If you haven’t heard, Terry Murray believes the Columbus Blue Jackets are a gritty team.

Gritty. As in full of grit.

What is grit?

Richie played well. I liked his game in Detroit, and we moved him up, in the latter part of the game, to be able to shut that game down. He did a good job for us. We need Westgarth’s presence. They’ve got a gritty lineup, and I just think that it’s important for us to counteract that and be able to make our guys feel comfortable to play the game.”

Murray also took (yet another) opportunity to explain his philosophy behind having an “enforcer” in the lineup regularly…

MURRAY: “When you’ve got hard teams that play against you, with physical play, it does take a little bit of that creativity, that attitude of holding onto the puck a little bit longer. We want our players to feel that they can go out and play the game, and play the way we need to play in order to win it.”

So, we need Westgarth’s “presence.” We certainly don’t need his skating, stick handling, shot, passing ability or any hockey related talent. We all agree he isn’t close to Brad Richardson’s level in that regard.

We need this so the rest of the team can play their game…or so we read.

We played the Columbus Blue Jackets on November 17 of 2010. We lost 5-3. Kevin Westgarth and his grit suppressing skills was in the lineup. We lost 5-3. There wasn’t a single fight in that game. Westgarth was a pylon.

We played the same gritty Blue Jackets January 8 of this year. We won 6-4. Kevin Westgarth played that game too…all of 4 minutes and change. If he played in the third period, I may have missed it. He didn’t fight. Didn’t dissuade a single grit from acting out. Kyle Clifford fought and won.

Why do we need Westgarth again? To fight? But he doesn’t very often and if he does, he would take on a heavy weight which means two useless players cancel each other out. That isn’t progress. So, at best, Westgarth is a grit placebo and, at worst, is a complete waste of a roster spot and prevents Terry Murray from skating four lines throughout the game.

Damn grits.

Categories: L.A. Kings News

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5 replies

  1. I love enforcers, and I’m a huge fan of fighting in the game, so I’m all for added “grit”. The problem with Westgarth is that he infrequently adds it, and almost never when it is deserved. Will he fight Jared Boll tonight, because that’s the only reason he is in the lineup? Maybe. Will he fight if one of the “gritty” Blue Jackets takes a run at Kopitar or Penner ( who would probably fight on his own behalf), I’m thinking, no, that fight would be handled by Clifford. I think this team needs an enforcer who can play, and would have no problem with Dean making a play for Zenon Konopka, when he becomes available this summer.

  2. As much as I prefer Richie in the lineup tonight, I think we underestimate the presence that Westie brings even when there is no 5 for fighting in a game. He is stirring it up and intimidating nonetheless. Does TM overvalue this? Likely.

  3. Shoot..does he ever Watch Westgarth? No skills at all…well maybe he does as he plays about 5 minutes a game. Which leaves us a real man short for the game. Did I say shoot?
    GO KINGS GO!!!

  4. Hooray for Kopitar, cheers to another PP goal and a golf clap to the entire team for another hard fought victory.

    Folks, you saw a glimpse of what #11 can do when he decides to “get dirty” and involve himself around the net in the offensive zone. Kopitar, please “Ground Hog Day” that game for the rest off the year, no, the rest of your career. Do you see, son, how hard work can pay off for you. That crazy fluke pass that hit the tape of your stick, for the third goal was a “reward’ for the great efforts in which you were displaying. Nicely done, young, sir!

    Two PP play goals, two wins. I’m feeling really good right now on how things are developing.

    Murray and Kompon, it took you way to long to address certain offensive aspects, but as they say, ” better late than never.” Thank you from all of us for making a few offensive adjustments.

    Wow, did you see the 2-1 with Williams and Penner? I’m still smiling. That my friends is what skill looks like and it was beautiful. We all know the last couple years, the odd man rush hasn’t been a strong point of ours, but the 4th goal yesterday was outstanding.

    Dallas is ours. We play our game, they have no chance.


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