THE MIGHTY KINGS (PRE GAME OPINIONS)
Well, this should be interesting. In what is my first ever blog, the Maple Leafs will be meeting the red hot Los Angeles Kings, winners of 8 straight!
Do the Leafs have a shot, or can even keep up with the 2012 Stanley Cup Champs in sunny California? Personally, I think so because while we were not able to beat them last time these two teams met (A 3-1 loss at the ACC in mid December), we played a very good game. We (for once) outshot a team to death, had good possession and made great passes that lead to a ton of SOG. The difference was timely saves by Martin Jones and game altering goals (The Leafs game plan in a nutshell).
Many fans of Leaf Nation can agree that if the Maple Leafs are to outmatch the Kings, they need to:
1) Bernier must be on his A Game
Really, do I need to explain this? We all know how important the goalies are for the Leafs.
2) Every line has to chip in
The Kessel-Bozak-JVR line has done everything right for the Maple Leafs on many nights, but Kadri, Lupul, Raymond, and Clarkson among others need to do the same. Saturday's game against the Flyers is a perfect example of this. If we were able to do the same against the Sharks on Tuesday, who knows what the score could have been!
3) Puck possession numbers need to be HIGH
By now, we all know that the recent loss was embarrassing enough. But we all can take something out of it: If you have the puck more, you have a better chance to score. The same can be said about the Kings, as they are currently first in the NHL (Don't quote me on that!) in puck possession. The Maple Leafs need to match that if they want to have a fighting chance.
If you are willing to stay up late for another exciting game (well, it's March Break after all), then don't miss this one. As for my prediction, it is gonna be a close game, and the difference will be by one goal.