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Islanders Matinee: Kings in on Kids Day

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The worst thing about the rebuild, other than the losing, is that teams like the Kings have been doing it longer.

You get the feeling that by the time many of the Islanders' young prospects have rounded into NHL form ... so will everybody else's. Except everybody else can afford to drop $3.4 million on a Rob Scuderi and take on Ryan Smyth's $6.25 million when they need to shop for a power forward. Will Charles Wang toss around that kind of play money when The Great Rebuild becomes The Contender? Lots of unknowns between now and then. Guess I won't fret myself into putting the cart before the horse.

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Los Angeles Kings (3-1-0) at New York Islanders (0-0-3)
2 p.m. EDT | Nassau [
gloriously unsponsored] Veterans Memorial Coliseum | MSG+, WHLI 1100 AM
Like, whoa dude, hockey man: Battle of Cali (SBN) | The Royal Half | Kings Insider (Hammond)

The three lines that you think the Kings should have on paper finally appear to be dangerous lines on the ice. But first and foremost, Ryan Smyth has finally added some balls that don't look like Sean O'Donnell, so along with the high-pitched cheers we generally hear on Kids Day at the Coliseum, we'll also hear the hot line of Smyth, Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams doing bad things to the Isles a lot today. That's some Faustian weirdness for RudyKelly right there, but fans often must accept uncomfortable realities to see their team to the next level.

The Kings' first three games were goalfests, but Terry Murray -- like most coaches -- prefers things much more under control, so they tightened up considerably while beating the Blues 2-1 Saturday in St. Louis. What'll we get today? Who knows. But if the Isles take a 3rd-period lead again, I hope they also take Doug Weight's pep talk to heart.

My employer does not respect the great contributions of Christopher Columbus ("Here, take this blanket!"), so I won't be catching much of this one live. If you are, consider this your in-game thread.