Long ago, back before the salary cap was a thing, the Detroit Red Wings were hockey’s powerhouse franchise. Then the NHL put a clamp on spending, and Detroit managed to get into two Cup finals, winning one. They have dropped off since then, mired in first round exits at best.
The Kings, a few years later, made it to two finals, and won both times. Their road was a bit more up and down during the 2012 stretch, but they were certainly a top team without a doubt in 2013 and 2014. Then they sucked, through poor contract handling and criminal behavior.
Both teams now are a patchwork of veterans who are either entering the twilight of their careers or are well into it, and players from the AHL you have never heard of. The defenses are a definite hodgepodge mess full of questionable depth. Both have older American goalies whose skill level is either greatly exaggerated or severely under appreciated.
Detroit certainly is further along in their slide into oblivion. The Kings are probably still on their way, but they got an arena they have no intention of leaving, and one that didn’t stuff the public with paying hundreds of millions of dollars for them to blow ass in (only 71 million dollars! Ha!). Detroit also has dipped into the old moderately useless free agent pool more often than the Kings.
Mike Green! Trevor Daley! David Booth! All names you may vaguely recall from 2007. However they also have more younger players, and their pipeline isn’t in tatters like the Kings’ is. Sort of. Maybe? It kind of seems like every halfway decent prospect in Detroit flames out in their mid twenties into a flaming ball of mediocrity.
Good thing the Kings haven’t had that problem with guys like Nic Dowd, Jonny Brodzinski, and their plethora of defensemen. Well, yet. At least we are getting a jump start on Adrian Kempe.
A game of mediocre quality occurs and everyone leaves unhappy.