Frozen Royalty: Best Players Are Starting To Come Through
The LA Kings have bounced back from their rough losing streak with a tough win over the Detroit Red Wings last week. But, the players that are supposed to make a difference for the team finally are. Here’s Gann Matsuda’s latest story on the team. Enjoy!
LOS ANGELES — After a smoking hot 12-3-0 start followed by a 2-6-0 nose dive, one thing has been a constant for the Los Angeles Kings this season…
…that they have a gaping hole on their top line at left wing, as evidenced by the fact that so many players have played that position this season with varying degrees of success…or failure. Indeed, so many players have played alongside center Anze Kopitar that one could fill an entire roster just with those players.
That is an exaggeration, of course, but you get the point. The Kings’ first line was inconsistent, at best, during the team’s hot start. In fact, the first line was supplanted by the Kings’ second line of left wing Ryan Smyth, center Jarret Stoll, and right wing Justin Williams as their top offensive line in terms of production.
During their 2-6-0 skid, the Kings’ problems started in their own end, where they were giving up Grade A scoring chances and goals in bunches. But later in the slide, the problems moved to the other end of the ice as the team stopped scoring.
The solution? Following their 2-0 loss at Anaheim on November 29, head coach Terry Murray made yet another change on his top line, moving Williams up to play the right side with Kopitar while right wing Dustin Brown shifted over to left wing.
In the two games (both wins) the Kings have played since the change, the new first line has combined for four goals and four assists for eight points.
Two of the goals were game-winners by Kopitar, who has scored ten goals and has added 14 assists for 24 points in 25 games this season.
Kopitar was quietly putting up numbers during the Kings’ hot streak. But, like some of the other top players on the team, he appears to be heating up just as the Kings are getting healthy.
Read the rest on Frozen Royalty.