The Wings' California road trip was slightly hampered at the end by an overtime loss against the Kings. Tonight, the Wings get the chance to take revenge when the Kings roll into the Joe. To give us the down-low on the Kings season and what to expect tonight Marie Stiles from the excellent Kings blog Purple Crushed Velvet was nice enough to provide some really great answers to my questions about the Kings. Here is what she had to say:
1. The Kings have been incredibly streaky so far this year. What are the reasons for this and how can they find a way to win on a more stable regular basis?
Marie: The Kings have definitely been streaky so far. They were great the beginning of the season, even led the NHL at one point, probably only for a day, and then things went downhill in November. The Kings aren't getting enough scoring. The offensive production is only coming from a handful of guys and more need to step up, including a couple defensemen named Jack and Drew. The penalty kill is still strong and I think it definitely helped them during the winning streak, but it faltered a bit during the losing streak. I think the most recent wins, especially the one against the Wings at the beginning of December, will help with confidence and they'll find a way to play more consistently.
2. How far can the Kings go this year? Do you see them challenging for the a spot in the finals or do they need another year or two?
Marie: It'll be very disappointing if they don't make the playoffs. I can see them making the second round, possibly the third depending on the matchups and what happens at the trade deadline. But I don't think they'll be making a Cup Finals appearance just yet.
3. The Kings have a few exciting rookies coming up into the league, which one are you the most excited about?
Marie: Initially I was excited about Brayden Schenn and he looked pretty good at the beginning of the season. I think there's a lot of potential there so maybe next year he'll get a crack at a spot on one of the top three lines, instead of being a fourth line energy guy this year. I've been waiting patiently the past couple years for Thomas Hickey to make the big leagues, but it looks like I'll have to wait another year or two for that kid to be ready. I've been most impressed with Alec Martinez, who was called up before the game against Montreal, and then proceeded to score his first NHL goal in that game. He played a couple games last season and I do not remember him at all from those games. But Kings fans are definitely going to remember him this year.
4. What do you fear from the Wings team in this upcoming game?
Marie: I always fear everything about the Wings except for the goaltending. But usually it doesn't matter who is in goal for Detroit because the rest of the team is so damn good.
5. What should the Wings be worried about from the Kings?
Marie: If the rest of the team doesn't shit the bed, then the Wings should be worried about goaltending. The second line of Smyth-Stoll-Williams has been on fire this season and in most nights are more of a threat than the top line. It should be a good game.
Definitely should be a good one, and I agree, the Martinez kid impressed me in the last game. Thanks to Marie for taking the time to do this!
3 years ago