Kings and Coyotes in crucial NHL odds clash

By: Adam Markowitz | Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Three of the four Kings, Coyotes meetings this season have gone ’over.’

The Pacific Division is one of the craziest divisions that NHL betting fans have seen in years. Coming into play Wednesday night, the first place San Jose Sharks and the last place Anaheim Ducks are separated by just nine points in the standings.

Two of the teams that are smack dab in the middle hook up in Tinseltown on Thursday night, as the Los Angeles Kings play host to the Phoenix Coyotes. The puck drops at Staples Center at 7:30 p.m. (PT).

Phoenix is definitely going in the wrong direction right now, and it's a wonder whether this team is going to be able to beat the NHL odds to get into the second season again this year. The Coyotes have dropped four straight games with only one point to show for that work, and they have been absolutely murdered in some of those outings. They've been bounced by an aggregate score of 20-11 over these four setbacks, something that is absolutely inexcusable this late in the season, especially since those three most recent losses came against Western Conference playoff contenders.

Rostislav Klesla made his debut for the team on Tuesday night in a 3-2 loss to the Dallas Stars. He did score a goal in his debut, but it definitely wasn't enough. Trying to find enough offense is a real key for the 'Yotes. They don't have a single man on the team with more than 16 goals on the year, and Keith Yandle is leading the team in points with 54.

However, there are nine different players with at least 10 goals on the campaign, a number that is definitely one to be proud of.

Phoenix shouldn't feel all that bad, as Los Angeles is definitely short on scoring options as well. The Kings are only averaging 2.7 GPG this year, ranking No. 17 in the league. However, the difference here is that there are some bona fide stars to really fall back on when times are tough.

Anze Kopitar might not be putting up the numbers this year that we expected to see out of him, but he does have 20 goals and 42 assists and is on pace once again for 80 or so points. Justin Williams, Dustin Brown and Ryan Smyth already have crossed the 20+ goal barrier, while Jarret Stoll is just three shy of that mark.

It was a tremendous year for trades, but all in all, it was a very quiet trade deadline day. The biggest move was made by these Kings though, as they picked up Dustin Penner from the Edmonton Oilers.

Penner was one of the best players on a lousy team, and we fully expect to see his numbers pick up in a hurry. He had 21 goals and 18 assists in 62 games with Edmonton before the trade.

The tiebreaker through all of this might be goaltending, and if that's the case, Jonathan Quick definitely trumps Ilya Bryzgalov.

The Coyotes are a solid 5-1 over the course of the last six meetings in this series though, and they are 12-8 over the course of the last 20. However, the Kings took the most recent meeting, a 4-3 NHL betting triumph over the Coyotes on January 22 in the desert.

These teams have met four times this season, and Phoenix holds a 3-1 edge. Three of the four games have surpassed the 'total.'

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