The Second Line Left Wing Position. Matt Frattin, Tyler Toffoli and the Mother Sutting Reality of it All

Wanted

Prototypical second line, power forward, left wing who plays a two-way game, dishes out punishing body checks, can take a hit and has a nose for the dirty areas including but not limited to the boards and the front of the net.

Applicant must possess strong skating skills and an above average offensive acumen. Elite goal scoring ability is not necessary but the contribution of 15-20 goals and a similar amount of assists is a plus. Veteran experience preferred. Will be playing with trusted and well-respected forwards Jeff Carter and Mike Richards. Must be able to withstand repetitive and meaningless inquiries from moderately inept Los Angeles hockey media and sometimes unfair but generally entertaining criticism from limited and select voraciously intense L.A. Kings bloggers. Inquire at Staples Center, Los Angeles, California.

**

Applicant One:

I am a veteran left wing in the NHL. Though I am neither strong nor skilled nor particularly smart, which is to say I am quite stupid, I possess a face that scares small children and women who have not partaken of an excess of adult beverages. I have prior experience with forwards Jeff Carter and Mike Richards and hope to acquire this second line position, not on merit but on favor. Regards, Daniel Carcillo, 1451 Jerk Face St., Backwater, USA.

**

Applicant Two:

I am a young, highly skilled right wing who is ready to embrace a left wing position so I can have a regular role in the NHL. I have a high hockey IQ, soft hands, a wicked wrist shot, deceptively quick feet and the ability to bury the biscuit from any scoring area on the ice. I do not come with tremendous size or necessarily sought after physical attributes but, upon learning the left wing position, I will bring a constant offensive threat to the second line. I have prior experience playing with Jeff Carter and Mike Richards with varying degrees of success. While nurturing in a fourth line role to increase my defensive game is likely in my best interest, I believe I am ready for this full-time promotion. Warmest regards, Tyler Toffoli, aka Top Titty.

**

Applicant Three:

I am an NHL forward and wing with, more or less, three years of NHL experience. I am a prototypical power forward who possesses punishing checking skills and am strong on my skates. I am very difficult to knock off the puck. I am in tremendous shape and although I have struggled with some injury issues that have stunted my development, I am currently healthy and ready for the opportunity to take over the second line left wing position. My skill set is very similar to your first line left wing and Captain Dustin Brown in both size, skating ability, hands as well as my general approach to the game. I have had the unfortunate circumstance of playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs organization and with soft marshmallow types like Phil Kessel but I am certain that a change of scenery and the opportunity to show off my ability, which I humbly submit is exactly what you’re looking for, will pay tremendous dividends for us both. Very truly yours, Matt Frattin.

**

Dear applicants, thank you for your inquiries. We have not only paid close attention to what you have written but have conducted an in-depth analysis of your talents.

Mr. Carcillo, while I am sure your supreme ugliness would, if nothing else, distract opposing defensemen and goaltenders on an infrequent basis, we don’t see that you offer anything other than comic relief for our franchise.

Mr. Toffoli, in your young career, you have shown yourself to have tremendous potential and a skill set eventually befitting of a top six role may be inevitable if you continue to progress at the reasonable pace that we expect.

Although it would be of benefit to have you in that top six role once you are ready, that time is not yet now. We must first continue to work on your checking and defensive skills and round you out as a more complete player before placing you in such a position. The L.A. Kings believe you will continue to get the opportunity to test your ability and earn your place with our elite forwards.

Mr. Frattin, we traded for you for exactly the reasons you describe. We view you as that industrial grade power forward left wing for which we have advertised and we believe that you are a good fit and the right package for the second line position. While there are no guarantees that your health and consistency will keep you at that position, we welcome giving you the opportunity to take your game to another level, show us that you were and are well worth the price we paid and, although not critical to our goals but nevertheless important, to make Toronto Maple Leafs fans cry.

We Won The Cup,

Your Los Angeles Kings

**

For those going into the NHL season with the thought that Tyler Toffoli is a shoo-in for the second line spot, let me be the first to tell you that you’re out of your Sutting mind. You are probably the same ones who think that Mike Richards and Jeff Carter should be broken up – akin to breaking up Yin from Yang – because it may bring “balance.” You likely call yourself an “ass” man or a “tits” man, as if any man in their right mind would turn down the simultaneous thrust of both…but you are not of your right mind, are you? The offseason has caused you to lose it.

Have you forgotten who our coach is? Have you forgotten who is the general manager of our LA Kings?

Both of them value a complete game and neither of them place tremendous emphasis on high-end skill in the absence of a proven track record on the other end of the ice as well as a physical game. While the often moronic dot to boards game that Darryl Sutter’s predecessor employed  and which sucked the life out of our offense is long behind us, the current regime has not abandoned parts of the “heavy” game, especially when it brings four lines that play 200 feet.

Jeff Carter is a high-end goalscorer who plays a two-way game. Mike Richards is a gritty two-way forward and playmaker who skates to each end of the ice ill-tempered and with the goal of getting the puck on his stick.

These two need a power forward on the left side.

Tyler Toffoli has tremendous potential but he is not the right fit in the second line position quite yet. Matt Frattin is a slightly poor man’s version of Dustin Brown. Just as Dustin Brown has become a fixture on the first line left wing, Matt Frattin will become one on the second line with Jeff Carter and Mike Richards.

It’s his position to lose.

