You Again! [Game #28 Preview -- DET]
Didn't we just do this? Yep. The Kings beat the Red Wings 3-2 in OT a little over a week ago (10/4).
So, what have you been up to? Since then, the Wings have gone 2-2 (losing to the Sharks and the Predators, defeating the Habs and the Devils). This has put only a slight dent in their 73.2 winning % (#RedWingProblems). The Kings finished off their homestand by going 2-0-1, which is nice if you are able to forget the way they managed to gift a beleaguered Wild team with a victory. ("The Wild owes Jonathan Quick a bouquet of roses, some chocolate and a thank-you note." --Michael Russo. They could go ahead and send a card to a few other members of the team while they're being polite.)
Well, you're looking good! [Really?] Of course. Detroit (19-6-3) remains the class of the West. They have the highest goals per game avg. in the league (3.43). The top line of Swedish swimsuit model Henrik Zetterberg, "E.T. Gandalf" Pavel Datsyuk, and Tomas "that other guy" Holmstrom has put up 81 points combined. Nicklas Lidstrom is a Norris Trophy favorite once again (22 pts, +5). Justin Abdelkader is a +11. Brad Stuart is a +10.
Hey, whatever happened to... Chris Osgood had the start on Saturday, so the Kings should face Jimmy Howard this time. Kris Draper played his first game in L.A. after recovering from sports hernia surgery and has continued to play on the fourth line.
How's that workin' for ya? Detroit's PP is 10th in the league (20%), and their PK is 7th (84.9%). The Kings' PK holds steady at 4th (85.6%), but their PP conversion rate has dropped precipitously to -- please send the kids out of the room -- 27th overall. That's below Toronto and New Jersey. (I told you to spare the children.)
OMG, did you hear about... Injured Kings: Scott Parse (hip labrum), Marco Sturm (just kidding, not yet), Brad Richardson ("upper body injury"/aftermath of an elbow to the face); but Willie Mitchell (formerly broken wrist) has been cleared to play and
may will return to the lineup tonight. Injured Red Wing: Mike Modano (severed tendon in the wrist).
Okay, well, nice to see you as always... Season series: Kings up, 1-0. This is game 2 of 4. More importantly, it's the first stop on a tough five game road trip. Let's hope this test will be a gift.