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Kings Gameday: There Goes the Goodwill

Los Angeles Kings (Bad) vs. Detroit Red Wings (Good)

7:30 PST, FSN West

The Kings have played pretty well lately; they've won 4 out of their last 5 and only need to win 2 more games to actually finish above .500 for the month. Unfortunately, the Kings now play two games against the Detroit Red Wings and the Anaheim Ducks. On the one hand, they're the probably the two teams I fear playing the most and the Kings will get them back to back. On the other hand... well, he's scared too. I mean, we could always win one of these games, but I'm not very optimistic.

Michal Handzus will be very important against the Red Wings. He, along with Calder and whoever else they seem fit to place next to them, will need to stop Detroit's top line of Datsyuk, Zetterberg, and Holmstrom. The line created 2 goals the last time the Kings played them and Handzus will have to work hard to prevent that from happening again. Can he do it? I don't know, I just write for a blog. Wait for the game to start and don't be so anxious.

Against the Ducks, the important line will be Kopitar's. I mean, they're always the most important line because they're our best, but they're especially important against the Ducks. The last time the Kings played in Anaheim, Carlyle placed Getzlaf's line up against Kopitar's and it worked pretty well. Getzlaf's line cycled the puck in the Kings' zone the entire time, giving Kopitar and Brown no puck possession time. I imagine the Ducks will try that again and it's up to Brown and Patrick O'Sullivan to get Kopitar the puck with room to move.

Of course, all of this is moot if Labarbera plays like he did against the Flames (because we'll lose) or against the Canucks (because we'll win). Forgive my pessimism, but I think it's probably unrealistic if I did something retarded like predict the Kings win the next 2 games. We're not as bad as our record suggests, but we're definitely not good enough yet to beat the two best teams in the Western Conference.

Prediction: Kings win, 4-2. Goals by O'Sullivan and Blake.

Note: Any Detroit fans want to posit any offers for Rob Blake, feel free to do so in the comments.