The Los Angeles Kings should be at the beginning of their Stanley Cup defense. Instead, the NHL is locked out. Games are cancelled but Keith and Chris are back in action with a brand new episode. In this show we talk about the NHL lockout, talk LA Kings players in Europe, debut some special edition t-shirts and say “See Ya!” to Scott Parse.
Andrei Loktionov has the longest name on the Kings’ Stanley Cup-winning roster.
A whopping 15 letters if you can count; And his name, they’re counting that out.
The seasoned prospect out of Voskresensk, Russia, who has played in three separate stints with the Kings, contributed moderately to this year’s franchise accomplishment, skating in 39 regular season games, along with two appearances in the playoffs.
The harsh decision to leave Loktionov out of the 52 (now 53) Stanley Cup trophy name engravement list had nothing to do with his lengthy name, or the number of games he played. Loktionov was a mere two games short of the NHL‘s minimum requirement of regular season games played (41) to guarantee a spot for his name on the Stanley Cup.
Two other skaters who fell short of the 41 game requirement, however, were given the honor of having their names etched onto the Stanley Cup trophy.
Kevin Westgarth appeared in just 25 regular season games, 14 less than Loktionov, and his name graces the Cup. Davis Drewiske only dressed in nine regular season games for the Kings, 30 less than Loktionov, and has his name etched onto the trophy as well.
The reasoning for this, which Rich Hammond hinted at, is most likely due to Westgarth and Drewiske’s strong and positive presence off the ice, in the locker room. This is something I could definitely see and believe.
Apparently, the Kings had the opportunity to petition to the NHL to have Loktionov’s name inscribed. Hammond broke the news that the Kings didn’t even make an attempt to do so.
They write checks
Corporate Perks: The other issue here, and the one that seems to be the most bothersome to many fans including myself, are the list of non-player names to be included in the Kings’ newly etched spot on the Stanley Cup trophy.
Fourteen names from ownership, five names from coaching staff, six names from the scouting department, and four names from the training staff were included. That’s 29 total names, roster players aside, yet there’s no room for Andrei Loktionov.
The group of names dedicated to ownership is usually the most disgusting list to grace the Stanley Cup trophy. Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs did his best to make a mockery of the Bruins’ engravings last season, including his three children on the list.
That’s horrible. There’s no place for that, especially when players are kicked to the side.
We’re not at the dinner table, here. Separate family from work, and do so with respect.
Kings’ owner Philip Anschutz, who just put the team up for sale along with his entire AEG Enterprise, didn’t go as far as Jeremy Jacobs, but he did include his wife, Nancy Anschutz, to the Kings engravings this year.
The sport of hockey exemplifies teamwork to the utmost degree, it builds camaraderie rarely seen or experienced elsewhere. Every player matters, and every player must have a selfless side if they plan on being a successful pro hockey player.
Andrei Loktionov dedicated more time, effort, and struggle to play with this club than 39 regular season game appearances can begin to justify. And he did so away from his natural position, call it a double whammy.
That’s why this is so bothersome; and without hesitation, I can strongly express my distaste for Nancy Anschutz‘s name gracing the Stanley Cup ahead of Andrei Loktionov.
I’ll stop there.
Put it in writing, won’t you
The full list of names, via Rich Hammond of the LA Kings Insider: HERE
Andrei the — but wait
Other Omissions: Three players and a former coach have also been negated from Stanley Cup trophy engravement.
Trent Hunter: Put on waivers and sent to the AHL‘s Manchester Monarchs on February 17, Hunter played in just 38 games with the Kings, putting up two goals and five assists for seven points.
Ethan Moreau: Put on waivers by the Kings on December 9, but Moreau instead decided to end his pro hockey career. Moreau played in 28 games for the Kings, potting a goal and three assists.
Scott Parse: Parse, still struggling with a hip injury, played in just nine games for the Kings this season. His final contest of the season came on November 8. He totaled two goals in his quick appearance.
Terry Murray: The former coach, who led the Kings through 275 games and two playoff appearances over four seasons, is another controversial name that was axed. Murray was fired on December 12th.
