Ah, the rhyming team name game. It's back and should be a tight one between the two teams. LA has turned around its team since last year for the better while Detroit has plummeted.
- ZETTERBERG AND CLEARY ARE BACK! Finally, finally, finally. Henrik Zetterberg and Dan Cleary will return to the line-up tonight. After the jump I'll post the predicted lines but here's what this means in terms of health: the Wings are now only without Johan Franzen and that Jason Williams guy on the list of forwards. There should be little excuse for lack of scoring now and hopefully excuses won't need to be made.
- Say good-bye (for now) to Mattias Ritola (Riiiiiiii-to-laaaaaaaa) as he's been sent back down to the Griffins. Although Ritola had no points in his stay, he provided some great energy to the second and fourth lines each night he was in the line-up. I don't think this is the last we will see of Mattias.
Jimmy Howard is starting again (7th straight ) for Detroit and here's what Uncle Mike had to say on the whole deal:
"I just think Howie played good in Anaheim (4-1 loss Tuesday). The bottom line, you're saying to yourself, 'We need to win tomorrow's game. What gives you the best opportunity to win?'" To me, this says that Howard's the new star in net because he's being trusted with the must win situations.
- Yahoo! Sports will have a video stream of the game tonight. So watch it there (or if you have the regular tv station that works) and comment here!
- The Kings are a big, powerful obstacle in the way of the Detroit return to the playoff hunt. Currently, the Kings sit at a healthy 53 points in the Pacific Division. They've won their last 3 games (including a 6-2 drubbing of the Sharks) and
- Jonathan Quick--recently selected to team USA's roster--has a pretty good 2.56 GAA and is a good young netminder...much like the guy between the pipes in Motown. Quick will likely get the start in net tonight and has the potential to shut down the Wings.
- Other scores around the league: Buffalo 5-Tampa Bay 2, Minny 4-Calgary 1, NYI 3-Colorado 2. For more coverage of the NHL, check out SB Nation Hockey.
- If you're into college football, there's that National Championship thingy tonight. If you want to join the game thread for either Alabama or Texas, before joining us of course, the respective SB Nation affiliates are here: Roll Bama Roll and Burnt Orange Nation. This is a big time game from two powerhouses of college football and I for one will definitely be watching it before the Wings game.
Battle of California is your source for any Kings related odds & ends...I just can't help thinking of The Governator. Also, the Royal Half is a Kings specific blog outside of the SBNation network.
Check after the jump for the lines for tonight as well as more "insight" and stuff like that.
Expected forward lines (via Khan of MLive.com):