I Forgot To Record The LA Kings @ St. Louis Blues Game – Open Forum

The Kings embark on an annoyingly long roadtrip tonight, starting with a game against the St. Louis Blues.

We’ve kicked ass against the Blues this year, but we’ve kicked our own ass often enough for Coach Sutter to implement some interesting line changes tonight. The first line stays the same, the rest get a makeover.

Kyle Clifford – Mike Richards – Dustin Penner
Brad Richardson – Jarret Stoll – Trevor Lewis
Trent Hunter – Colin Fraser – Kevin Westgarth

This both concerns and excites me. Kyle Clifford has been regaining the brutally awesome step he gained last year in the playoffs. So the working theory that his ferocious and fearless play will help to elevate to completely lackluster performances of Mike Richards and Dustin Penner is good… as a theory. My breath is bated by the notion that Clifford has been working so hard in part because of the make-up and chemistry of his line with Fraser and Westgarth.

Fraser is a dogged workhorse and Westgarth has been playing exactly the way you could want him to play. Will Clifford’s play carry over? If he’s all he cracks skulls up to be, then yes, it should. My wish for this move is that the reckless abandon with which Clifford scours the area in front of the net re-ignites Richard’s tendency to get every play to the net as quickly as possible, an awesome tendency he brought with him from Philly but that our typically timid blue paint play has already beaten out of his repertoire.

As for Penner on right wing, coincidence that he happened to score his first proper goal of the season coming down the right wing and is now moved there? Maybe, maybe it’s just because wing versatility isn’t in Clifford’s bag yet.

The second line. Energy. What else? Lots of shanked shots.

The 4th… I expect it to be exactly 2/3 as good as it has been.

Of course this all means that Andrei Loktionov is out, a move with which I am actually at peace so long as it is not oft repeated and that it has the desired effect of kicking his talented little butt into another gear. His play has tailed off a bit and the Columbus game was in no way one of his best. It sucks that the penance for the price of teaching a youngin’ a lesson is the insertion of Hunter, but so long as the Kings’ continue to pointlessly carry 8 defensemen, what can you do?

Like I said I forgot to record the game. I’ll be lucky to get home in time for the 3rd period. I need to start bringing headphones with me to work…

Jaroslav Halak is in net for the Blues, so the Kings dodged playing All Star against All Star. This is their first game since the break, whether that means a rusty team or an well rested team is always impossible to gauge. I’m sure there are other things of note about the Blues, but fuck them, it would just be the same regurgitated babble that you can find in any AP article, and, I’m busy.

Of course, let’s just hope the time keeper is drunk so we have a good shot at winning.


Categories: L.A. Kings News

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46 replies

  1. Get the Directv app for the iPhone. Can record the game from your phone. Sweet app.

  2. Just have Bobby text you his insight all game long.

  3. Surly someone must have told you already(playing catch-up again)…
    Yoi can put the Direct (what you and Bobby have yes?) App on your phone and set your DVR from it.
    You are so Tech savy you Must already know this ;)
    GO KINGS GO!!!

  4. … I’ll go on record as saying that I love the way that St. Louis plays the game. They don’t care about style points, they don’t care about looking pretty out there; all they seem to care about is getting the puck to areas that create danger for the opposition. They pressure constantly – everyone has their head up and is seemingly on a direct lane to an opposing player. forcing that player to do something they would rather not do, moving him out of his comfort zone. Hitchcock has done a great job with that team.

  5. Dean “Albert Einstein” Lombardi…that is hilarious!
    GO KINGS GO!!!

  6. Lazy move from DD cost us a goal.

    • … It wasn’t lazy, he just got caught and made the check because he was going to be passed otherwise. None of it would have occurred if the Kings realized that it isn’t against the law to hold the puck in the offensive zone for more than a half-second.

      • Like a goalie trying a poke check..all or nothing
        WTG. see #42 punch Williams in face?
        I Hate these dirty mothers
        GO KINGS GO!!!

      • He could have stood him up he had plenty of time and room. He thought there’s no way he’s gonna get by my hip check.

        • … It didn’t look to me that he had plenty of time, at all. It was either let the man pass him or try to stop his forward progress somehow. D’Agostini was nearing top speed, Doughty wasn’t.

          • Disagree Doughty just glided in there.

