Thursday, October 15, 2009

Detroit Red Wings v. Los Angeles Kings 10/15/09

Wings offense v. Kings defense:
Another crucial piece of the Wings offense will be missing tonight. Pavel Datsyuk isn't playing tonight, as he's out with an upper body injury. This matchup isn't as favorable as it used to be, as the Kings have some pretty solid defensemen in U of M grad Jack Johnson and Drew Doughty. I think the Wings offense has the advantage here, however, because they should be determined not to get outskated again tonight. I wouldn't be surprised if the Wings score 4 tonight, with at least three of those being tip ins and tough work goals. The Kings are allowing 28 shots per game, which is pretty respectable but not stiffling. Keep in mind that LA played a tough game against NYR last night, and that could work against the Kings tonight.
Kings offense v. Wings defense:
The Kings have been impressive so far, averaging 3.5 goals per game on 28.3 shots. Ryan Smyth has at least a point in all of the Kings games so far, and talented center Anze Kopitar already has 10 points. I really don't know what to expect here. If the Wings play like they did against Chicago and Washington, then this matchup shouldn't be a problem. But if the Wings blow defensive assignments and look as slow as they did against Buffalo then this could be a long night.
Wings goaltending:
Osgood gets the start again, and I'd expect him to have a good night. If the Wings tighten up defensively this shouldn't be a problem. I don't think many of the goals against Buffalo were directly attributable to mistakes by Osgood, and I think he's played well so far this year.
Kings goaltending:
It looks like Jonathan Quick will get the start tonight. He's gotten better as the season has gone on after a couple of shaky starts early. His stats are a little diluted by this, but his save percentage and GAA aren't anything to write home about (.898 and 3.00, respectively). If he continues to play as well as he has the last two games (1 GA and save percentage of .966% in both) then the Wings are in trouble.
An opportunity to lose any credibility I have (aka my score prediction):
Wings 4 - Kings 1

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