L.A. Kings’ Russian Invasion

Good things come in threes.

The Kings score a bunch of goals.

Andrei Loktionov gets called up.

And now, most likely, Slava Voynov will be back.

Unfortunately, when they say good things come in threes, they neglect to mention that for every yin there is a yang.

Penner is hurt. He may be under-performing, but we don’t go so far as to wish ill on anyone… OK, well maybe a quick bout of the clap (since he hasn’t done enough to make us clap, yuck yuck).

Loktionov doesn’t have a spot to play at center, which could go either way. Today he skated on left wing with Richards and Brown. We saw Loktionov play on Kopitar’s left wing last year, something we all thought would work out wonderfully but ultimately did little to ingratiate Loki in coach Dilapidus’ eyes. Maybe that was just Loktionov not being ready for NHL top 6 minutes in general, or maybe he just can’t adapt a game to the wing that is so beautifully suited to a puck-distributing center. Is this another move in the trend of playing Purcell on left wing and Parse on the right? I don’t think so, but the point is we know that Loki shines at center, so until Wednesday we can only hope and believe that he will be equally bright alongside Richards and Brown. Personally I think his game will mesh very well with the smart smash mouth that is Richards and the b-line that is Brown.

Alec Martinez is hurt. The hit that shouldn’t have been a major turned out to be enough to likely put Martinez on the IR. While this does not change my opinion on the hit’s legality, it is highly unfortunate that “he’s not going to be out there for a little bit,” according to Murray. This coming fresh off Alec’s play coming back around to the level he left it last season. We wish him a speedy recovery, no STDs, although we may wish that Voynov keeps him off the game-day roster when he heals.

Now there is a chance that Slava doesn’t get called up. It’s possible no one does, or that Muzzin or Hickey get the nod instead. This has to depend on whether there is any thoughts towards evaluation at play in Lombardi’s head. Does he want to give Muzzin another crack to see how his game has come along? Does he want to finally give Hickey a chance to prove he wasn’t a complete waste of a high draft pick? Hopefully, Lombardi knows the team is walking too fine a line right now to fuck with this in any way other than to bring up the best man for the job, which is without question, Slava Voynov.

What will be really fun, assuming that it is Slava, is getting a true side-by-side comparison of Voynov to Doughty. Of course Doughty is the generational talent and Voynov hasn’t proved shit in the grand scheme as of yet, but with Doughty’s offensive game only starting to peak through the clouds and his defensive game still leaving a lot to be desired, I will be curious to see if Voynov can steal the show. It’s one thing to outperform the memory of a player, it’s another to do it head to head. I’m hoping that these two will push each other, that Doughty will not like having another defensemen play a similar style at a high level and perhaps snap out of his expensive funk.

I am thrilled to have Loki back and I hope to feel the same about Slava by tomorrow. Now we just need to know who the 4th line will be against the Ducks on Wednesday. Which brings us to a short discussion on….

Colin Fraser. We are liking this guy, aren’t we? His game is very similar to Richardson, though Fraser is a bit bigger and nastier, but lacks some of Richie’s foot speed and puck handling. I think Fraser absolutely deserves another game, but to me, Richardson is a staple of the lineup. Will Murray put both of them on the 4th line? That could lead to some great things. Or will Murray bench one of them again since they are similar? You know he wants to play Westgarth against the Ducks. Personally I’ve over the sad, contrived bouts between Westy and George Parros. I think either Moreau or Lewis has to be scratched. For the Ducks, the notorious dime-dicked street thugs of the Pacific, let’s go with Lewis. Ethan showed instant chemistry with Fraser and while Lewis certainly played well on the right side the other night, I think it is a crime to bench Richardson. Moreau-Fraser-Richardson please.

Crossing my fingers, secondary scoring, here we finally come!


Categories: L.A. Kings News

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38 replies

  1. Spot on post. Woot.

  2. I’ve got a question for you knowledgeable Kings fans.

    We all hear about players under-performing here and then playing a lot better elsewhere (and worse, but that’s not what I’m getting at).

    Can you guys name a few players who played like crap elsewhere but shined here?

    • Frolov? LOL. Oh, oh, I got one, Rick Knickle.

      • Murray ruined Frolov. He was good under Crawford.

        Maybe Quincey? But he’s having a strong start to this season.

        I thought Richardson would be the one, but his best year is still in Colorado.