Andrei Loktionov: Is not good at interviews. This is wonderfully uncomfortable. (Below)
Lokt and Loaded
Contrary to recent reports that claimed Andrei Loktionov was to head home to Russia and sign with a Kontinental Hockey League club during the NHL lockout, the Kings’ young forward prospect reported to Manchester, New Hampshire on Friday.
Loktionov, for now at least, will spend his NHL lockout playing with the AHL‘s Manchester Monarchs.
Nobody said life was fair. For Andrei Loktionov, the hockey world has hit the kid with some humbling circumstances, just after he played a role in achieving the sport’s most glorious goal.
Even-Keel: Just about everything for the Kings was on perfect terms when I last did the Inter-web thing. Jonathan Quick was inking record books, the Kings’ accounted for every point available during their first 3 games against Western Conference opponents, and most notably had yet to lose a game in regulation.
As common trend and perception would have it, such a start wouldn’t last forever – a few setbacks are expected, nothing out of the ordinary. But really, does this fanbase now have the ability to direct certain attention to smaller, finite details, things that may have been overlooked in the past due to the team’s struggling aroma? Those details are engrained in the club’s previous four games, the result of which was a 1-2-1 record with just three points earned.
The criticism motioned toward Terry Murray‘s goalie decisions is warranted to a certain degree, but not a valid issue to point blame. In order for Jamie Kompon to institute powerplay success, which went 3 for 15 in the last four contests, shots need to start hitting the net. Really, how much is Davis Drewiske worth to this defense? I think he’s worth waivers for Slava Voynov‘s cause. Scott Parse is scoring goals, but his 12 penalty minutes in 3 games are threatening to overshadow those contributions – Stop getting booked for interference and tripping. Anze Kopitar is awesome. This is looking to be the start of the downward slope to the end of an NHL hockey career for Dustin Penner.
That other guy: I’m in the minority here, but I both liked and respected Terry Murray‘s decision to start Jonathan Bernier Tuesday night. What was the big goaltending issue just a couple seasons back? Trust. Murray didn’t trust Erik Ersberg, so Murray worked Quick like a tax-return agent gets worked in April. You can’t have trust issues with a goaltender like Bernier, and Murray showed where his head was. Bernier hadn’t played since October 8th, his only start in the Kings’ first six games.
And yes, I realize Ersberg is no Bernier, but Murray can’t rest on the back of one guy again. Whether you want Bernier played as trade bait, or played for the right reasons, it doesn’t matter. Mix occasional and consistent together, he deserves that. In fact, I’d like to see Bernier get one of these next three dates. Spotty, but consistent appearances for Bernier will play into Jonathan Quick‘s favor down the road.
Here’s the goal that effectively ruined Erik Ersberg‘s ’09-’10 season, and ultimately his NHL career. That was the only shot the New York Rangers took in that fateful 3rd period, and that also may be the most disgusting shot Marian Gaborik has ever released.
Stick around for a while.
Accommodations: Drew Doughty is on everyone’s radar with every stride, which makes it easier to pick apart his unsettled play thus far. It also makes it harder to accept Slava Voynov‘s AHL demotion. Doughty’s got a lot on his shoulders right now, and that weight will probably sit for the majority of the season. He’s working to overcome a late arrival, a minor injury, and appearances that haven’t exactly matched the status his name holds. However, unfair to take jabs this early.
It’ll be a bit of time for Drew Doughty to get in full-sync with the team, and himself. That’s where it hurts to not have Voynov in the mix. With Voynov’s AHL assignment, you’re putting – from what I’ve seen, a back-end responsible, offensively aware young defenseman who many believe is NHL-ready in no man’s land in regards to the status of his progress. Voynov’s development and exposure is ready for a lengthy NHL gig, his future with the Kings puts Davis Drewiske‘s to shame.
That’s where legalities come into play; for the Kings to option Davis Drewiske and keep Slava Voynov, Drewiske would have to clear waivers. Oh no, don’t take Drewiske. Another name that has popped up is Alec Martinez, but I wouldn’t even consider it. Martinez would also have to clear the waiver wire, and he is far too valuable to even give it serious thought. Drewiske has been hanging around too long, I guess the underlying issue here must be the emergency back-up role if one or two blue-line men hit the IR for a lengthy period of time. Davis Drewiske or Thomas Hickey? Pick your poison.
