bernier pretty much a lock for next year's team; it'll be tough for Ersberg to stay in L.A. but hopefully Dean Lombardi can find E.E. a spot on an NHL roster somewhere.