Morning Skate: Kick 'Em While They're Down

DETROIT, MI - MARCH 9: Drew Doughty #8 of the Los Angeles Kings takes a hit from Todd Bertuzzi #44 of the Detroit Red Wings in a game on March 9, 2011 at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan. The Kings defeated the Wings 2-1. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

All streaks must come to an end.

The Red Wings' streaky season is finished. So far this year the Wings either win a ton of games in a row or they lose multiple games in a row. I just have a feeling the rules for this season will be different after tonight. For the first time, Detroit is going to alternate wins and losses. There is just no way this team is going to lose this game tonight. They played well on Thursday and a knucklepuck from future Red Wing Shea Weber helped the Predators steal a victory from the Wings.

Well, this Kings team won't be stealing anything. This Kings team can't score. This Kings team isn't playing well. This Kings team is deflated and dejected after losing all month and getting their coach fired last Monday. Detroit is pissed off. Detroit wants to avenge the loss from last game.

Detroit is going to go all out.

It's going to be no mercy...no holds barred...falls count anywhere...beat the crap out of the Kings inside of a steel cage and crush their hopes and dreams because, damnit, the Wings can.

The Kings are a wounded animal right now and the Red Wings know it. Put that animal out of it's misery and collect two points.

Jewels From The Crown is your SBNation Kings' blog.

Puck drop is just after 7p ET.

The Expected Lineup

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Johan Franzen -- Pavel Datsyuk -- Todd Bertuzzi

Valtteri Filppula -- Henrik Zetterberg -- Jiri Hudler

Danny Cleary -- Darren Helm -- Drew Miller

Cory Emmerton -- Justin Abdelkader -- Tomas Holmstrom

*

Nicklas Lidstrom -- Ian White

Niklas Kronwall -- Brad Stuart

Jakub Kindl -- Jonathan Ericsson

*

Jimmy Howard (starting)

Ty Conklin

*

Scratches: Mike Commodore

Injuries: Jan Mursak (ankle), Patrick Eaves (jaw) and Chris Conner (hand)

KINGS HOW THEY MATCH UP RED WINGS
14-13-4 (32 pts; 10th in West) Record 19-10-1 (39 pts; 4th in West)
2.13 (30th) Goals Per Game 3.17 (5th)
2.23 (T-5th) Goals Against Per Game 2.23 (T-5th)
15.8% (22nd) Power Play % 21.3% (5th)
86.5% (6th) Penalty Kill % 80.5% (23rd)
Mike Richards (11 goals) Goal Leader Johan Franzen (14 goals)
Anze Kopitar (29 points) Points Leader Pavel Datsyuk (32 points)

  • The Red Wings are 78-77-27-2 (W-L-T-OTL) all-time against the Kings.
  • The Kings are 2-5-0 in the month of December. They ended a five game losing streak Thursday with a 2-1 win in Columbus. You have to figure that if you're going to end a losing streak that it's probably going to happen against the Blue Jackets.
  • I was absolutely shocked to see that the Kings have to lowest goals per game in the league. Here's a crazy stat for you: the Kings haven't scored more than two goals in a single game since November 23. They're 3-6-1 in that span.
  • Kopitar hasn't scored a goal in 10 games...so expect him to score one or two tonight.
  • We'll likely have a battle of the American goaltenders tonight. Jonathan Quick is 12-9-4 this season with a 2.09 GAA and a .930 SV% with four shutouts. Jimmy Howard is 18-7-1 with a 1.90 GAA and a .929 SV% with three shutouts. It's a battle for the right to call yourself the 2nd best American goalie in the league (behind Tim Thomas).

Prediction: The season of streaks comes to an end. Jimmy Howard tells hockey pundits everywhere to shut the hell up about how great Quick is and shutouts the Kings 4-0. Henrik Zetterberg scores twice and he's your player of the game.

Let's Go Red Wings.

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