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Preview, Game Day #42: Detroit Red Wings @ Los Angeles Kings

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No, actually we're halfway there *now*, DAD. I mean, Eric.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Red Wings @ Los Angeles Kings

Time: 7:30 Pacific

TV: Fox Sports West, Fox Sports Detroit, Sportsnet East/Ontario/Pacific

Enemy Reading: Winging it in Motown

Los Angeles Kings

Lucic-Kopitar-Toffoli
Pearson-Carter-Gaborik
King-Lecavalier-Brown
Lewis-Shore-Nolan

McNabb-Doughty
Muzzin-Martinez
Ehrhoff-Schenn

Quick
(Enroth)

Scratched: Andreoff, Mersch, McBain Injured: Clifford

Detroit Red Wings

Abdelkader-Zetterberg-Nyquist
Tatar-Datsyuk-Helm
Larkin-Sheahan-Richards
Andersson-Glendening-Jurco

Kronwall-Ericsson
Dekeyser-Marchenko
Quincey-Green

Howard
(Mrazek)

Injured: Miller, Franzen, Pulkkinen Scratched: Smith

Stats & Such
(Fancy stats courtesy War on Ice)

Team Red Wings
Kings
Record 22-13-7 26-12-3
Points 51 55
Division Rank 2nd 1st
Streak Won 4
OTL 1
Goals For/Game 2.50 2.63
Goals Against/Game 2.57
2.20
ES Goal % 53.1 53.8
ES Shot %
48.2 54.2
ES PDO 101.3
99.9
ES Corsi % 50.4
56.2
ES Fenwick % 48.4 55.9
ES Scoring Chance % 50.1 55.4
ES High-Danger SC % 48.7 53.6
Power Play % (Rank) 17.4 (23rd)
19.2 (11th)
Penalty Kill % (Rank) 80.1 (18th)
81.8 (12th)
Starting Goalie (tonight) Howard Quick
Goalie Record 7-5-4 23-9-2
Save % .910 .928
ES Save % .928
.934

Notes:

  • Stop me if you've heard this one before: the Kings are coming off a game where they soundly outplayed their opposition, and yet lost. I know, very shocking. Oh well, at least they got a point out of it right?
  • So after hitting the halfway point of the season on Saturday, Darryl Sutter got all wistful about it, for some reason. Look Darryl, you have a 9 point lead in the division. On the Coyotes. Who are garbage. I think the Kings are gonna be okay. You can smile a little bit, maybe sound happy every once in a while.
  • Meanwhile. the Red Wings crossed that halfway threshold a bit earlier and are kind of not very good? They barely cross the 50% threshold in Corsi or scoring chances and are well below that at Fenwick & high-danger chances. Luckily for them, they've gotten some amazing goaltending this year (their .939 even strength sv% is 2nd only to Florida's .943) and they play in the Atlantic division, which is basically Pacific East as far as quality goes, so they're sitting pretty in 2nd place right now. In fact, their 51 points is 3rd most in the entire Eastern Conference. Yay parity, I guess.
  • If you're anything like me you probably hate the Red Wings an awful lot. Let's just break it down point-by-point: they practically invented the post-lockout "we're still gonna get away with interference tho!!!" method of hockey that everyone now does, which has hurt the game a lot in the past 5 years or so (yes, I know Wings fans, the Kings do this too, thanks in advance for pointing it out). Their fans are incredibly annoying, and somehow still very smug despite the fact that their team has basically done nothing for the past 6 years. They're owned by a dude who made his fortune selling the most awful pizza in the world to the desperately poor. And did I mention their fans are annoying? I really should have, because they really are.
  • The Kings are catching the Red Wings in game 2 of a back-to-back, which means they get ex-starter-turned-backup Jimmy Howard. His .910 sv% doesn't look very good, but that's a little deceptive as his even strength sv% is a perfectly acceptable .928. That's still 20 points lower than the man who usurped him as starter though, so you can see why he's lost that position.
  • The Kings' lineup looks to be changing a bit tonight, with Michael Mersch coming out in favor of Nick Shore. No one seems quite sure what the lines will look like, so the above is my personal prediction. I think tonight is the "let's try Vinny as 3rd line center!" game, with Lewis & Shore teaming up with Nolan on the 4th line, but we'll see.
  • PREDICTION: Kings win 4-2, with an empty netter because we're so good at getting those.