Thursday calls for an old friend.
Still Going: The numbers show, Ryan Smyth didn’t go back to Edmonton to die. In the Oilers’ 11 games, Smyth has racked up a hefty 5 goals and 5 assists. Smyth isn’t hinging his output strictly on crease presence either, he’s released a whopping 30 shots in those 11 games, averaging 2.7 per game. I don’t see that ratio holding up throughout the season, but that’s more shots within a short time-frame I can ever remember Smyth taking in Los Angeles.
Smyth’s reception on Thursday night at Staples Center should be an interesting one. There won’t be a grand applause, nor will there be a sea of boos. Although Smyth’s name triggered drama within the Kings’ organization that lingered throughout the summer, I’ve gotten over it – I think most have. At the end of the day, you’ve got to realize both Ryan Smyth and the Kings are better off apart. Get there early for warm-ups to see the best hair the NHL has to offer.
Thursday calls for an old dress.
Return of the Hem-Lines: The Kings will be donning the newly-tabbed third jerseys against the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday. This template is slated to be worn six times at Staples Center throughout the season, with the vintage purple and golds making three appearances for heritage night celebrations.
There’s an eye opener regarding the Kings’ alternate jersey schedule, something you rarely see happen. The crown hem-lines (above) will make a couple of cameos on the road this season, planned to be the wardrobe for back-to-back contests November 22 @ St. Louis Blues and November 23 @ Dallas Stars. The Kings have only worn these templates once on the road before, back-tracking to November 2nd, 2009 during a date with the Phoenix Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena. That unique uniform instance was never presented as an official plan, nor explained after the matter.
In rare form.
Check for moths, you’ve got some threads for Thursday night.
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And it very well could be the last. The season’s life-span is in heavy threat, the Kings’ second consecutive postseason appearance is hanging by a thread. The Kings have officially struck “must-win” status heading into tonight’s contest at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California. The Kings are facing a 3-1 series deficit, in which three consecutive victories will be needed to advance past the Western Conference Quarterfinals. Right now, it’s one game at a time, one win at a time. That’s the way the Kings must approach Game 5 tonight. Simple mindset, stick to the system, and for the love of god – show some f*cking life in the defensive zone coverage scheme.
And the manager ain’t in, either.
You look for any positive outlook on the Kings’ situation, and I’d have to say it’s getting back on the road. For whatever reason, this team isn’t the same at Staples Center. In the first two games in San Jose, the Kings allowed just 3 goals combined, and left the Bay area with a win to their name. Back to Los Angeles, friendly confines, right? In two games, 12 goals allowed, two losses, and a gut-check at the door. All of the pressure is on the Sharks in front of their home fans, even tonight. They’ve got some of the most miserably hungry playoff hockey fans in the league, I mean they’ve been tortured with postseason failure. For the Sharks, tonight is a chance to push the underdog to the side, a team without it’s top player, hanging by a thread as elimination looms. Why does this setting sound somewhat good for the Kings?
One More Ride on the Carousel
“So Terry, what astonishingly terrible, senseless, and downright laughable line changes will we be seeing for Game 5?”
He had me at Dustin Penner and Kevin Westgarth…playing together. Wow.
In all seriousness, I’m quite perplexed with Terry Murray‘s line-shuffling, and that’s nothing new from a personal standpoint. Tonight, you’re looking for a roster that can provide the absolute best last-ditch effort possible. You’re looking for scoring touch, speed, and players who can create and/or finish on scoring opportunity. So with that, Terry scratches Alexei Ponikarovsky and Oscar Moller in favor of dressing Kevin Westgarth and Dustin Penner on the fourth line. Not just that, but Jarret Stoll is centering these two. Immediately you’re hampering Stoll’s value, face-offs aside. Maybe Penner takes off the rental skates for a pair of his own, and Westgarth does nothing with no negative consequence. There’s some positive outlook on the situation for you. Sheesh.
