The New York Rangers choose on the Los Angeles Kings tonight at Madison Sq. Backyard. The Kings are the initial team to formally toss in the towel on the season by investing veteran defenseman Jake Muzzin to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
As opposed to the New York Rangers, the L.A. Kings came into this season with large hopes. They expended big bucks luring Ilya Kovalchuk to La La Land. In their once-a-year pre-season poll, 11 of nhl.com’s 18 writers and editors experienced the Kings in the article-season with 7 believing that they would end in the prime 3 in the Pacific Division.
It took all of 13 games for the Kings to hearth head coach John Stevens, replacing him with former Canucks coach Willie Desjardins, on an interim basis. Since that time they have absent 16-19-3 and on January 28, with the second worst file in the NHL, they traded their ideal defenseman to the Maple Leafs for prospective buyers and a initial round draft pick.
Due to the fact successful the Stanley Cup in 2014, the Kings have produced the playoffs in alternating a long time, missing the playoffs twice and producing the article-season twice (and staying eliminated in the initial round both of those occasions). Last 12 months they had been a Western Convention wild card team and had been swept by the Vegas Golden Knights.
The Kings still boast some superb talent, let by Kovalchuk, Anze Kopitar, Jonathan Rapid and Drew Doughty, but the team is getting older. They are the 3rd oldest team in the league with an common age of 29.2 and ten gamers about 30. In comparison, the Rangers common age is 27.5, 16th in the league. It is crystal clear that in a league that values youth, the Kings need to rebuild.
The wage cap is not serving to as they are on the hook for two more agreement a long time for 7 gamers about 30 together with Drew Doughty turns age 30 in December. It is the value you pay out for successful two Stanley Cups.
The Rangers come into this recreation new off a disappointing loss to Tampa. In their very last two losses, the Rangers have outplayed their opponents, but scoring only two aims in those games, couldn’t win. The Zibanejad/Kreider/Zuccarello line carries on to be one particular of the most popular in the NHL with 12 aims and 17 assists in their very last 5 games. The major dilemma for the Rangers is that there is no secondary scoring. In those 5 games, the rest of the team has 7 aims and 12 assists.
Kevin Hayes did score on Saturday and David Quinn experimented by putting Chris Kreider on his wing in an effort to distribute the offense. It stays to be found how the lines will go tonight.
The Rangers go into tonight’s recreation with 51 factors, The Kings have 44 factors with both of those groups having performed 51 games. Los Angeles is one particular level in advance of the very last position Ottawa Senators when the Rangers are ninth from the bottom. This recreation has implications both of those techniques for the Rangers. A win and they are six factors out of the very last wild location. A loss and they could slip to 8th worst in the league and that significantly nearer to a superior lottery placement.