Trailing Winnipeg by 1 point for the final Wild Card spot in the Western Conference playoff race, the defending Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings, find themselves as the perfect opponent.
Face-off is set for 10:30 p.m.ET tonight at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. California. The Coyotes are such a bad hockey club that many celebrities might decide to stay home and avoid watching them get slaughtered as they are a team with no offense and no defense. The Coyotes are so bad that the Kings are a whopping -335 NHL betting odds favorite and the total for the game is 5 goals. You won't see a higher betting spread than this in a hockey game.
How Bad Are They???
I'm going to skip the goalie listings in this games as nothing can help Arizona and Jonathan Quick should have an easy time of it tonight. For the season, the Coyotes are averaging 2.03 goals per game and allow 3.26. per contest. The only statistic in which they're better than their opponent is short-handed goals by a 6-1 margain. Could this be that they're short-handed more times than their opponents, who don't have to commit unnecessary penalties; I think...yes!
I can't resist; When you're starting goalie, Mike Smith, has a record of 11-34-5 with a 3.24 GAA and under a .900 SV%, you've got problems. It also shows that it's not just the offense that is inept, it's the defense and even the goalie where Smith is concerned.
Now that the Coyotes don't have former leading scorers Keith Yandle and Antoine Vernette to kick around, the title of leading scorer now goes to Oliver Ekman-Larsson who has 17 goals and 16 assists on the season. Ekman Larssson is a defenseman that excels on the power play as he leads the team in power play goals with 9. In his last 5 games, Ekman- Larsson has 2 assists and against the Kings in 3 previous games, he has one goal.
One player that Arizona has that was a rather good player one time in his career and is very serviceable is Shane Doan. Doan's best days are behind him as he's nearing the 900 point mark. In his last game, Doan scored the lone goal in the loss to the Devils and was quite aggressive with 5 shots on goal. Expect this 38 year old to keep on scrapping as the Coyotes don't have much to offer on the offensive end of the ice.
Although the Kings have had somewhat of a disappointing season, these 2 points will put them into a wild-card spot and a major factor in getting the job done will be veteran Jeff Carter. Carter leads the Kings in points at 24 goals and 28 assists. Carter has been on fire as of late, lighting the lamp 6 times in his last 7 games. It should only take a couple of goals for the Kings to pick up the "W" against the Coyotes and Jeff Carter appears to be a likely candidate to produce against an overmatched team in Arizona.
Center, Anze Kopitar has also been a major contributor for the Kings with 7 points in the month of March (7 games). Add the Kings to your NHL picks and look for them to steamroll the Coyotes behind the goaltending of Jonathan Quick.
NHL Pick- Kings -335 at 5Dimes