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Toronto Maple Leafs at LA Kings Preview: Boyle meets Bishop

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Two previous teammates meet across enemy lines.

NHL: Tampa Bay Lightning at Calgary Flames Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto Maple Leafs at LA Kings: GAME 63

Time: 10:30 pm Eastern Time

Location: Staples Center

Broadcast/Streaming: SNO

Opponent SBNation Site: Jewels from the Crown

Preview:

Yesterday, the LA Kings appear to have gone all-in on their season by acquiring a bunch of old people. They did this last year too (see: Vincent LeCavalier), and this year they doubled-down by trading for 30-year-old Ben Bishop and 39-year-old Jarome Iginla.

Reaction to these trades were mixed, partly because Peter Budaj did great things for the Ontario Reign last season (taking them to the Calder Cup), and was set on stealing the starter position from Jonathan Quick, and because signing Iginla doesn’t seem like the best way to make up for Anze Kopitar’s lowest-scoring season ever (6G/30A). One of the best sources for a good trade reaction is obviously Battle of California, and here's what Gett'r'dun had to say:

The Kings needed a forward desperately bad. Definitely a top six type contributor. They didn’t have much to work with. They had limited assets and cap space. So the options weren’t great. (...) If the Kings wanted to be sellers, I don’t think I would have blamed them.

They could still add a depth forward or two and take pressure off of Adrian Kempe who’s in over his head, and/or not roll out Kyle Clifford and Andy Andreoff on a useless line, so they could make more of a push.They added an elderly Jarome Iginla. I like Iginla. But he is 39 (and looks every year) and has 8 goals only, 4 of which came via the power play. 5v5 he’s a non-factor. I’m certain 5 of his goals came against the Kings specifically.

Dwight King has, you guessed it, 8 goals. It’s a lateral move where not much was given up or gained (in terms of assets). The Kings knew Dwight was likely gone after this season and wanted to get something for him. Giving up a fourth round possibly third round pick for Iginla (the *something* the Kings got for Dwight King) makes these moves shake out like it is King for Iginla.

Combining this with the Bishop deal and the Kings seem sort of like just throwing shit at a wall and seeing what sticks and hoping it carries any success. And expecting Iginla to play top six minutes is more ludicrous than expecting Vincent Lecavalier to be a third line center. It also probably sucks if you’re Dwight King and Peter Budaj.

The Kings currently sit one point out of the last Wild Card slot in the west, eight points out of the third slot in the Pacific, and were 3-5-2 in their last ten games. The St. Louis Blues were sellers at the deadline, and clinging precariously to the second Wild Card slot, so it's possible we see the two teams trade places. Bishop started in net for the Kings last time they were on ice, and garnered them an OT point in their 2-1 loss to the Calgary Flames.

How did new acquisition Brian Boyle do for the Leafs in their loss to the San Jose Sharks? Aside from looking sharp with newly shorn sideburns, he was given a little over 12 minutes of ice time, had one shot on goal, and was a net zero everywhere else. How's that for small sample size? Twelve minutes was his average Tampa Bay Lightning ice time too, depending upon the number of penalties that Tampa had to kill. Here's hoping he can continue to add to his 13G/9A on the season, perhaps matching his career TBL season of 15G/9A in 2014-15.

Toronto Maple Leafs

Forward Lines

Zach Hyman - Auston Matthews - William Nylander

James van Riemsdyk - Tyler Bozak - Mitch Marner

Leo Komarov - Nazem Kadri - Connor Brown

Matt Martin - Brian Boyle - Josh Leivo

Defence Pairings

Morgan Rielly - Nikita Zaitsev

Jake Gardiner - Alexey Marchenko

Matt Hunwick - Roman Polak

Goaltenders

Frederik Andersen

Curtis McElhinney

LA Kings lines

Forward

Iginla-Kopitar-Gaborik

Pearson-Carter-Toffoli

Lewis-Shore-Brown

Kempe-Dowd-Clifford

Defense

Forbort-Doughty

Muzzin-LaDue

McNabb-Martinez

Goalies

Jonathan Quick

Ben Bishop