It happened in the Dallas game. Sudden. Unexpected. Consistent since that night. Kyle Clifford looked as comfortable and fluid in his skating, defensive zone coverage, hitting and decisions as he has always been punching opponents. If Kyle develops an offensive instinct that is on the same level as his pugilist skills, he will be a top line winger. That may take some time still.

I am going to go out on a limb and declare that Kyle Clifford will be the 4th line winger. He has found his fit. Brayden is still looking for his and though Schenn may have a higher upside, I see him sent to Juniors to continue development.

I am still not certain which other rookie will accompany Kyle but if Trevor Lewis and Brad Richardson continue to have the same chemistry with Clifford on that 4th line that they showed in the game against the Lightning on each end of the ice, then that may be the Kings’ fourth line this season.

What about Kevin Westgarth? He is a popular player. He should be. We will need him when the real heavy weights are in the opponent’s line up, but I don’t expect Kevin will take a regular role with the Kings unless someone else falters.

What do you think Kings’ fans? Does Clifford stay or go?

Categories: L.A. Kings News

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13 replies

  1. I was just thinking about this scenario today and I couldn’t agree more. I see Clifford staying while Schenn gets a trip to the Juniors. I was surprised Clifford could not find a fight last night given the scrappy nature throughout all three periods. Has Kyle Clifford already earned respect in the league as a solid fighter or did he just have the crazy eyes that made no Lightning player willing?
    On another note, who was the Jones guy out there for the Lightning last night? That certainly wasn’t Randy Jones the pylon we had on our team last season. Maybe Jones wanted to give a big F you to the fans for telling him his shift was over right as he stepped on the ice.

  2. 2 weeks ago I would have (and did) say “go”

    Now I think he stays. I still think Schenn might stick as well… hard to say… if only Richardson could play the RW.

    All in all though, I think you nailed it.

  3. good assessment.
    GO KINGS GO!!!

  4. I’m all for him staying as well. He’s only going to get stronger that’s for sure. But here’s to hoping Schenn finds his groove this season as well. I’m hoping if they keep giving him chances one day he’ll just click.

    What did everyone think of Parse’s return? And to line #1 at that?

    • I’d like to see parse on the PP unit. He has maybe 1 PP shift and it was very brief. He came off visibly angry from my 300 section seats.

  5. I totally agree!! 100 percent. You can totally see Kyle improving, gaining confiidence. He doesn’t back down from any one. I saw him last night and against Chicago with five guys in his face and he was just laughing waiting for the a dance partner!!! Loved it!!! You go Cliffy. I hope you stay around for a long time. Your our best entertainment!

  6. My feelings on Clifford have swung like a pendulum, but he does seem to be finding his groove lately and I think that he should stay. The sort of improvement that he has shown the last couple of games, against top quality opponents, should be rewarded with a spot on the lineup.

    Schenn, I would love to see stay, because I think that he can do the job for us, but if management decides to send him down, I think the long term results would be better for him. I wish he could be in Manchester if we sent him down rather than in the juniors though. I would rather see him getting lots of minutes against the caliber of competition in the AHL than in juniors if he’s not going to be with the Kings.

    • I too would like to see Schenn play against players at his level of skill in Manchester and keep up with TMs system.

      This age thing is really annoying. If you are old enough for NHL play, why are they not old enough for AHL?

  7. Cliffy proved himself tonight for sure. He got a puck in the face in the first period and never flinched. A little glue and he was back in there. The Kings would be lucky to have a solid, tough and dedicated player on the team. What was that lame penalty tonight with Westgarth….is he desperate for attention or what. Throw a punch if it is costing the team a penalty. Thank goodness we were winning.


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