Where We Are: Five dolla, five dolla, five dolla footlong. Five wins, five wins, five wins and countingggggg.
Where They Are: They are hot, having won four in a row - vs. San Jose, Minnesota, St. Louis and the Islanders. This will be game three of a six game road trip - not late enough for them to be tired. Perhaps having a night on the town between their win over the Isles and the Ranger game will knock them off their games. The allure of New York and all its vices ...
Who To Watch For: Ryan Smyth, Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams are every bit as good as Prospal/Dubi/Gabby. Shocking, right? You could say that Drew Doughty is avoiding a sophomore slump. You could also say that he is turning into a bonafide star. He certainly deserved the Calder last year but 20-plus minutes of solid play as a rookie isn't as sexy as a few shutouts for a good defensive team with a great coach. Oh yeah, and there is Alexander Frolov in a contract year, hit-factory Dustin Brown and goaltender Jon Quick. Quick turned some heads last season and has been stellar so far. Edit: but thankfully, we won't have to face him. The guys at HFBoards saw that LA is planning on starting young Swede Erik Ersberg. Ersberg made some hugely great saves at times last season but gave up plenty of softies behind a weak D. It will be interesting to see how he fares in his season debut.
What To Watch For: The Kings won't come out flat. The Kings won't be tired. The Kings won't be intimidated. They are young and motivated and exciting. It could be one helluva track meet. Then again, the Rangers showed they could play slow-it-down, grind it out hockey against the Caps so perhaps they will be able to/be willing to do it here.
What We'll (Hopefully) See: Someone to knock Ryan Smyth on his rear end when he sets up camp in the slot. The Ranger horses to outrace the Kings kids. Chris Higgins to finally score. Donald Brashear to do something productive.
Also Check Out: The Battle of California, Life in Hockeywood, A Queen Among Kings, Purple Crushed Velvet and Rich Hammond moved over to Kings Insider.