Kings-Red Wings Preview: Roster shakeups, early wakeups

The game begins at 9:30 AM Pacific. Whee.

Today we will have an absurdly early game on NBC. I can hardly contain my gratitude toward such a wonderful network and their brilliant planning.

The Detroit Red Wings are working more rookies into key roles in their lineup (Brunner, Tatar, Lashoff), and of course had to replace the great Nicklas Lidstrom. They are also dealing with the losses of Colaiacovo and Smith on defense. Though they have a dramatically different roster than the last time we met, they're plugging along like the same old machine.

Sounds like a club with good culture, huh?

Red Wings Projected Lineup

Jimmy Howard

Enemy reading: Winging It In Motown

Kings Projected Lineup

Jonathan Quick

  • Since this is on NBC, I fully expect some longwinded intermission commentary on the Kings so-called "horrible defense." Yes, there were breakdowns against the Predators, but they need to be put in perspective. The Kings allowed only seven scoring chances in 60 minutes of hockey. They'd been allowing less than 10 scoring chances per game on average. What Doughty and Scuderi need are more balanced minutes.
  • Keaton Ellerby goes from a third pairing healthy scratch to Drew Doughty's partner. If he wanted a chance to change his career, this is it. He is out of the frying pan.
  • Two things need to get focus besides the overworked Scuderi and Doughty: first, the Kings have the worst even strength save percentage of any team. Second, the Kings' forwards need to generate chances and bury them. Second and third opportunities won't be easy against a strong puck possession team like Detroit, but that's what they need.
  • The reworked roster seems to be designed to get more balanced scoring in the top 9. I really like the idea of rolling Kopitar, Carter, and Richards on three different lines.
  • Fraser had struggled recently and Stoll's the better center, so I assume Fraser's a scratch today./

Today marks the Kings' tenth game of the season. Will they heed the wake-up call? Let's hope so.

Los Angeles Kings Tickets