THE LOWDOWN is a gameday preview produced by “Hockey Pat” McGrath, a lifelong Cats fan who previously wrote for the Florida Panthers themed blog “TheRatTrick”. The contents of THE LOWDOWN and all opinions expressed therein are solely those of Hockey Pat and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Florida Panthers or Sunrise Sports & Entertainment LLC. Having said that, if you find yourself laughing or smiling as you read the LOWDOWN, feel free to thank us. We accept thank you notes, tweets and ticket purchases.
Florida Panthers vs. Los Angeles Kings
|Panthers ||Kings |
|Record ||26-36-8 ||39-25-6 |
|Points ||60 ||84 |
|Place ||7th in Atlantic ||3rd in Pacific |
The Florida Panthers hit Hollywood!!
The Cats are in the city of stars kicking off a weekend back-to-back against some NHL royalty. The Panthers will take on the Los Angeles Kings today at 4:00 p.m. ET at Staples Center before their battle with the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday evening.
Florida is coming off a 2-1 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes on Thursday while the Kings snapped a four-game losing streak with their 2-1 shootout victory over the Washington Capitals.
Here is the lowdown:
Kings Players to Watch
#12 Marian Gaborik: The Kings sent winger Matt Frattin and two draft picks to Columbus to bring Gabs into the fold and so far the deal has paid off. The veteran has two goals and two assists in his last four games and he seems to really be settling in with his new squad.
#11 Anze Kopitar: The 26-year-old Slovenian native has been packing the box score for Los Angeles all season. With 58 points (22-36-58), Kopitar leads LA in scoring and the alternate captain is currently riding a hot streak with five points (3-2-5) in his last five games.
Word of the Day: Celly
Definition: Celly is short for celebration, as in a goal celebration. A good celly is essential if you want to have long-term NHL success, but well crafted cellys do not happen overnight. Take Scottie Upshall for example:
Here we have a veteran celly. The ‘one skate in the air fist pump’ works so well because it captures the excitement of scoring an NHL goal while also being very visually pleasing. Now you may think Uppy was born to do NHL-calibre cellys but that is not the case.
Here we have a young, exuberant Upshall in the process of figuring out his celly technique. The ‘getting too excited and falling flat on your face’ celly is a good learning experience that teaches a player not to try and do too much.
Being from Hollywood and all, the Kings have always put an emphasis on the threads. Over the years they have developed one of the finest catalogues of vintage gear in the league:
As you will notice above, it hasn’t been all good over the years.
That’s okay, this picture redeems all:
Peter Horachek on Brandon Pirri and the Panthers young players getting their NHL shot:
“This is a great opportunity for him, being with a lot of other young players who have a lot going for them. They all have parts of their game they need to improve but they are relishing the opportunity.”
Ed Jovanovski on his return of injury this season:
"Personally, coming from the situation of not knowing whether I'd ever play again to holding my own pretty good, the goal is to finish strong, feel comfortable, and use the summer of getting myself ready for a big year.''
Milestones Can Wait
With their 2-1 shootout win over the Capitals, a pair of Kings reached important milestones. Goaltender Jonathan Quick recorded his 171st career victory with the Kings, tying Rogie Vachon for the franchise record.
Meanwhile head coach Darryl Sutter recorded his 500th career coaching victory putting him in a tie with Toe Blake for 17th all-time.
The two Kings will have a chance to claim those spots for their own today with a win against the Panthers but obviously the Cats will not let that happen. More importantly, how about those names! I mean Rogie?! Toe?! These guys deserve to be immortalized.
In the ‘head coaches throwing players from random teams under the bus’ category, Brian Campbell will get his chance to get a little revenge on King’s coach Darryl Sutter who took a shot at Campbell last season while defending his own star defenseman Drew Doughty.
When asked about Doughty’s dropping offensive production last season and whether Doughty was trying to do it all himself, Sutter replied:
“Well, if you do that all the time, you’re not a very good player. You’re Brian Campbell in Florida. You’ll be minus-20. And we’ll see you on the highlights, but you’re on a bad team, and you’re a high-minus player.”
Whoa! Shots Fired!
I don’t know where this random shot at Campbell came from, but this is absolutely bulletin board material.
Enjoy the game! Go Panthers!