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Red Wings at Kings Game Day Update: Keys to the game, Lineups

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Los Angeles Kings v Detroit Red Wings Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Update if you’re local and planning on watching on FSD. Note the channel change

Reminder from practice yesterday as well

Forwards

Bertuzzi-Zetterberg-Nyquist

Mantha-Larkin-Helm

Athanasiou-Nielsen-Abdelkader

Svechnikov-Glendening-Frk

Defense

Ericsson-Daley

DeKeyser-Green

Kronwall-Jensen

Ouellet-Witkowski

Starting Goalie

Coreau

Kings projected lines coming from Sarah.A of Jewels From The Crown

Forwards

Iafallo-Kopitar-Brown

Rieder-Carter-Lewis

Pearson-Kempe-Toffoli

Clifford -Thompson-Mitchell

Defense

Forbort - Doughty

Martinez - Phaneuf

Muzzin - Folin

Starting Goalie

Quick

Keys to the Game

LET THE KIDS PLAY. ENOUGH OF THIS.

Hey KTBauer here, you know, the one who is usually by the dead horse beating it. I’m sorry but when your team has lost seven games in a row, at what point do you just say screw it, if we’re going to go down, lets at least learn something doing it? The Red Wings are in a sense doing what I want them to do and that is lose games to increase their odds of getting a top 3 pick. How they’re doing it is disturbing because it’s with the same team they’ve pretty much had all year. It’s in the same fashion they’ve played all year: awful powerplay, weak presence on the boards, lack of a legitimate net front presence, players not consistently knowing their roles, and awful defense 1 through 6. At this point, to quote Duke from Rocky 4, “THROW THE DAMN TOWEL” and if you’re going to call up Svechnikov play him. I’m glad Bertuzzi has battled his way into some big minutes and has continued to thrive since Tatar’s trade. Great, if he makes a mistake, he’s a big boy, let him play through it. How about instead of playing Ouellet and Witkowski, an ineffective bottom pairing that’s spent most of the season in the press box you give Filip Hronek and JOE F***ING HICKETTS a chance? What is there to lose when you’ve lost seven in a row with this bathtub of cold gravy Blashill and Holland call a lineup. Actually my biggest fear is the kids would screw around and win some games. Hell play Witkowski 12 minutes a night and keep tanking.

Dustin Brown Is Somehow Good Again

Well, good for what you’d expect for Brown at this point in his career. There was a point in time I really liked the Kings. I know, I know, I’ve since sought help and I’m doing much better now. They were fun to watch early in the decade and in that sense kind of likeable. But it’s weird the core of this team has stuck around, gone through a collective tough stretch and bounced back. Brown is emblemmatic of that. He had his captaincy stripped, had four straight seasons under 30 points, and all this happened after signing an 8 year extension in 2013. This year he’s on pace for his best season since 2011-12. Not only are his point totals back to that time in his career but his ice time and shooting percentage are too. I suspect it has something to do with new head coach John Stevens reuniting him with Anze Kopitar after they had spent years apart. Kopitar is also having a bounce back year returned to his all-star caliber.

Larkin’s Season is Wrapping Up Nicely

I’ll be watching Larkin closely tonight as he continues to be one of the very few enjoyable aspects of this team. If you think of it, Larkin has been great and fun to watch consistently and I cannot think of another Red Wing I can say that about. I have reason to think next season is going to be a true break out campaign for Larkin. Another season with Mantha and now Bertuzzi coming along nicely—unfortunately I’m not holding my breath for Athanasiou—I can see a big increase in goals next season. He’s grown so much as a center, when it appeared last season he struggling to grasp the position. As we’ve seen with some other young players (COjonathandrouinUGH) it’s not a position you can just slot into and become a star in this league. It took him a year but he’s there. Larkin is shooting under 5% this season. I don’t see how that continues. We’ve seen him straight up struggle to finish and I think that’s his last step to take. Next season he gets there and he returns to all-star form. Right now he’s the only reason to watch this team and I’ll be watching tonight.

Bertuzzi Is That (sigh) “Sandpaper”

You know what those flashy, silky soft, golden blonde Swedes been missin?! A GOOD OL’ SUDBURY BOY I TELL YA! (pounds on desk, Ron MacLean dies a little more inside) Yes, Don Cherry made it into this GDU because I have a feeling he likes Bertuzzi and you know, I do too! And judging by their chemistry, I bet Nyquist and Zetterberg do also. There hasn’t been much to write about through out this losing streak, but Bertuzzi has had some balanced games here and there where he provides that grittiness the Wings have been missing but with some actual skill to back it up. Not that he even had renown skill but Dan Cleary 2007-2010 comes to mind, you know, before the “loyalty contracts”. That would be a damn good asset in your lineup. Bertuzzi appears on track to fill that role.