          • … Watch the play from the beginning. The Kings actually win the draw in the Blues’ zone, but Williams is like “yeah I don’t know what to do with this puck here let me give it to the Blues right now” and D’Agostini gains possession of it about 10-15 feet inside the zone. At this point, Drew is caught in between trying to hold the puck in and backing off. He backs off, and skates a little toward the center of the ice to take away that lane from D’Agostini, but loses a step along the boards in the process. D’Agostini just makes a great move, chipping the puck off the boards and then going after it himself. At that point, Drew has a choice: let the man go, or try and hold him up somehow. It was an all-or-nothing play, and it didn’t work.

            It was just a well-executed play; a good move, a good pass, and a good shot.

            Anyway, whatever. I know there are people who are going to bash Doughty no matter what he does. There were a lot of players who had poor games tonight, and even so they were robbed by a few great saves by Halak, otherwise they still would have earned a point or two.

          • At some point JT I’d like to hear your explanation as to why for two years now Drew has been less of an impact player than he proved he was capable of being in his sophomore year.

            I didn’t see the goal tonight, but in general I see Drew playing, for the most part, decent but unspectacular defense and rarely do I see him being a difference maker offensively. Doughty is judged with a microscope because he blew his own self up to a great size that widened all of our eyes and then shrunk, leaving us all staring into areas of empty space around the player we now have.

            Typically you are a fan of saying fans overrate players and then have themselves to blame for their disappointment. Do you feel the same way about Drew? Or do you feel that Drew is actually playing up to his expectations and people are just impossible to please or as you often claim, simply need a scapegoat? Something in between?

            I think we have every reason to feel a bit disenfranchised by our franchise defenseman. Drew is not a bad player. He is a good player. But he is supposed to be a great player and when a great player only plays good, that’s bad. The best thing I can say about Drew right now is that I believe one day we will again see the defenseman we saw two years ago. He is, after all, still very young and stupid. That will change… I hope.

          • At some point JT

            … Yeah, I’m not taking the bait here. I’ve said enough about Drew already. I’ve done the work, watched the games and crunched the numbers, and posted what I’ve found. It’s all there.

            If you don’t think he’s playing up to his potential or he’s dogging it out there, call for a trade or bash him for the next seven and a half years. Have fun with it. I don’t really care. If you can’t or won’t appreciate what he’s done as a player in the last year and a half, that’s on you. It’s not my problem and I’m sure as hell not going to change your mind.

          • Well that was an unnecessarily hostile response. But then again considering having your opinion asked of you on order to have a discussion as ‘bait’, cynicism has taken root as a nonstarter for debate.

            I asked you specific questions because I want to compare answers. Explanations. Not numbers. I want to know where you are coming from. But you can shove opinions I don’t share down my throat if you please. Draw conclusions based off those fabricated opinions that don’t apply.

            Or you could answer the damn question. Or since you think you have, direct me to one of those posts that applies, since it’s not in my daily planner to keep track of everything you said, particularly when I haven’t had the time to read more than 20% of the comments posted on this site in the last 3 months.

          • Further more, I would have hoped you can acknowledge that this is a complex issue and that there is a sliding scale of opinion and why one would hold that opinion. I even phrased my question in such terms, though I threw out a starting point for polarity from which to strike a balance.

            However, since you don’t want to discuss this and you turn wanting more out of a player into girlish accusations of bashing and projections of trade demands, then allow me to treat you in kind. If you think Drew is playing like a $7 million defenseman, that his game is right where it should be, that this is what we should expect and be happy with from the guy who is supposed to put this team on his back and lift it up to great heights, then my friend I must say it seems that the years have beaten down your expectations to the point where no lofty goal can be achieved because it is never desired in the first place.

            That or since Player-X’s article you have automatically distributed your ire towards him evenly amongst anyone who would dare say a negative thing about Doughty.

          • “…cynicism has taken root as a nonstarter for debate. ”

            Without comnent or judgment as to whether this is accurate or not, that is one of the great thoughts of the week. Month. Decade.

          • Well that was an unnecessarily hostile response.

            … It’s not about hostility or cynicism, not even a little. It’s more about exasperation. I literally don’t care about this debate anymore. You have Sybil here to tell you what you want to hear; he’ll do it in every thread and he’ll hijack other threads as well. It’s why he got banned at the other site. He’ll even create different usernames to stalk those who don’t buy his act. I know you don’t think that’s happening, and I disagree with you. I’m not going to change your mind on this topic, or the Doughty one. I’m tired of fighting the tide. Make of that what you will. It doesn’t matter to me.

          • You are aware I disagree with Player-X’s vehemence toward and assessment of Doughty… ?

            I’d like to know who you think these multiple personalities are… The Kings-x guy barely ever posts. The Not JT Dutch even less. Is Hit to the Head the same guy? Dominck? Hockey jockey? USHA17? scribe? Myself?