- Glad to see Terry Murray stick with Jonathan Quick for Game 5. Yes, he’s allowed 12 goals in his previous two games, but you can hardly fault Quick for any of them. He’s been victim of defensive zone coverage collapse, viciously hung out to dry. Calling for Jonathan Bernier could provide a spark, but goaltending hasn’t been the problem.
- A good omen? Today in Los Angeles Kings history, 10 years from the date, Adam Deadmarsh scored two goals including the OT winner in route to clinching the Western Conference Quarterfinals series against the Detroit Red Wings.
- Scott Parse returns to the lineup for the first time since November, fully healed from a hip injury that he suffered back in August during training camp. Happy to see Parse return, but is it the right decision? In just five games played this season, does he have more value than Alexei Ponikarovsky and Oscar Moller? Tough to say. The guy hasn’t seen live ice in over five months, and both Ponikarovsky and Moller have had decent showings in the postseason.
- The current white/purple away uniforms could be making their final appearance in team history tonight. They’re being scrapped for a white version of the current alternate uniforms next year. The Kings have been donning this template since 1998, although with numerous tweaks being made through the years. Don’t die on me now.
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Kyle Clifford, Jack Johnson, Kevin Westgarth – ‘Sharks Page’ at http://www.sharkspage.com
A sad day it was for the Los Angeles Kings community. Tanner Raboin, an avid fan, passed away this morning from his lengthy battle with Chronic Granulomotous Disorder. My thoughts and prayers are with the Raboin family, who have been a fixture among Kings fans since the mid-1980′s. It is only due respect to take a moment and grieve such a sorrowful loss. Here’s to the Kings making an honest push for the Stanley Cup in honor of Tanner Raboin. To get the full, in-depth story on Tanner, head over to Mayors Manor. R.I.P.
There’s no easy way to transition to basic news, but there were some promising looks today in El Segundo at this morning’s practice. The Kings, who are just three days away from the Western Conference Quarterfinals against the San Jose Sharks, may not head into the Shark-Tank on Thursday night as short-handed as initially thought.
Looks like Alexei Ponikarovsky is giving Kyle Clifford a hard-time about the shiner that’s warped his left-eye. Funny thing is, that internal bleeding is probably better at maintaining puck possession in the corners than you, Alexei.
It may have more points, too.
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Justin Williams seems to be recovering from his shoulder injury at quite the pace. Suffering a separated shoulder on March 21st against the Calgary Flames, Williams was tabbed to miss up to six weeks. However, it is possible to see Williams on Thursday night in the postseason opener. On the ice today, Williams took part in contact drills, which is as good of a sign as you’re going to get from a victim of a separated shoulder. Talk about what would be a crucial return, Williams allotted 57 points with 22 goals and 35 assists before the injury. Even if not at 100% the Kings will gladly take what they can get, as the depth of the roster has seen a steep decline in talent since the recent string of injuries. Williams, who returned to the roster late last season after missing three-plus months to a broken leg, was a complete non-factor in the playoffs. The difference this time around, Williams has missed just about three weeks, and has been able to continue his lower-body conditioning. Further analysis will feed a stronger memo from the Kings tomorrow regarding Williams’ status. By the looks of it, I’d expect to see Justin Williams in the first-round, but not necessarily in the first game.
Things are also looking good for Scott Parse, who has played in just five games this season. Parse has been hampered by a hip injury he suffered in August during training camp. After more than a month of rehab, Parse attempted a return in early November that was cut short after five games. His short-stint was quite impressive, etching his name onto the score-sheet four times with a goal and three assists. Unfortunately, his ailing hip called the party. After a successful surgery and five months of rehabilitation, it looks as though Parse may be yet another last-minute addition to the Kings’ playoff roster. However, I can’t see Parse’s return more likely than that of Williams. Not only has he been out since mid-November, but his strength and conditioning has been idle. Just as important as the surgery itself is the strengthening of the muscles and tendons that support the affected area. Is it worth it for the Kings to bring back Parse at this point, or is four more months of rest and conditioning the smarter tactic for the long-term? Needless to say, if he’s cleared and willing to go, hop on board at-will, Scott.
