A lot can be said about the Kings -- they're arguably the Sharks biggest rival for reasons beyond the typical NorCal/SoCal shtick. Two heated playoff series between the clubs combined with playoff-style hockey in nearly every meeting. These two teams are pretty darn even, and that always makes for exciting games.
Still no word on whether Dan Boyle is drawing back into the lineup, though I tend to doubt it since we have not been given anything concrete yet. But knowing that Boyle, Havlat and (possibly) Burns are close to returning is reason to be optimistic.
The Kings are coming off a 3-1 loss to the Coyotes but have been their usual puck-dominating selves in the early goings of this season. Los Angeles is third in the league for 5v5 Corsi close while the Sharks come in at fourth -- losing one of your best defenseman and your most explosive winger is no doubt taking its toll.
San Jose was outplayed by the Senators but they skated away with what appeared to be a convincing win against Ottawa, earning Alex Stalock his first win in the NHL. Stalock looked very serviceable, which hopefully means Antti Niemi will get the night off with more frequency as the season goes on.
I love it when the Sharks play LA -- but I'm not sure there's anything better than when the Sharks beat LA. Let's take a look at the requisite viewing for a Sharks/Kings game.
|10-1-1, 21 points
||8-5-0, 16 points|
|1st in Pacific
||5th in Pacific
Projected Sharks Lineup
Patrick Marleau - Logan Couture - Tyler Kennedy
Tomas Hertl - Joe Thornton - James Sheppard
Martin Havlat - Joe Pavelski - Tommy Wingels
John McCarthy - Andrew Desjardins - Mike Brown
Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Justin Braun
Matt Irwin - Brad Stuart
Scott Hannan - Jason Demers
Projected Kings Lineup
Robyn Regehr - Drew Doughty
Willie Mitchell - Slava Voynov
Jake Muzzin - Matt Greene