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Preview: Being a student of controlled chaos

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While Los Angeles Kings fans shouldn’t party like it’s 2014, a wave of optimism is taking over.

Detroit Red Wings v Los Angeles Kings

How to Watch

Game Time: 7:30 p.m. Pacific Time

TV: Fox Sports West, Fox Sports Detroit, ESPN+ (Go here for more information on subscribing)

Radio: iHeart Radio

The Opposition: Winging It In Motown

What to Watch

Whether it be a playoff berth or to be in the running to draft Rimouski’s Alexis Lafreniere with the No. 1 overall pick, there is a lot on the line for the Los Angeles Kings tonight against the Detroit Red Wings.

Of all the things going haywire this season, one thing you can’t really control but hope for every single year is a clean bill of health. So far, the Kings haven’t had a severe injury bug so far (knock on wood).

So it was a welcoming sign to see some spurts of growth in Los Angeles’ 3-1 win over the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday.

Jonathan Quick has been in net both times the Kings have limited opponents to one goal this season. He had 27 saves on 28 shots and was the main reason why the team came up with two points.

When there are trade talks surrounding someone, the best thing a player can do is not let it distract them and play to the best of their ability. That is something you can credit Quick for.

Anze Kopitar had high expectations to perform coming into 2019-20 and so far he has met them. The 13-year player from Slovenia is maintaining a point per game pace, picking up a goal against Minnesota that all started from a faceoff win.

While leaving the Joe Louis Arena in 2016-17 meant departing with a rich history of winning, the Red Wings are ushering in the new generation of players that will create their own legacy within the friendly confines of Little Caesars Arena, a place they have called home now for three years.

15 of the 23 players on Detroit’s 2019-20 roster are under the age of 30. Like Los Angeles, the Red Wings have had trouble finding the back of the net as evident by their league worst -29 goal differential.

These struggles led to an eight-game losing streak earlier this season that saw the opponents outscore them 35-13.

Life hasn’t been kind to the four remaining players from the 2009 Stanley Cup winning team: Valtteri Filppula, Jimmy Howard, Darren Helm and Justin Abdelkader.

After signing a contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2013-14 that netted him a $5 million yearly salary, Filppula returns to Hockeytown after a six-year hiatus for $3 million for a dip in production that accompanies his age.

Helm, someone who isn’t known to be a player that racks up penalty minutes, leads the team with 19. Fifteen of those came on Oct. 17 against the Calgary Flames when his frustration got the best of him in a game where the Red Wings lost by four goals.

While the best way to “clap back“ would have been to score a goal, Helm decided to slash Elias Lindholm after receiving an elbow to the head. Thus resulting in a $5,000 fine.

Howard, who has known one franchise in his career since being drafted by the Ken Holland regime in 2003, has been replaced in the starting lineup by Jonathan Bernier after allowing four or more goals in his last three starts.

Coincidentally, the Detroit Red Wings are undefeated in their last three games with Bernier between the pipes. Two of those games have been one goal triumphs, with the latest being a 4-3 win in overtime against the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday.

Lineups

Los Angeles Kings

Iafallo-Kopitar-Brown
Carter-Amadio-Toffoli
Kempe-Lizotte-Wagner
Luff-Prokhorkin-Clifford

Martinez-Doughty
Hutton-Walker
Ryan-Roy

Quick

Detroit Red Wings

Bertuzzi- Larkin-Mantha
Fabbri-Filppula-Athanasiou
Perlini-Nielsen-Erne
Helm-Ehn-Smith

Cholowski-Green
Hronek-Bowey
Biega-McIlrath

Bernier


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