Dancing in the Reign: With Support, Consistency, Stoll’s Goals No Fool’s Gold
After quite an impressive start to begin the season, Jarret Stoll‘s offensive production came to a halt. The stats don’t lie, Stoll marked the scoresheet frequently and consistently recording 7 goals and 17 assists for 24 points in the first 19 games of the campaign. The next 19 games? 0 Goals, 5 Assists. Near the end of Stoll’s recent drought, Terry Murray called out the struggling forward. Per Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times, here’s what Murray had to say about Stoll’s recent play:
“One goal, five assists in the month of December and that was Dec. 2. I’m aware of it. The line, we need it to get going. That’s the line that played very well for us at the start of the year.”
Shortly thereafter, Terry Murray demoted Stoll to the third line. Since the move, he’s answered with 5 goals and an assist. Among the numerous line changes that have jumbled the lineup, you can give a thumbs up to this one. Let’s be honest, Jarret Stoll is not a second-line caliber centerman on a good, playoff contending team. For some time, that’s where he’s been for the Kings, and it’s due to the lack of having a solid core of top six forwards. This has been a good fit, yet it’s only been five games. There’s no question he’ll continue to see time on the powerplay as well, and we saw changes last night that fit Stoll’s approach. The Kings are shooting more, they’re creating traffic by putting the puck on net. Stoll’s got the shot, and he’ll find success in the low slot when he’s on par.
At this point, you can’t help but ride the streak and keep him put. When you’re getting points from depth players such as Jarret Stoll, it opens opportunities for the top two lines. It’s going to give the third line faceoffs, with Anze Kopitar and Michal Handzus still spreading their traits with their respective sets. When trade talks arise, Jarret Stoll‘s name usually graces the discussion. He’s locked down through the 2011-2012 season with a cap hit of $3.6 million a season. If a big name does in fact catch the eye of Dean Lombardi as the trade deadline approaches, the Kings are going to need to dump some cash. If Stoll continues his success on the third line, and proves he can be a valuable asset on the back end of this offense, he may not have to depart if we do acquire a top six forward.