Local media calls it the Freeway Series. How exciting. What’s at stake is SoCal Raz Rights. It happens at award shows, at pre-camp skates and at Golds Gym. Given the passion fans invest in the series it’s a rivalry deserving of its own trophy.
Last season Kings were the clear Raz Rights winner going 5-1 against our Ducks.
Stats and previous records mean nothing. Though how the Kings have managed to eke out a 2-2-2 record while scoring less than two goals (1.83) per game is noteworthy. Kings virtually must play perfect hockey to win these days. The fact their doing it even half the time is remarkable. Kings have scored more than two goals just once in their first six games, beating Phoenix 4-2 last Saturday.
Ducks are winning while in a state of flux. Getzlaf and Perry are on their third left winger in just six games. Nick Bonino was moved off the second line for the game last night against the Wild. Sheldon Souray is anchoring a PK unit. The Bobby Ryan to center experiment was revived absent any fanfare. Coach just did it. The fourth line is drawn from rotating call-ups, an enforcer and a rookie who can only play one more game. On the back line Fowler and Allen are the only ES pairing that has survived intact through the early going.
Last season the Kings won the Cup while seemingly hardly breaking a sweat. They were that dominant. Kings pushed our Ducks around like our guys were boy toys. This is the game in which Ducks fans should truly see the impact Dan Winnick, Bryan Allen and Sheldon Souray bring to our team. Nashville Predators aren’t exactly pushovers but these LA Kings may still be hockey’s most physically dominant team.
Ducks new compete level was on full display last night when Bryan Allen battled Zenon Konopka in front of Fasth.
Earlier in the week many eyes were fixed on the Sharks game as a measuring stick for our team. This game is an equally important measuring stick because these Kings will test our mettle and character. Prior to this short 3 game points streak the Vancouver Canucks got under the skin and exposed our Ducks for the bunch of whiners and crybabies they became on that night.
Our guys have done a great job of cleaning that up for 3 consecutive games. This game will show us if their newly found character is real. In other words, avoid the extra-curricular trash hockey, goof-ball retaliating and match the Kings physicality within the game itself; our Ducks are showing they can play with anybody, even Stanley Cup champions.