It was the first practice for newly acquired defenseman Keaton Ellerby and with the amount of work he got in first day as a King, it is safe to assume he will see some action when the Kings head into Detroit. The Kings are certainly hoping the former top 10 pick will provide a spark that has been missing so far this season.
The reigning champs have struggled to get going this season. Their lackluster performance is illustrated nicely by their lack of success in power play situations. There are just three teams who have a lower power play percentage, and while the Kings defense has been great, second in the league in defending against the shot, their offense has not been good enough to over come their deficiencies.
The Red Wings are the exact opposite when it comes to killing the penalty. They are currently tied with the Washington Capitals for the most power play goals allowed this season. Both teams have allowed 15 goals and are three goals worse than the next team on the list. With Detroit having only played 11 games so far this season, the numbers would indicate that they are giving up better than one power play goal per game.
It will be interesting to watch on Sunday, as the two teams try to turn their biggest weakness into a game-changing strength. Detroit’s goalie Jimmy Howard is coming off of one of his best games of the season, and he will be looking to keep that going against the struggling Kings. It may be enough to give them an edge in the penalty department, which could spell doom for last season’s winners of the Stanley Cup.