Colonel and Co. Showing Worth
Or, it could be a blessing in disguise.
Let’s dive into a couple of assets that have shown face recently, both players mighty quiet throughout the season. Neither of the following players are going to save the season for the Kings, but their recent output (if you really call it that) spotlights where this club is really hurting.
Want that big-name, proven talent top-6 type of forward to make way to Los Angeles via another Dean Lombardi deal? That’s the attractive option, there’s another way to look at it.
Kyle Clifford and Trevor Lewis have both been showing more than just hard work and dependable presence as of late, they’ve been hitting the score sheet. With the boost in play the Kings’ 4th line has seen since Darryl Sutter‘s arrival, this needed to happen sooner than later.
Kyle Clifford has 9 points this season, he’s recorded a point or greater in 7 games this year. The Kings are 6-1-0 in those contests. Trevor Lewis has 3 points this season, he’s recorded a point in 3 separate games. The Kings are 2-0-1 when Lewis chips in. That makes the Kings 8-1-1 when these two 4th-liners ink the score sheet. These moments haven’t been just a personal boost for Clifford and Lewis, but to the Kings and their biggest problem this year – scoring. In Clifford’s 7 games with a point, the Kings have totaled 24 goals, a 3.43 goals-per average. In Lewis’ 3 games with a point, the Kings have totaled 14 goals, a 4.67 goals-per average.
Those medians are a far cry from the club’s lowly average of 2.13 goals per game this season, which sits dead last in the NHL.
This really shows what production from a 3rd or 4th line can do to a club, it has an effect on the big-name role players, alleviates some pressure. The stats, even though I’m not a numbers guy, avidly agree.
I’m a bit thrown off when it comes to hunting down a big-name on the market come the trade-deadline. The Kings have the firepower, the frustration has been it’s extreme lack in output. What has made it even more frustrating? When that top-6 firepower doesn’t do the job, no one’s going to do it – as such with the Kings this year. If the Kings are to deal before February 27th, it should be a couple of under the radar moves to solidify the 3rd and 4th lines.
Really, it should take nothing for the Jonathan Bernier trade activists to get excited about, there’s no blockbuster solution this year. For the Kings and Dean Lombardi, it may be another move similar to two years ago, roping in Jeff Halpern and Fredrik Modin – but not quite that cheap. The trade may be as boring as watching this team, but it’s one that will suit the Kings much better in the long run.
To be honest, it wouldn’t be an invalid argument to claim the Kings are a fresh 3rd and/or 4th liner away from finally hitting a stride this year.
Deals aside, Kyle Clifford has been heckling defensive zones since Darryl Sutter‘s arrival, notching 20 shots in 17 games. Only 7 less than he had in his first 33 appearances.
Sh*t starts looking like a mental ward when it gets this good
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