            You are basically saying you don’t want to discuss something with me because someone else exasperates you. It’s lame. But hey, your prerogative, not mine.

            There is no hijacking here. I don’t even believe in thread hijacking. It’s a myth.

            Talk about whatever the hell you want and don’t let one verbose poster sway your propensity to post and discuss with others.

            If you don’t want to talk about Doughty, how about we talk about that time early in the season when you said Quick would never be an All Star? :)

          • J.T., I have no idea why you feel such hostility toward me. I also have no idea why you think I feel hostility toward you.

            Your first words to me, ever, were in response to a post I wrote about Doughty. Your “hello” to me was, “… Well, all I can say is – if anyone ever needed evidence as to why many Kings’ fans by and large are considered a joke, here’s exhibit A.

            “Due Droughty”? Honestly? Between this and the Penner stuff, it’s been a dark day on this site. How embarrassing.”

            Your way of disagreeing with me was to expand an argument beyond the subject matter into an insult: my post was so wrong that I brought shame to all King’s fans everywhere. Seriously? According to whom? Are you surprised I would react to that in kind?

            Since then, I have looked at your posts and treated them completely fairly: I have agreed with many of your points, clearly and in writing, and disagreed with others without being generally insulting to you.

            As to the stalking, sybil, etc., there really aren’t any examples of people ganging up on you, or of one person continually dogging you. You get feedback and discussion; is that not why you write?

            As for my being banned at the “other site,” I have since reached an understanding with Quisp. I am no longer banned; we have settled most of the significant issues, and set aside any others.

            As to the actual content of this thread, which thread your comments about me have a chance of hi-jacking, just because Doughty does one bad play in a game does not prove all the negative feelings people have about his level of play. There is merit to some of your argument, that he plays against the top lines, that others contribute to his situation and it is sometimes unfair to blame Doughty for a single play in a team game, etc.

            I t seems you took particular exception to my saying “curb level” in describing his play. I can see how that would be considered too strong. I could have been more clear that my judgment of his play is relative to Doughty’s personal metric; a curb level Doughty might still be a competent Andreas Lilja, for example. But when you say he is not expected to play well due to his salary alone, or that it is unfair to compare him with other’s making the same money, it’s just silly. Doughty occupies a significant amount of cap space for a reason, and if he is unable to perform as well as that circumstance dictates, he is going to be judged poorly according to that standard.

            Just as one bad game doesn’t make him always bad, one good game does not make him have always been good. In the St. Louis game, it is completely clear, however, that Doughty failed to execute his duty. He was faced with a one-on-one situation. He was part one of a two-man defense facing a two-man attack. There was a significant amount of time and space between Doughty and everyone else except the man Doughty was battling. Doughty had time to prepare, he had the play in front of him, and he began the play in correct position. He just missed it; the guy got by him and so did the puck, and the result was a two on one against. Even if there is no goal, it’s a screwup.

            I suggest you let your worry and fear about me fade. It is not a credible crutch, and does not excuse you from having to debate people on merit when they disagree with you.

  7. Geezus I hope we don’t see these guys in the first round

    • Playoffs? Averaging zero to one goal per game and playing Trent Hunter? Huh! Not in a King’s second.

      Then there is always a chance that Lombardi’s image will appear on a slice of toast tomorrow.

      • Yes the playoffs. I believe they will make it in. Whether or not they get past the first round again is questionable especially after watching this shitload of a game.

  8. Blues fast, tough and smart. Dangerous combo

    • I saw the last 5 minutes of the game, which felt like an eternity do I feel like I saw the whole thing.

      • For the last 10 minutes of the game the Kings never controlled a puck in the Blues end.

        The Blues thwarted every attempt by the Kings to retrieve or control pucks. Hats off to the Blues. A magnificent defensive tour de force on their part.

        Also, I want to touch upon the Doughty exchange between yourself and J.T.

        You asked:

        “…like to hear your explanation as to why for two years now Drew has been less of an impact player than he proved he was capable of …”

        My two cents. When Doughty entered the league he caught a lot of players by surprise. It took a second year for the Western Players to solve him and for the Eastern players to figure him.

        By now most veterans know Doughty’s weaknesses (bad timing along the boards) and anticipate his moves. They slip past him in the Kings end and crowd him on the blue line.

        From the blue line he’s become a one trick pony. Forwards longer give him space. I can’t remember when Doughty last “walked the line” or did a spin-arama followed by two steps to the net. He needs to mature and learn to make space for himself.

        Doughty was and will be a great player. For the moment however reality has caught up with Drew Doughty. Not only does he have to adjust, but he has to learn while facing the best of the best.