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Tanner Raboin: Mayors Manor, at ‘Mayors Manor’ on Facebook, and www.mayorsmanor.com
Kyle Clifford and Alexei Ponikarovsky: Meg Jarrell, at ‘Kings Court’ on Facebook, and at www.lakingscourt.blogspot.com
Justin Williams: Michael Zampelli
Scott Parse: Michael Zampelli
We’re just four days from the puck dropping on the 2010-2011 season. The Kings will stay on the West side, but head North for a rematch of last year’s Western Conference Quarterfinals against the Vancouver Canucks. This will undoubtedly be a good test, and a tough one at that for a Kings roster icing a couple of new veterans and a handful of fresh prospects. You couple the seething anticipation surrounding this year’s club with an opening night match-up against the team who eliminated us from the playoffs, and you better expect the Kings to come out hard. Don’t think for a minute that playing Vancouver doesn’t add a little more intensity to the lineup. The Kings are looking to start a crucial season as their development into an elite NHL club continues to drive, and it starts against the team who sent us packing last year. As Saturday night’s opener approaches, I’ve got some last minute thoughts below:
This year’s opener will be more successful than the last. Yes, you remember that debacle against Phoenix. It would be difficult to play worse than the Kings did in the opener last year. The hype surrounding that team was a bit premature. They were in Los Angeles against a comfortable Phoenix Coyotes opponent, and were expected to make the playoffs for the first time since 2002. Media and public relations piled on extraneous pressure and pumped up egos that needed to be tamed. Most players were affected by it, but each in their own way. Escorting the players into Staples Center like it was the freakin’ Grammys while completely exposing them to the public just two hours before the game had disaster written all over it. I was looking over my shoulder in hesitant anticipation for the players to jump on floats into a parade down Figueroa. Good fanfare, but added unnecessary distractions to the team. Expectations continue to skyrocket leading up to this year’s opener, which is why starting on the road is a good thing. Better to have distractions of opposing fans than too much hype. Extra pressure is often built in front of the home fans after a long summer, playing with clear heads against an important opponent is an attractive fit.
Turn back the clock. Not literally, we’ve got another month or so of evening daylight. However, the Kings will be rocking the retro gold and purple uniforms that were worn by the franchise from their inception in 1967 until 1988. The uniforms were tweaked a few times during that 21-year period, but nothing substantial. The jersey piping and number borders were the only subtle changes, and I’m not sure which specific set the Kings are going to unveil. The Vancouver Canucks are celebrating their 40-year anniversary this season, and both teams will be donning vintage sweaters for all four match-ups this year. Too bad they’re not celebrating 20 years, I’d rather see the 90′s silver and black.
Roster Finalized to 23 Players today. The Kings announced the set roster they’ll be working with to start the season. Most notable are the prospects who survived training camp. Forwards Andrei Loktionov, Kyle Clifford, Brayden Schenn, and Trevor Lewis will be competing for long-term spots, and defenseman Jake Muzzin will get time on the blue line. Scott Parse, who was tabbed as the favorite to take the second-line left wing spot, looks to be starting the season on injured reserve as he continues to recover from a hamstring injury. Look for one of these forwards to be assigned to Manchester once Parse returns, unless that player is Kyle Clifford, who is qualified to return to the Barrie Colts of the OHL unless he plays in 9 games for the Kings. The competition between Brayden Schenn and Andrei Lotkionov for a 4th line centerman spot should continue to play itself out. Not to say this year’s results have any long-term impact on the two, but could ultimately pinpoint which player is ready to have a solid impact this season.
Bernier’s Extension. Smart move by Dean Lombardi here, not to say it wasn’t expected. Jonathan Bernier, who was slated to become a Restricted Free Agent at season’s end, is now locked up for the next three years. Granted a two year extension through 2013, Bernier is now allotted plenty of time to continue his growth at the NHL level. The best part about Bernier’s extension is the buffer zone now provided to Jonathan Quick. This is long-term, and this is Quick’s season. To have both goaltenders signed for the next three seasons gives ample time to decide on a franchise goalie. Who knows? Maybe they’ll end up as a solid tandem and become a good rotation. They’re both just too good I think, no?
