The Los Angeles Kings and the Detroit Red Wings are expected to be two of the premier teams in NHL betting action in the Western Conference. Matters haven’t really gone their way this year though, and the two will both look for two points against each other when they meet on Sunday afternoon in the NBC NHL Game of the Week.
The Kings really have been pretty darn bad, as they were dealt a 3-0 loss against the Nashville Predators on the road on Thursday night for their seventh loss in 10 games this season. This defeat was particularly bad because the offense just never got off of the mat. That took away the momentum from a team that had scored eight goals in its previous two games. Of course, it really isn’t helping any that G Jonathan Quick is about a half goal per game off of his average from last year when he led the team to the Stanley Cup. Even when Los Angeles was winning in the playoffs, the offense wasn’t always quite clicking when push came to shove. It was Quick that was the man of the hour, but even he has struggled this season, and that isn’t going to cut it if the Kings are even going to get back in the playoffs to have a shot at defending the Cup.
Detroit is coming off of a relatively ugly 2-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday, a game that gave them their second win in a row and sixth in 11 games on the season. The Central Division is as tight as could be, knowing that the aforementioned Predators, the Red Wings, and the St. Louis Blues are all separated by just a point coming into action on Sunday. The Chicago Blackhawks are well ahead of them all. They all expect to get into the second season, but it might be a long, uphill climb for that to happen. Now might be the time to give G Jimmy Howard a rest. He stopped 23-of-24 shots in yesterday’s win against Edmonton, but it might be time for an off day. We are expecting to see Howard give it a go, but if he doesn’t, it’ll be up to G Petr Mrazek to make his second career start in net. The 22-year old has played just once in his career, he stopped 26-of-27 shots to pick up a ‘W’ in his only start.
The Kings really have to get it back together at some point, and one would like to think that a couple of days off would help matters. Unfortunately, we just don’t believe so. Home ice advantage is enough for us to think that the men from Motown are going to log another two points.
Los Angeles Kings @ Detroit Red Wings Pick: Detroit Red Wings