        I see nothing wrong with fans honestly critique his game…and, considering the size of his contract I damn well expect him to play big minutes against the best…and learn quickly.

        So, I’ll catch my breath and move on now…

        PS Like last night, Scuderi wasn’t so hot tonight either.

        • I think that’s a fair assessment and along the lines of my thinking as well. I also think there were some flaws to his game defensively he took steps to correct last year and in doing so lost his edge creatively. He may smile all the time but I feel as if he has lost a bit of confidence. It’s a fine line between trying too hard and pressing and effortlessly knowing you are going to make the right play.

          • Gettting caught up here.. Although I try to remember not to take all comment too seriously and that they are only individual opinions,,.they do get to me sometimes and I must stop..Reading to the end of this blog.. on Doughty.. the hot topic this season(along with Penner) I think that both Drew and Surly are seeing Doughty correctly.. very young maturity wise..anyone observing saw that from the time he was drafted.. as I have said before not everyone matures at the same rate.. He may
            have been NHL ready.. but maturity wise.. it
            would have been so beneficial for him to have moved in with and had an older Mentor.

          • ran out of room??? weirdo site..
            Wanted to say that I too see Drew as doing some second guessing of himself and his play.. and as a result trying too hard and being too hard on himself.. Those that see complacency should observe a little harder.. JMO
            GO KINGS GO!!!

  9. The team has an endemic problem. If Simmonds can already have tied his tops for goals with the Kings (maybe one under it) w 32 games left, if Matt Moulson is scoring at a mini fraction under a point a game pace and has outscored our leading scorer (in two less games yet), Purcell has two less goals than Kopi, then you really do have to ask yourself what the hell the problem is.

    I do feel that it’s really endemic. It’s been there as long as Lombardi has been, but what’s disconcerting is that it’s getting worse.
    Sorry, thats what I see. The stats would tend to back that up though.

    I also think that while Dean focuses so heavily on defense, that he has very little sense of what creativity means in the offensive zone. It IS true that defense might win championships, but healthy eating doesn’t mean that you should never ever eat anything with sugar in it, God forbid.

    • And it follows with his hire of Sutter…happy with the change for what little good its done. I am still waiting for this team to develop its “character and style”

      With a top six is spread between 4-6 players and the center of the grinding line is still developing the upper body strength needed for board work…well…it 1-0 in a 3-2 league and beating the Jackets becomes something to write home about.

      • I curse you for being correct, dammit. Very discouraging game. Williams shoulda scored in the 3rd, Doughty shoulda hit the guy as soon as he dumped it past, and Quick yields one goal and loses again.

        “Center of grinding line developing upper body strength,” who? Sounds like Lokti but he was sat out.

    • I agree. My thinking is that its still the TM system engrained in the guys for the last couple years and in camp this year. Even though DS has changed a lot of things about the offense the guys slip back into bad habits constantly. It may take another summer break / full reset and new camp to purge the old demons.

  10. About Drew Doughty,

    J.T., I dont know what you’ve posted in the past, but I agree with what Surly said here. Drew Doughty has not been the same player since his sophomore season. He is a step slower. I would liken what has happened to him as an offensive defenseman to what has happened to Ovechkin on the forward side of things. Both were sort of the rock stars of their position at their peak, and now they’re good but not great, a step slower, just not explosive anymore.

    One other aspect of it is the game has changed. Dan Boyle talked about this on the Sharks. He said “the neutral zone has been taken out of the game. The neutral zone is where I used to create all my offense, but it’s gone now.”

    In other words, players like Boyle and Doughty who were dominant based on their skating and stickhandling, Ovechkin fits that mold too, they used to create offense off the rush by skating through the neutral zone with speed, stickhandling. But now that teams clog the neutral zone so well, and there are very few odd man rushes, very little transition opportunities, period, those types of defenseman are not as effective as they used to be.

    Those types of players, really, period. We are a seeing a huge shift in our game overall where the game is no longer played in the middle of the ice, but almost exclusively along the boards. Every game seems to come down to board battles now, the cycle, protecting the puck. You used to have skilled players come right out of the draft and excel, even if they were physically weak. Not anymore, not often. If you don’t have the physical strength now to protect the puck along the boards, well, that’s where the game is played now, so you won’t be successful. There is the exception here and there like Jeff Skinner, players that are just so quick with good strength in their legs even if they’re not big and good edges that help them shield the puck, Patrick Kane is similar, but you get the idea.

