In praise of the Red Wings

It’s no surprise to see the Detroit Red Wings, the defending Stanley Cup champions, back near the top of the Western Conference standings. The Kings have faced the Red Wings twice this season, losing 4-3 in a shootout at home on Oct. 27 and losing 6-4 at Detroit on Dec. 20. Terry Murray was asked about the Red Wings, specifically which part of their game he would like to see the Kings duplicate…

MURRAY: “Well, they do everything so well. The area of their game that is really tremendous, I think, is their transition game. They come at you with speed. As a group, they have the composure to be able to handle the pressure that comes at them on the neutral zone, forecheck side of things. They get the forwards back into position so they can generate that speed with the puck. They do it against every team. Every time I watch that team play, they are incredibly fast through the middle of the ice, to offensive-zone possession and generating a quality scoring chance at the net. That’s a pretty general answer, but they are better than any other team in the league at it, in my mind. They get the puck into the hands of their best players at the right time, so that they have to speed to come at you, and that’s a real skill, to be able to do that. That’s a compliment to their defensemen. They’re waiting for the forward to get back and get position, to get himself turned up ice. Then that little five-foot, four-foot handoff pass is there and they’re gone, and you get Datsyuk and Zetterberg in the middle of the ice, and those are world-class players who can generate a lot off the attack. They’re fun to watch in that area.”

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