The Montreal Canadiens, coming off a disappointing effort against the Philadelphia Flyers will look to bounce back on home ice and try to get back in the win column when they face the Los Angeles Kings.
The Montreal Canadiens were able to somehow grab a point against the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night. They were incredibly outplayed in the game, especially the first half of the contest. At one point, the Flyers went on a 25-1 run on the shot clock. They had 30 shots on goal at the halfway mark of the game.
Somehow, after falling behind 2-0 and forgetting to show up for much of the game, the Habs came back and tied things up in the third period, forcing overtime. They would lose in overtime on a Sean Couturier goal, but can thank Carey Price for getting them that far and adding one point in the standings.
Tonight, the Habs will look to bounce back against the Los Angeles Kings. To put it nicely, the Kings are not off to an ideal start to the 2019-20 season. They are in last place in the western conference with 5-10-1 record and just 11 points in 16 games played.
The Kings are wrapping up a three game road trip through Eastern Canada. They have already lost to the Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators and will be looking to avoid a winless road swing. They did grab one point against the Senators thanks to a very late goal by Tyler Toffoli who tied things at two with just 7.2 seconds remaining. J.G. Pageau scored the game winning goal in the third period for the Senators.
This game interests me for a couple of different reasons and they aren’t because the Kings are a fun or talented hockey team to watch. The two reasons I will be watching the Kings closely are Tyler Toffoli and Alec Martinez.
The Kings are brutal and are certain to become sellers at the trade deadline, if not long before the deadline. Toffoli is an unrestricted free agent and will almost assuredly be moved by the Kings to a team looking to make a playoff push. He is a former 30 goal scoring Stanley Cup champion that is on pace for a 20 goal and 20 assist season.
Martinez is a left shooting defender that is eating up minutes on an awful team. He has another year after this one on his contract with a cap hit of $4 million. He is one of the only players on the Kings who isn’t being caved in on a regular basis when he is on the ice. He is averaging over 21:30 per game in ice time and though he isn’t providing a ton of offence, he did score over 30 points on a few occasions when he was playing on a good Kings team.
The Kings are going to be sellers in the near future. The Canadiens could be buyers and could definitely use a left shooting defenceman that can play top pairing minutes. A goal scoring right winger isn’t their biggest need at the moment, but if an injury or two occur in the future, they may be looking for more depth.
I’ll be keeping a close eye on how Martinez and Toffoli play tonight. The Kings don’t come back to Montreal this season, but that doesn’t mean we won’t see one of these current Kings back at the Bell Centre this season.