    So that’s definitely another aspect of it. I wrote about this phenomenon on my blog, let me know if you want the link. But I also think it would be a mistake to let Doughty off the hook based on this. Yes, its harder now for puck-rushing defenseman to succeed when the game is a half court game now, and maybe Doughty was never held in high regard because of his half court game, but he also looks a step slower, undoubtedly. Whether he’s out of shape like he has been in the past, or its simply a case that he put on too much muscle, or something like that, it’s clear that his game is out of balance. He’s either out of shape or playing at too high a weight. Get him down 5-10 lbs, I think that would make a huge difference. You need to just get that extra step back in his game offensively.

    As for defense, man, he’s brutal off the rush. Not that he doesn’t do some good things in general with his skating, but in terms of fundamental defending, he’s brutal. He needs a lot of work. Also the back skating is really bad. He seems to have no confidence in his ability to skate backwards, which leads to him trying to force checks just so he can skate forwards, like with Logan Couture in the playoffs last season. Instead of just back skating, keeping a good gap, and keeping his lane, containing Couture to the outside, he decided to go rush out at him along the boards, needlessly, which cost the Kings a goal. I have seen a lot of this from Doughty, and its become clear to me that the secret reason he does this is because hes uncomfortable skating backwards. Thats a pretty bad, fundamental problem for a 7M dman to have.

  11. To clarify, the Boyle quote is not exact, but thats the gist of what he said. Here is the interview with him where he talked about it. http://blogs.mercurynews.com/sharks/2011/11/27/dan-boyle-“the-game’s-changed-the-neutral-zone-is-pretty-much-eliminated-which-is-where-i-get-a-lot-of-my-offense/

    Kings fans should definitely read that because it also applies to Doughty. But make sure you understand, its not an excuse for Doughty, or the only reason hes struggled. He is also a worse player. The game isnt just harder, hes worse at it, hes slower. No question in my mind about that. Trust me, I have an eye for these things. I was planning to draft JVR late in my pools this season after watching his great playoffs last year, but I watched about five minutes of a Flyers preseason game, and I could see he didnt have it this year. Hed regressed. Like Doughty, that explosive step he once had was missing. I didnt draft him in any of my pools, while everyone else thought he was going to be the steal of every draft, and hes been very poor.

    I could tell that from five minutes of watching him. Its not the first time thats happened with me either, where I can see how a player will do. And Drew Doughty, without any doubt whatsoever, is still struggling from the same thing JVR now is. He is not as explosive as he was in his sophomore season, literally not as fast or quick or powerful in his skating, same as JVR doesnt have that extra step this season that he had last postseason, and it makes all the difference. For both of them. And that more than the game changing is why Doughty still isnt playing as well as he used to.

    • 3Team, I find your two posts very interesting indeed. I haven’t gone to the link yet. Will do later.
      But what I appreciate is your breakdown of the semantics on the ice. I too played when I was younger and esteem that I have a good feel for the game.

      However where you brought up points having to do with on ice tendencies and the opposition adjusting to you – oh, and great analogy AO and DD in that regard…. what I tend to see is more the non-skating stuff.

      Example; before Doughty was drafted I read his interviews on Insider and I was a bit concerned that there was a maturity issue. Yes he was young…. but every pre draft player is young. They all express themselves differently. I remember well though that Doughty worked himself relentlessly before his rookie season to shed weight and get in max shape.

      After the second season (breakout for him w Olympics and Norris stuff) it almost seems as though he became Either a bit too complacent and/or felt he needed to put on a show. And I link up the lack of maturity with that sort of a response. It’s been brought up several times, and I know Lidstrom is a freak of nature if you want to put it that way, but I Guarantee you that when he was young he didn’t fall into those same traps. Guarantee it. You can see by the way he expresses himself.

      I’ll use this to segue into two other general issues. 1) When that video was posted w DD, MR, Kopi etc there was a neutral site (tsn maybe or Puckdaddy) where evidently a non-Kings fan responded saying… ‘hey, Doughty needs to get to a gym’. It really made me wonder what he was seeing. I didn’t go back to look at the video again, but there may in fact be issues w his conditioning. I also wonder if scoring those late goals vs. Phnx and CBJ contributes to making him more complacent? I don’t know the answer, but really, it’s not exactly Boston or Detroit.
      2) Quick this year will have the same issue as Doughty (though I find Quick far more mature and restrained in his ways than DD); that being, one exceptional year and you’re up for a new contract. I personally dislike this whole ‘potential’ thing. It’s not a healthy way to do it. And from my pov, I’ll just say this: as I see it, it hasn’t done Drew Doughty any favors whatsoever.


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