Morning Skate: One more game until H2H2

Tonight we need more shoot (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

 

And we're back.

Three days off after the Debacle in the Desert and the Red Wings are hopefully rested up and ready to go.  Detroit will welcome the Los Angeles Kings to the Joe.  Just last week the Wings stormed out of the gate in the first game of their west coast trip and defeated the Kings 7-4.  It was a game that saw the Wings play 2.5 periods of hockey.  I have a feeling that 60 minutes will be necessary against a LA team fighting for a playoffs spot and also looking for some revenge. 

Jewels From The Crown is your SBNation Kings blog.

More after the jump.

 

The Expected Line-up

Henrik Zetterberg -- Pavel Datsyuk -- Danny Cleary

Todd Bertuzzi -- Valtteri Filppula -- Johan Franzen

Justin Abdelkader -- Mike Modano -- Tomas Holmstrom

Jiri Hudler -- Darren Helm -- Drew Miller/Kris Draper

 

Nicklas Lidstrom -- Brad Stuart

Niklas Kronwall -- Jonathan Ericsson

Ruslan Salei -- Jakub Kindl

 

Jimmy Howard (starting)

Joey MacDonald

 

Healthy Scratch: Drew Miller or Kris Draper

Injuries: Brian Rafalski (back spasms), Patrick Eaves (groin), Chris Osgood (groin)

 

It appears that Uncle Mike is mixing up the lines for this one.  Who can blame the guy?  The effort in the last few games on the west coast were not inspiring.  It's always nice to see Hank and Pav back together.  There is no doubt that they can work well with Cleary, but I'm curious how Homer with do with Abby and Modano.  I remember early in the year that Cleary/Modano/Abdelkader were playing really well together before Mike got hurt.  I'd like to see Cleary and Homer switch between the 1st and 3rd line.  My initial reaction to Hudler on the 4th line was "why?"  But whether it's Miller or Drapes in the line-up, that 4th line will not only have their usual speed, but a little skill added to the mix.  Helm has been playing extremely well lately...Hudler too.  Maybe Happy can help Helm find more of a scoring touch.  Still no Eaves.  Ozzie should be back this weekend.  Rafalski is still M.I.A. with his back issues.  So much for that being a one game thing back in Buffalo.

 

DET
HOW THEY MATCH UP
LA
3.3 (1st IN NHL)
GOALS PER GAME
2.7 (21st IN NHL)
2.9 (19th)
GOALS AGAINST PER GAME
2.4 (7th)
21.6% (5th)
POWER PLAY %
16.8% (19th)
82.3% (16th)
PENALTY KILLING %
84.6% (6th)
Franzen (27 goals)
GOAL LEADER
Willaims (21 goals)
Zetterberg (69 points)
POINTS LEADER
Kopitar (65

 

  • The Wings are 1-1-1 against the Kings this season and 77-76-27-2 (W-L-T-OTL) all time.
  • Two straight losses and a 7-9-2 record at home since the start of December for Detroit.
  • Outside of Rafalski's back, injuries are no longer an excuse for this team.  We're about a month from the end of the regular season and I'm really hoping the team can being to pull it together, tighten things up on the back end, and get rolling.  A win at home would be a good start.
  • H2H2 is almost upon us!  I know Andy from Fight Night at the Joe has already flown to Detroit from Norway and will be at tonight's game.  Our own Casey will be there too as well as a ton of others.  I will sadly be working, but cannot wait for Friday's festivities.  Let us know in the comments if you're going to be a tonight's game and/or H2H2.
  • And getting a little off topic here, since I live in Boston and work for the sports network that broadcasts the Bruins, I'm curious what the feeling is about Zdeno Chara's hit on Max Pacioretty last night?  Pacioretty and Chara have a history this season after Max bumped (or hit violently if you ask a B's fan) Chara after scoring an OT goal.  There was some revenge in the 8-6 Brawl in Beantown in February.   Was it a dirty, intentional hit? Or just an unfortunate incident?  What does the WIIM community think?

Prediction: We're due for a shutout.  I feel like despite the outcomes, Howard has played well since signing his extension.  I predict we will all shout out JIMMAH a few times and the Red Wings win 2-0.  And of course, Howard is your player of the game.

 

 

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