King Coach Larry Robinson is concerned about the tone of this season’s team as opposed to last year’s playoff unit.
“We didn’t get a lot of second and third chances,” Robinson said of the Kings’ 4-0 loss to Phoenix Saturday. "[The fourth line of] Ray Ferraro, Eric Lacroix and Ian Laperriere had second and third chances, but you’d expect the first and second lines to get them.”
Second and third chances are rebounds of missed shots, created by hanging out close to the goal, banging bodies and absorbing punishment.
And handing it out.
“It’s something this team isn’t doing,” Robinson said. “Last year, if we gave up a goal in the second period, we’d win in the third period. We didn’t win games in the second period. We won them in the third period.
“We had guys willing to pay the price physically, but I just don’t see that this year.”
Expect goalie Stephane Fiset to start tonight. He particularly enjoys playing near home in Montreal, and he has been cleared medically.
Fiset suffered a groin strain in a game Oct. 18, then had another in his return Oct. 28, a game at New Jersey in which he played less than two periods.
Montreal icon Guy Lafleur has gone off the reservation. Lafleur, the highest-scoring right wing in Canadien history, is a “special ambassador” with the club, charged with making about 25 public relations appearances a year.
Last week in St. John’s, Canada, he publicly related that the Canadiens were overpaid, overrated and lacked pride, and Thursday in Montreal, he criticized winger Brian Savage for wanting to be paid like a 35-goal scorer, even though he has never scored 35 goals.
“As for Montreal, I look at them as just one of 27 teams in the league,” Lafleur said.
4 p.m., Fox Sport West
* Site--Molson Centre.
* Radio--KRLA (1110).
* Records--Kings 6-13-3, Canadiens 7-12-2.
* Record vs. Canadiens (1997-98)--0-2.
* Update--Only in Montreal would they sell out a game between a team that was 2-9-1 in November and one that has lost seven of its last eight games. The Canadiens have struggled with injuries and the schedule, losing Saturday night to Pittsburgh, 4-3, after losing to Boston on Friday. Vincent Damphousse, Benoit Brunet, Shayne Corson, Scott Thornton and Brett Clark all missed Saturday’s game because of various ailments. And after a trade two weeks ago did nothing to jump-start the team, there is more talk of dealing Damphousse and Mark Recchi, both of whom can be unrestricted free agents after the season.