The Boston Bruins will get at least one tough test on their West Coast road trip, and that’s on Saturday night when they take on the Los Angeles Kings at Crypto.com Arena.
L.A. is certainly beatable. They’re a good, not great team in the Western Conference, who might share a tier with the Bruins if you tiered the National Hockey League. But the reason they present a good challenge for the B’s is their depth at center, where they have legitimate scoring threats and two-way talent with Anže Kopitar, Pierre-Luc Dubois, and Phillip Danault.
It’s going to be a nice test to see if the Bruins’ Pavel Zacha, Matt Poitras, Charlie Coyle, and Johnny Beecher can hang with this group. But how exactly will the Kings match up? That could very well be the key to the game, and it was a big discussion point on the newest episode of the Sports Hub Underground podcast, which you can hear below. Ty Anderson and I dove into the Bruins-Kings matchup, which should be their most challenging up this upcoming road trip.
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The big question for the Kings, who as the home team will have the advantage of last change on their lines, is who matches up with David Pastrnak’s line? Kopitar seems like a logical option, given his excellent defensive play at the center position. But Ty believes the task will go to Danault, the Kings’ do-it-all center who is no slouch himself at the defensive end.
As for Kopitar, he’s being leaned on more to generate offense as the top center on the top line. It’s paid off pretty well for him, so far. Kopitar has scored 145 points in 166 games since Danault signed with L.A., dating back to the 2021-22 season.