        Murray is the destroyer of offense and skill. He’s not making it easier for Lombardi to sign top skilled UFAs.

        • I thought I was losing my mind, but in reality it appears as my assumption is correct.

        • Murray ruined Frolov. He was good under Crawford.

          … In Murray’s first season here, Frolov had arguably the best season he ever had. It wasn’t until 09-10 that Murray began to sabotage Frolov’s career, and I don’t think that was done entirely alone. I think Lombardi wanted it to happen as well, so that he could re-sign Alex for cheap or just kick him to the curb without too much fan outrage.

        • Frolov scored 32 goals in Murray’s second year. Plus, Frolov ruined himself. He wasn’t as interested as when he started out in the league.

      • Yes my Fro is off to a good start this season.. I see his confidence coming back. he is shooting in front of the net..he was very mismanaged by Murray and Tortorella.
        GO KINGS GO!!!

    • Can you guys name a few players who played like crap elsewhere but shined here?

      … One guy I can think of right off is Luc. I’ll always remember the quote someone had, “Luc Robitaille is to the Kings as David Lee Roth was to Van Halen – they’re always at their best with one another.”

    • Not recently but how about Bernie Nicholls, Tony Granato, Tomas Sandstrom, Corey Millen, Mike Donnelly, Steve Duchesne, Kelly Hrudey. Robitaille had his best years as a King but fell off a little in Pittsburgh and Detroit. Mike Krushelniski.

  3. George Parros is on IR and out 4 weeks. No reason for Westgarth.

    • Even better. Usually I’d be ashamed not knowing something like That, its the ducks So I only pay attention to them when absolutely necessary, which basically means while we are playing them.

  4. Isn’t Parros on IR? Why would we need Westie?

  5. 4th line of Richardson-Fraser-Lewis would be awesome. Speed would create some serious havoc.

  6. Voynov has been called up as Martinez has been put on IR…here come the Russkies! Maybe now we’ll have a little bit of creativity and flair!

  7. It’s official – Martinez to IR and Voynov has been recalled. Johnson, Doughty & Voynov. Wood! Let’s hope it works out as well on the ice as it is in my mind.

  8. Very happy to see Loktionov up. I hope he’s a little bit stronger on the puck this season, but that second line looks like it could really stir some good shit up.

    I always liked Fraser, I’m happy to see him starting off on the right foot. From what I remember, he’s a real good face-off guy too. On paper, I really like our bottom 6, I just wish there was a little more production. Personally, I’d get Hunter in a few more games, he’s just too good of a hockey player to not be helping this team win.

    On the flip side, I worry about Trevor Lewis turning into the next Craig Johnson, the troublesome part is Johnson wasn’t a first rounder. The guy just can’t put the puck in the net.

    • For me, Trevor Lewis’ nickname this season has been “Clement”

    • On the flip side, I worry about Trevor Lewis turning into the next Craig Johnson, the troublesome part is Johnson wasn’t a first rounder.

      Worry about it??? Hell, Lewis would have to improve his scoring quite a bit to approach Johnson’s level. I’d be more than happy with that improvement.

      Lewis is 25. He has 4 goals in 99 games.

      Craig Johnson, at the age of 25, had 22 goals in his first 99 games with the Kings, in the dead puck era no less.

      • Well, that’s depressing. I think subconsciously I never wanted to look at the stats. If he doesn’t end up anchoring a bottom 6 of a championship team in his career, I think it’s fair to say he busted pretty loudly.

  9. It would be very interesting to bring up Hickey, see how his game translates.
    Honestly, my guy is Deslauriers. This kid skates, scores, hits, fights, and blocks shots. A 5 tool player. I’ve been following him a little bit but I’m not gay. I don’t know if he’s ready for the show but Lombardi better be making room for him cause he’s a sure top 4 guy.
    Voynov will get called up, Dean wants to win first and foremost.

    • ND is raw. When I first saw him, I thought, “Jesus, he’s like a young Rob Blake.” That put me in a bad mood so my head changed the subject. The O part of the game is there and will only get better. He gets caught running around in his own zone based on my humble observations and his gap control (he is too aggressive too often) and coverage needs the most work.

      • All I’m saying is that they need to make room cause the kids gonna be a player in this league for a long time. I agree, he’s raw but when he develops he might be one of the biggest all time 3rd round steals.


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