Smyth and Westgarth Look Back to Move Forward

Nine days ago the Kings lost 7-3 to the Red Wings at Staples Center.

Defenseman Willie Mitchell said LA ‘dominated’ that game.

Regardless, they didn’t get the two points they needed. However, the two teams will meet again tonight in Detroit.

Some of the Red Wings’ motivation for the last game may have come from the Kings 5-0 shutout when the two teams met up in December.

It’s something I asked Ryan Smyth and Kevin Westgarth about before the team left LA to begin this four-game road trip…

MM: Do you think the ‘Wings were out to send a message after the December game or was it more that they scored a couple of early goals and built some momentum?

Smyth – “Well, I’m not too sure what they were thinking. But, obviously they were thinking come out and rebound. After we were up 1-0 I thought we had a few chances early and then they – they’re a good team, they’re a measuring stick, they hound the puck really well, all four lines and obviously their d-core are very solid.”

Westgarth – “I’m sure it was a little bit of everything. Every team in this league has a memory. Guys don’t like to get embarrassed, especially at home, and they got a couple…uh, (long pause)…I guess, lucky goals on us early on – that got us behind the eight-ball. I think we played really well. The irony in this Detroit series this season is that, I think, every team that has been out shot has won the game. So, it’s been the battle of attrition going both ways in some ways. We look forward to the rematch.”

The two players will have vastly different views of the game, as Smyth will probably get heavy minutes skating on the second line with Jarret Stoll.

Meanwhile, Westgarth will sit this one out in favor of Brad Richardson on the fourth line.

Can the Kings win in Detroit for the third straight time (dating back to January 2010), take the season series three games to one and get a measure of revenge for last week?

What they want more than any of those things is actually two things – points.

The Mayor
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John Hoven is a member of the of the Professional Hockey Writers Association and co-hosts Kings of the Podcast. He is also the founder and editor of MayorsManor.com, which has been named Best Sports Blog in Los Angeles by LA Weekly and Hockey Blog of the Year by Yahoo Sports. Click "ABOUT OUR TEAM" above for a full bio.