Morning Skate: Red Wings @ Kings

Winging It In Motown

Time: 10:30 PM Eastern
Place: Arena
Radio: 97.1 FM The Ticket
Kings Blog: Jewels from the Crown

The Wings head for LA tonight to start a West Coast + Columbus road trip. Detroit fell apart in the third period on Thursday against the Rangers, losing 8-2. It was an ugly way to end what was previously a fairly close game, but with the day off and a long flight, hopefully the Wings got their defensive issues figured out. By the end of the Rangers game they were pretty much letting anyone waltz in on Husso like everyone had his dance card.

It wasn’t that long ago that the California teams dominated the Pacific Division, but each team took a plunge at some point. The LA Kings are the only ones to really have rebounded and have started the season with a respectable 9-6-1 record, good for second in their division. Anze Kopitar is still the engine that drives this team, and he’s third with points at 13. Gabe Vilardi and Kevin Fiala pace ahead of him with 15 points each. Drew Doughty (sigh) continues to be their staunchest blue liner, and while Jonathan Quick isn’t the goaltender he once was, he still hasn’t given up their net.

We should expect a reconstituted defensive effort from Detroit, especially from the blueliners. The Rangers also exposed Detroit’s aggressive forecheck at times, using it to draw players out of position. Hopefully Lalonde has some structural solution ready to go, or a late night will get even longer.

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