ONE DOUBLE-D ISN’T ENOUGH
We here at LA Kings News want to see Davis Drewiske back in the line-up.
We don’t care much for his usurper, Randy Jones.
Unfortunately, we are in disagreement with Terry Murray.
Asked today about Jones, Murray had this to say, per Hammond:
“Since his injury, I think his [Jones'] game has improved, week by week. He’s the one player who can really get things going out of our own zone. He’s got good puck-handling skills, he can skate, he can carry the puck out of danger and he can jump into the offensive part of the game, which we’ve seen. We use him on the power play.
“… but getting back to Jones, I don’t mind his game. I know he’s better than what he is at times, but he can be an important player for us.”
Personally, I prefer to like a player’s game. Apparently Murray is content to not mind it. Perhaps I am taking Murray’s words too literally. Whatever the case, I am going to start paying more attention to Jones’, as much damage as it may due to my sensitive pupils, because while Murray thinks Jones can skate the puck out of danger, I see Jones putting the puck, or himself and as a result, his D partner and goaltender, smack in the middle of the maw of danger. Actually, Murray is not wrong. I’m sure Jones can do these things, he just doesn’t actually do them very often.
To make matters worse, Murray acknowledged today that Drewiske’s game is back on par with where it was before his injury earlier in the season.
“And on the other side of it, with Drewiske, I wish I could get him in. He worked so hard, through that injury, to get rehab done and get ready to come back. When he did get in, though, there was some hesitancy. We talked about that.
“I think, right now though, he’s through thar part, emotionally. He looks like he’s much more comfortable on the ice, with his drills, and I believe that any time he would get in now, he’d be back to where he was before. It’s hard to change it up sometimes…”
You wish. Wait, let me rephrase… YOU WISH? Wishing is for people without the power to do something. Not the case, sorry Murray. If you truly wished it, you are your own genie. Drewiske was pretty bad his first two games back from injury in February. But therein lies the problem, it was only two games, not enough time to really get back up to speed.
So OK, fine. Drewiske needed more practice time after the injury to get into game shape. I buy that. But that time is over, and Jones mistakes are still piling up.
Have the Kings been playing consistently good hockey since Drewiske’s last game, which was just one before the Olympic break?
No. The Kings are 6-4-1 in their last 11 games since Drewiske was benched. In those 5 losses, the Kings have looked lackluster. Only in the last two games have they started to show some signs of the lives they formerly led before the Olympic break. It is a winning record, sure, but it isn’t up to par with the rest of the season.
Has Jones been a plus player, racking up the points like he is supposed in that time frame?
No. In those 11 games, Jones is a combined -5 and has 3 points, all assists.
Has Murray been pleased to the point of sticking with his line-up during the last 11 games?
No. The forward lines have changed game to game. Clune is in, Clune is out, Clune is back in. Ivanans, out, in, out. Parse, out, in, out. Williams and Frolov, top line and top ice time, 4th line to 3rd line, ice time dramatically cut. I am confident in saying that the recently ended skid wasn’t all on the forwards.
I’ll wrap up this little diatribe by saying that Jones being in the line-up is not the end of the world. It may not even be that big a deal, if Quick is lights out, Greene is a beast and the rest of the team is playing up to snuff. However, it is disappointing to watch Drewiske, a damn fine young player who as of now, contractually has more of a future with this team than Jones, go to waste on the bench. Also, I don’t mean to just slam Murray. He does generally know better than I, but I refuse to take his word as gospel. I like Murray and think he has been fantastic for this Kings’ team, but I can’t deny my divergence in thought based purely on a mostly positive track record.
Come back to us Davis, we miss you.