Role reversal

The Kings find themselves in an unusual, albeit positive, situation tonight. More than halfway through the season, they’re ahead of the Detroit Red Wings in the Western Conference standings. It’s far too early to say that a balance of power has shifted in the West, and I would say the money is still on the Red Wings making the playoffs, but the Kings have a golden opportunity tonight to put even more distance between themselves and Detroit.

The Wings are scheduled to get Henrik Zetterberg and Dan Cleary back in the lineup tonight, which certainly will give them a different look. I asked Terry Murray today about the difference of having the Red Wings behind the Kings in the standings…

MURRAY: “It hasn’t happened for any team in the league over the last 15 years very often. They’ve been a great team for a long period of time. We respect the fact that they’ve had a lot of key injuries, top players out of the lineup. It’s tough, sometimes, to get it to where you want it to be. I know they’ve got a couple guys coming back in tonight, so we just have to make sure that we’re ready to play our game. That’s the most important thing for me.”

Murray was then asked if the returns of Zetterberg and Cleary would alter the way he approaches the game at all…

MURRAY: “Zetterberg will play with Datsyuk, so that was the matchup anyway. You have to make sure that you’re doing the right things against that No. 1 line of theirs, and adding Zetterberg to the line will not change my game plan, as far as the look I want to have against them.”

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