Finding themselves against each other in the same West Division for the 2020-21 campaign, the Los Angeles Kings and the Minnesota Wild will lock horns again, 10 months after their last meeting ended with a 7-3 home victory for the team from the City of Angels.
Talbot Skates On The Wild SideFor the second year in a row, the Minnesota Wild failed to make the First Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs after being eliminated in four games (1-3) during the qualifiers by the Vancouver Canucks last season. Prior to that, the Wild ended the regular campaign with eight victories in its last 11 outings (8-3-0), ultimately ending up 6th in the Central Division and 10th in the Western Conference (35-27-7). Kevin Fiala led the team with 54 regular-season points (23 goals, 31 assists), adding four more points during the postseason (3 goals, 1 helper). Zach Parise (46 points), meanwhile, netted the most strikes prior to the coronavirus outbreak (25).
With Devan Dubnyk traded to the San Jose Sharks, goalie Cam Talbot will take over the No. 1 duties for Minnesota after penning a three-year, $11 million deal with the Wild. He was 12-10-1 for the Calgary Flames last year with a 2.63 GAA, a .919 save percentage and two shutouts, and has posted a 7-9-0 past record against the Los Angeles Kings with a 2.81 GAA, a .910 save percentage and one shutout. The Wild were scoring the 12th highest number of goals per game in 2019-20 (3.16), while conceding the 8th highest amount in their defensive zone (3.14). The team was 10th in power play (21.3%) and 25th in penalty kill (77.2%).
Will Kings Bounce Back Quick?The Los Angeles Kings failed to make the postseason for the second year running last term and have now gone without playoff hockey for three of their past four seasons. The team didn’t even make the qualifiers, finishing 7th in the Pacific Division and 2nd from the bottom in the Western Conference (29-35-6), despite ending the regular campaign with a seven-game winning streak, beating the likes of the Vegas Golden Knights and the Colorado Avalanche along the way. Anze Kopitar led the team with 21 goals and 62 points.
"My goal is to play Thursday night and every night after that." — Matt Luff— LA Kings (@LAKings) January 13, 2021
More from today's practice session ⤵️ https://t.co/Hj1xJfHHmw
Coming into his 14th NHL season, goalie Jonathan Quick will be hoping to improve on his numbers from last season, which saw the netminder post a 16-22-4 total with a 2.79 GAA, a .904 save percentage and one shutout. Quick has gone 14-8-5 against the Minnesota Wild historically with a 2.57 GAA and a .900 save percentage. The Kings were netting the 2nd lowest quantity of goals per game last year (2.53), while giving up the 14th lowest amount on the defensive end (2.99). The team was 26th in power play (17.1%) and 23rd in penalty kill (77.4%).
Minnesota (according to Covers.com)
- Wild are 8-2 in their last 10 road games.
- Wild are 9-3 in their last 12 Thursday games.
Los Angeles (according to Covers.com)