Morning Skate: Classy like Kings

Detroit's won the first two games of its California trip against San Jose and Anaheim in convincing fashion. Tonight they head to Los Angeles to close out the trip and try to earn all six points on the West Coast. The Wings could make a statement by sweeping this trip but they'll have a question mark in net as Chris Osgood hasn't played in a long time. Will the Detroit defense be solid in front of him and make it easier on his return or will the Kings try to capitalize on that early?

IMPORTANT!!

Hey folks, so we've got a bit of a new format that we're going to try out for our little prediction contest. It gets a little difficult to track all of the predictions throughout the day with all of our schedules so we're going to try something a bit new out after the jump to make things easier. Don't forget to vote on it either.

Jewels From The Crown

New format and game preview after the jump.

  • Chris Osgood will start for Detroit tonight. This is Osgood's first start since waaaaaaaay back on October 30, a 5-2 win over Nashville. This will be only the fifth start of the year for Osgood. The biggest key tonight will be how he plays. If he's rusty (which he probably will be) early and the Wings get inundated with shots, they could be battling tough all game. What do you guys think? Will he be strong or very rusty in his first start in over a month?
  • The Kings started out on fire going 11-3-0 and were quickly at the top of everyone's hot to trot list (yeah, I said hot-to-trot. big woop, wanna fight about it?). But since then, the Kings have dropped 7 of their last 9 contests and have won over the lowly Panthers and a shootout win over the Bruins. Most of these games have been pretty close but they're still losses. Does a different team show up to play Detroit tonight?
  • Go vote for the Curly
  • The Kings are lead offensively by a triumvirate of players: Justin Williams, Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown--all three have 9 goals. After that, the Kings' scoring depth at forward drops off quite a bit.
  • The Kings have a pretty solid young tandem of goaltenders in Jonathan Quick and Jonathan Bernier. Quick has a 1.92 GAA in a 12-5-0 record. Bernier's record and GAA are a little lower but he's got a lot of future potential and some actually believe he'll surpass Quick at some point.
  • Don't look now but the Wings are leading the NHL in goals per game with 3.57. The Kings are 19th with 2.62. How pleased have you been with Detroit's offense to this point?
  • Who loves Dan Cleary? Raise your hand. Cleary had 10 goals in the month of November and started December right by scoring last night.
  • Player of the Game prediction: Submit below, I'm commenting with mine below
  • Score Prediction: Same as above

New format for the predictions contest.

Below you will find a google form. In the google form, fill in your SB Nation username and your two predictions. Of course, you can still comment with them below and we encourage you to do so because you can get an idea of how other people are feeling about the game as well. You can't change your result once you submit it the first time but you can always submit it again and make a note in the player or score box. Of course, we're able to tell when you submit so there's no way to cheat.

 

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