The Los Angeles Kings badly needed a win last night as they had lost four in a row. Jonathan Bernier got the start and was magnificent. Scott Parse scored his third goal in two games and Sean O’Donnell had a beautiful goal to close it out. With Bernier having two solid starts with the Kings, what do we do with Ersberg?
Nearing the crucial games that will be documented as the “playoff-stretch”, I’m taking a look at each player on the Kings roster and evaluating them with a grade on their performance thus far. A roster that has worked together to post a 37-20-4 record (78 points) at 5th place in the Western Conference has to be doing something right, Right? Which players have contributed most? Which players have disappointed? In Part 3 of a 3-Part series, we’ll take a look at the forwards of the Los Angeles Kings. The Kings have tallied 185 goals so far, which ranks them 4th in the Western Conference and 6th in the NHL. The production from this offense has been a big contributor to the Kings success this season.
DUSTIN BROWN #23
SYNOPSIS: Dustin Brown has had a solid season for the Kings, bringing his high intensity, physical play whenever he’s on the ice. Brown has been impressive on the forecheck, utilizing his speed and strength to create offensive zone posession. With 15 goals and 27 assists, Brown has been a key contributor, but there are still some flaws. I like to see Brown make the dump & chase work for the Kings with his heavy pressure down low, but often find myself frustrated when he enters the zone with the puck. Too often Brown is fancy with the puck with his through the legs deke, and still has an issue with missing the net with his shots. Bottom Line: You can always count on Brown to make a presence physically, but he’s had issues with the puck. A couple of scoring droughts have lowered Brown’s point totals, but his leadership on and off the ice is crucial to the team.
ALEXANDER FROLOV #24
SYNOPSIS: I’ve been frustrated with Frolov’s play all season, which I see as having a lack of heart and intensity. Whether it’s giving up on the back-check, or skating circles without the puck, Frolov has been a huge disappointment. The guy has skill, and his 13 goals and 27 assists is sub-par for a player with his capability. Frolov has made plenty of bad decisions, namely his constant wrap-arounds, and has shown his inability to occupy the front of the net. Bottom Line: Frolov has been the center of trade rumors this year, and there’s still a chance he could be dealt after the Olympic break. Frolov, even with his lackluster style of play, has the ability to create points for the Kings as they stride toward the playoffs.
MICHAL HANDZUS #26
SYNOPSIS: Handzus, with 33 points this season, has been a solid contributor up front for the Kings. Not a flashy forward, but extremely versatile. Handzus has shown he is capable of winning face-offs, scoring from the top of the circles, and creating traffic in front of the net. #26 is a veteran who can center a wide variety of wingers. Handzus’ smart play has worked well with the various line combinations Terry Murray has drawn up. Bottom Line: An essential part of the Kings offense, Handzus rarely makes costly mistakes. Whether it’s his puck control down low, his body in front of the net, or his shot selection from the top of the circles, his intelligence on the ice meshes well with his line-mates.
RAITIS IVANANS #41
SYNOPSIS: Ivanans is on the roster for one reason; To be the enforcer. If there’s a player who’s going to drop the gloves, look to Raitis. Even though it’s not his function on the ice, Ivanans has yet to record a point, which is troubling at 54 games played. My main problem with his play is the stupid retaliation I’ve seen from him this season. I have no problem with him dancing when necessary, but it’s been a recurring instance where Ivanans takes a revenge penalty that hurts the team. Bottom Line: Ivanans has a spot on the roster to have the back of his skilled teammates. #41 needs to be a little smarter when choosing to stick up for his team, and make sure he isn’t a burden to their success.
ANZE KOPITAR #11
SYNOPSIS: Kopitar had a stunning start to the season, even leading the NHL in points for a period of time. The hot start was quickly crushed with a lengthy stretch of games where Kopitar failed to produce. However, he regrouped to again become an offensive force for the Kings. I believe his slump was in part to pushing too hard. #11 never stopped working, but just couldn’t catch a break. He never left his game, but over-did it at times. Once he was able to settle down, and had healthy surroundings, he’s become the vastly improved player we saw at the start of the season. Bottom Line: Kopitar’s skill has been coupled with his revamped strength this season to create a player who is on the verge of being a superstar. A long stretch into the playoffs will only help Kopitar’s process of maturing and growing into an elite NHL player.
