Terry is no stranger to line changes. You know this. I know this. Let’s see what crazy Terry has done now.
The changes are significant. First line right wing Justin Williams is out. He is not hurt. He is a healthy scratch. Williams had a brutally bad game 1. Williams came back in mid March after spending 2 and 1/2 months on injured reserve with a broken leg. His career to date has been marked by his freak injuries as much as the Stanley Cup he won with the Hurricanes. Kings fans had hoped Williams would get his groove back after the last couple of games of the season. We all however know that the playoffs requires an elevation of skating and speed and for a player struggling to reach 3rd gear, it may be too much to ask him to get to 6th.
Replacing Williams on the 1st line is the Night Train. Simmonds found chemistry with Smyth and Kopitar after Williams’ injury. His insertion during the regular season in the 1st line was a Dean Lombardi suggestion to coach Murray. Terry, Dean and every Kings fans hopes to see that chemistry return.
The second change involves Randy Jones…pause…breathe in…breathe out. Meditation was invented to deal with this abortion of a hack.
Raitis Ivanans is also scratched since game 1. Raitis has played better as of late but the playoffs against a team like the Canucks who are primarily an offensive attack team does not fit Raitis’ game. This move was a no brainer.
That’s who is out. Now, who is in.
Richard Clune. A feisty, speedy, gritty, born to offend forward who fears nothing. Clune’s addition to the lineup is long overdue. I was left scratching my head as to why Rich, who played well in every game he played this season, was ever taken out.
Peter Harrold. What can you say about a player that has played defense, forward and been placed in every position other than mascot? The Johnson – Harrold combination still makes me nervous but Jones’ subtraction is addition by subtraction and so long as Peter plays a patient and positionally sound game, we will be fine.
Kings fans know, with our coach, never to get too comfortable with a line combination from one game to another. As in life, anything is possible.