Los Angeles Kings (0-0-0) at Minnesota Wild (0-0-0)
|Date & Time||Thursday October 3, 2013, 8:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Minnesota Wild -110 / Los Angeles Kings +100 --- Over/Under: 5
The Los Angeles Kings and Minnesota Wild meet at the Xcel Centre to kick off the season as both teams look to improve on last year’s playoff berths.
The Kings head into 2013-14 as one of the co-favourites to win the Stanley Cup just two seasons removed from hoisting their first ever trophy and with the roster they have it is no question why the Kings are among the league’s best. Los Angeles has the majority of their core together from their Cup winning team two years ago and added a few pieces in the offseason as they acquired Matt Frattin and Ben Scrivens from the Maple Leafs. The Kings are stacked at every position led up front by Mike Richards, Dustin Brown, and Anze Kopitar but the strength of their team comes on the back end with Drew Doughty and Slava Voynov leading the way. It is always tough to open the season on the ride especially against a Minnesota team looking to improve on last year’s 8th place finish in which they were ousted by the Blackhawks in the opening round but the Kings have the talent to win on any night of the week.
Minnesota was projected to do some damage in the Northwest last season and while they did make the playoffs it was still an underachievement of sorts as they were the big winners of last year’s free agent market, landing Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. Both of those pieces are back for the Wild as is goaltender Niklas Backstrom and a slew of role players that will make the Wild a tough beat and should account for some very physical affairs. While the crowd in Minnesota should be electric I think the Kings are too much for a lot of teams in the league and I don’t think they’ll have much trouble in their season opener against a Wild team who lacks depth up front. Take the Kings to start the season with a bang on the road at a very generous price.