Well Kings fans, it only took 42 games, but today Terry Murray relented and went back to a top line of Smyth-Kopitar-Williams in practice.  We haven’t seen this trio, save for an accident of on-the-fly changes, since last season.

What does this mean?

Well first off all, maybe I can have nicer things to write about in the lineup card.

Next is the ripple effect.




Working from the bottom on up, that 4th line could be many things.  We could see Poni-Richardson-Westgarth, or Poni-Lewis-Westgarth, or Poni-Richardson-Lewis, or even Richardson-Lewis-Westgarth, though I doubt we see that last combo.  Let’s all pray for Poni-Richardson-Lewis, a 4th line you can roll at any time for a regular shift.  In the immediacy, Richardson is due to get back into a game this Thursday after sitting out the last two as a healthy scratch.  Whether this means Lewis or Westgarth gets the scratch is unknown at the moment.

The third line of Sturm-Stoll-Simmonds have now seen two games together.  Simmonds is thriving on the trio and Sturm-Stoll are still working out their respective kinks.  All in all, a solid line.

The second line is one I have wanted to see for quite some time.

In Clifford you have young hunger and a mean streak in a player who will always try to get the puck to the front of the net on way or another.  In Zus you have smarts, veteran leadership and a big body willing to play the deflection and garbage game.  In Brown you have speed, hitting, some skill and the willingness to shoot.  This line has the potential to be too many players playing too similar of games, or it could be a line primed for nothing short of pure destruction and chaos.  Lets go with that.  Chaos.

Finally, oh lordy finally, the first line.  Smyth-Kopitar-Williams.  All three have had success this season.  All three have slumped this season.  All three are ready to skate together.  The words “long overdue” only skim the surface.  I was stunned the first day of training camp when this line was not put together, and I’ve been stunned ever since that it hasn’t been tried again.  This line is as good of a known commodity in terms of the line-up that this team has.  This is the only combination that can truly strike fear in the hearts of opponents and back off defensemen.

Of course, there are caveats.  Will a simple line change make Kopi shoot the puck more?  Given Smyth and William’s propensity to cycle, its certainly possible.

Will playing with Kopi urge Smyth away from staring at the blue paint through white mesh to standing in it like a pillar?  As Kopitar is perfectly capable of taking over behind the net, its certainly likely.

Will getting back on the top line save the tenacious Williams of the first 20 games from the complacent Williams off the last 20?  Given the heights this trio knows they can reach, its certainly expected.

There’s something missing.

Will a simple change in lines turn this team’s game around?


There needs to be more than that.  What?  I can’t say for sure.  System adherence and adaptability comes to mind.  Stronger and perhaps more caustic condemnation from the coach is a suggestion.  Better goaltending is a good option.  An team-wide group enema is another.

But for now, I find myself remarkably pleased and excited to see the Kings only top line of the last two years take the ice again.

Categories: L.A. Kings News

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10 replies

  1. Loving it. Browns tunnel vision is gone and Williams ability to get in corners and Smyth with his Davy and hockey sense is perfect to put with Kopitars ability to create plays. The second line and the rest stupid as frig. Nothing will ever be enough anyways till a major shakeup happens.

  2. There is one thing missing… Moller on 2nd line wing… Can’t wait until he and schenn and Loki are given a chance to be everyday players here… I think they can become our next Martinez-break through types and be major offensive contributors in future seasons… Love to see them get NHL experience now rather than later

  3. It’s about time! Enema probably wouldn’t hurt either.

  4. Line changes isn’t the issue. As Helene said, rearranging the furniture isn’t the answer.

  5. I think if I was playing with Handzus and Smyth and had to wait for them at the blueline, I’d get complacent too. =S

  6. Rumor’s have had the King’s linked to a handful of players lately, Versteeg, Connelly, Stafford, Penner, Elias and Now Fisher……IF and rumors as we well know, are nothing but that…..IF the Kings trade for another center, of which we are loaded, both here and in Manchester, what does that indicate of the state of the Kings, Locker room, system…etc…????
    Has Stolls demotion to the 3rd line, prepping him for his new and maybe appropriate role?
    OR…will he be packaged to a team needing him to preform that role.
    Has Zeus played well enough to be our 2nd line center?
    OR…will he be out before he goes UFA packaged for a 2nd line center.
    Could Lewis be ready for the 2nd line
    Will Lokti get called up
    OR …will it be Moller

    The Trackback below has Lombardi viewing a Sen’s game…Fisher’s wife want’s to live in LA, OH God didn’t we hear that drivel before…
    Lastly…..will anybody really fit this season’s new and improved Jamie Kompon offense????

  7. Why is Brown being demoted to the 2nd line, Smyth has been an animal, Brown has been staying on his feet finally, found his rythym, could reach 30 goals again, and will be under contract for 3 more years.
    Williams is playing for another big contract……this season is his future….desperate.


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