OSCAR MOLLER #9
SYNOPSIS: I, for one, didn’t expect much out of the young Swede this season. I figured Moller would get shut-down because of his size. Yes, I judged, but you can’t deny that was the story last season. Now, he hasn’t been putting up the points, but he’s not afraid to go into corners and fight for the puck. I like to relate him to a mosquito. Small, but extremely bothersome. Moller uses his speed to disrupt the opposition. Does he always win the battles? No. But he distracts the flow of his counterparts. Bottom Line: Moller is annoying to the opposition. He doesn’t scare them, he bothers them. This is what allows him to create turnovers down-low utilizing his small stature and quick feet.
TEDDY PURCELL #54
SYNOPSIS: Late decisions, and bad ones. That can describe Purcell’s season so far. Teddy had a semi-promising ending to last season, but has completely flopped this year. 3 goals and 3 assist through 41 games, Purcell has been awful. There hasn’t been one positive to his play. At times he looks lost, and at other times he just looks bad. Bad passes, bad shot selection, poor puck control down-low, I’ll stop now. Bottom Line: I’ve just about given up hope with Purcell. Will he be a factor down the stretch? I don’t think so. A part of me wants to have some faith in him, but there’s been no reason to build it.
BRAD RICHARDSON #15
SYNOPSIS: Boy, talk about an impressive player coming from nowhere. Richardson, who was pointless for a long stretch at the start of the season, began to blossom into a key forward. The guy just works hard. Always hard on the forecheck and backcheck, Richardson works for his points. He’s provided a spark to the offense with his work ethic, and has earned every single one of his 21 points. Bottom Line: A young winger like Richardson who takes pride in hustle, he can create big plays for the Kings down the line. No question he’ll be a factor in plenty of games, and his intensity will be a great fit come playoff time.
WAYNE SIMMONDS #17
SYNOPSIS: There’s no question Simmonds play has led him to become a fan favorite. A forward who mixes in a bit of everything when on the ice, he has posted 35 points. Simmonds physical play on the forecheck and ability to fight make him even more of a threat. His speed allows him to beat the opposition to the puck. His long, fluid stride helps as well. Bottom Line: In only his second season, Simmonds has been a huge surprise. A player who is still developing, only expect to get more results from Simmonds for the rest of the season and beyond.
RYAN SMYTH #94
SYNOPSIS: Smyth is hands-down the best off-season acquisition for the Kings. He’s had such a big impact on the team both on and off of the ice. Smyth has managed to tally 19 goals and 19 assists even being out for over a month. His presence in front of the net is a key factor on the PP. Knowing where to be on the ice at all times, Smyth makes his line-mates better. He gives his teammates confidence when putting the puck on net or down low, knowing Smyth will be scrapping for possession or a deflection. Bottom Line: There’s no doubt Smyth will be an important factor down the stretch. Not only is his play crucial to the team, but his experience as well. Smyth went to the Stanley Cup Finals with Edmonton in 2006.
SYNOPSIS: Stoll has fought back from numerous injuries this season to put together a solid overall performance. With 12 goals and 23 assists, Stoll has backed up his success in the face-off circle with production in the offensive zone. A key part of the PP, Stoll moves to the blue-line because of his shot. You have to be impressed with the embattled forward fighting through injuries and still bringing a strong performance to the ice. Bottom Line: Stoll’s biggest contributions to the team will be face-offs in the O-Zone and to continue to pose a threat from the blue-line on the PP.
KingsCast invaded Staples Center for Tip a King 2010 and got interviews by Raitus Ivanans, Oscar Moller, Jim Fox, Scott Parse, Ice Captain Debbie and Bailey. It was a great day for the Los Angeles Kings fans. If you were there, what was your favorite experience? How many Kings autographs did you score?
You read the score correctly. The Los Angeles Kings came into the Shark Tank last night and were on the winning side of a bloodbath. The Sharks were coming off of an astounding 9-game win streak but the Kings were there to make sure it didn’t go into double-digits. The Kings got scoring from six different players. Drew Doughty had 4 assists and Jonathan Quick had over 40 save. Wow. Your thoughts?