I just got a look at the lineup the Kings will put on the ice against the Ducks on Saturday night, and all I have to say is be ready for some fireworks. The lineup the Kings will play includes four fighters: Raitis Ivanans, Richard Clune, Kyle Clifford, and Kevin Westgarth.
Clune and Clifford are not overly large, but Ivanans and Westgarth are big guys and very good fighters. For the Ducks, Evgeny Artyukhin, George Parros, and Sheldon Brookbank will be ready to go if needed. To see the complete Ducks roster for Saturday night, click here.
It’s all well and good to have competitive hockey games in the preseason, but I hope a regular NHL player doesn’t get hurt because someone takes a run at a skill player. A perfect example of what I hate to see in the preseason is Dion Phaneuf’s hit on Kyle Okposo, which I wrote about and can be seen here. I love watching highlights of good, hard, clean hits like Phaneuf put on Okposo, but I’d be pissed if that were a Ducks player like Corey Perry. The NHL preseason should be to build chemistry with teammates, not for wannabe boxers to try to land NHL enforcer jobs. Not that I’m saying Phaneuf is a wannabe boxer/enforcer but there’s a time and place for this type of play, and it’s not in the preseason.
Here’s to hoping that it will be a clean, hard-hitting game with tons of fights.