He screws it up and Tyler steps up. He doesn’t and you may have to wait until Justin Williams’ tenure with the Kings ends before you see Toffoli in a top six role.

GO KINGS!



Categories: L.A. Kings News

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38 replies

  1. You missed the one obvious choice. The player who fits those requirements perfectly and who was the most consistent players our kings had last year. Kyle FUCKING Clifford.

    • If Clifford was the choice, we don’t trade for Frattin. Clifford is raw and rough. He still suffers from the identity crisis I wrote about weeks ago. He overcomes that and we have a very good problem of deep depth for the second line

      • I think his main identity problem is a result of the constant up and down line movement he dealt with all year. But no matter what role he was asked to play he did it and worked hard doing it. Give him some consistensy on a line with guys likerichards and carter and I think hell explode. But I agree if deano and sutter thoight clifford was the answer on the second line they don’t trade for frattin. Year by year I think dean and sutter know what they have in clifford.

  2. You get into trouble thinking. You get into trouble trying to believe Dean Lombardi who tends to lawyer up, and not speak in a language anyone but Dean Lombardi understands.

    You get into trouble thinking because Dean Lombardi allowed Terry Murray to kill any confidence and offense the Kings had going for them.

    I think the natural LW who was passed over in a few drafts and played his 1st professional season in Manchester last year, along with gelling with Vey/Andreoff/Toffoli could make a run on being another potential 2nd line LW.

    Tanner Pearson is a former Barrie Colt and Dean loves the Barrie Colts! Pearson had shown marked improvement offensively and defensively playing in Manchester. People forget he is 21, played for a few World Junior teams and was a Black Ace.

    From what I am hearing, Tanner Pearson has been working out like crazy up in Toronto. From Development Camp he looked much better than most of the players there with the exception of Toffoli and Andreoff.

    Just to clear up who was telling me how hard Pearson is working out, my brother in laws father and mother were a billet for the OHL Brampton Battalion. Brampton moved after last season, but they are very involved with OHL hockey. Two current NHL players that lived with my brother in laws parents Jay McClemment and Matt Duchene.

    Its unlikely Pearson will make the team in his 2nd season, but its not out of the realm of possibility.

    There is also an outside chance a trade can be made since the Kings have 9 defenseman signed, and are over the CAP which make a trade a possibility.

    • We will see. The organeyezation would benefit from Pearson becoming more than a low risk, mid reward move. I look at Pearson as a player that does a lot of things above average and nothing great. Those types of players don’t make contending team’s second lines.

      • Dustin Brown lite? For $500,000 a year? Maybe it’s cause I got a man crush on Dustin Brown. But that doesn’t sound too shabby. Any 2nd line left wing I guess technically is DB lite. I’m really optimistic for next season. We have good problems again. Anybody that doesn’t make the cut offense or defense, could find a job somewhere else pretty quick. I think come playoff trade deadline if things haven’t become consistent on the 2nd line. A trade would for sure be likely. Bunch of prospects, or picks. Who knows? Go Kings \X/

        • I follow Frattin cause he is a Sioux alum. Last season, before he got hurt he was first in the league in points per minute played. Just tearing up the third line with the leafs. This kid is unreal and deserves more ice time.

          • I have a feeling Frattin will surprise Kings fans who haven’t had the opportunity to see him play.

            The dude is a good player, exactly what this team needs, and has a scoring touch to boot.

    • The Kings are coming into camp with 23 guys on 1-way contracts, plus Toffoli and Ellerby to make it 25. Even if they move one of the nine defensemen, they’ll still have to trade/waive a forward. And if Pearson comes aboard, they’ll need to move a second forward.

      Just don’t think it’s gonna happen.

  3. How’s our LW position working out!? It’s all up to DS. And we’s so many depthes in-line.So,not to worry!We got the gold.The silver CUP is ours…GKG…

  4. Even though I’m sure Darryl Sutter has a guy in mind, the reality is all three guys will get their shot in camp and during the season.

    However, it’s more probable Toffoli or Frattin will get the 2LW spot.

    Why?

    Sutter has an infatuation with Trevor Lewis. If Carcillo plays 2LW, you’d likely have a third line of Toffoli/Stoll/Frattin. Lewis is dropped to the fourth line, because, as much as Toffoli needs to work on his overall game, he (nor Frattin) is suited for fourth line duties. That’s what scrubs like Dan Carcillo are for.

    Ultimately, like you said, I think Frattin is best suited for the role alongside Richards and Carter.

    GKG

  5. Frattin has only played a dozen games at LW. He did OK. Let’s see who wins it out of the two at the end of the year. My money’s on TT.

  6. First time posting to this blog, but this is a well written and tightly reasoned article. Excellent, really.
    Ever since the Bernier/Frattin deal, it’s been fairly apparent that this is Frattin’s next job unless something goes quite wrong.
    Carcillo’s presence in LA is puzzling, he’s not the kind of player either Lombari or Sutter are known to have much interest in. These guys value control and discipline. Seems Carcillo is to be a depth guy competing for bottom six spot duty and/or destined to be exported in a deal yet to be made.

    • Yes Pacific…… our GM has done very well, but he has a tendency to make at least one bone head move per year. Otherwise he does alright.

  7. Hopefully Applicant 1′s resume has been forwarded to that new league forming in a barren end of Siberia. Better yet, maybe he can take it there himself. Applicant 2 for now is a good fit on the third line ,getting his feet wet and not having to play against top competition with his skill set should both give him NHL confidence and that 3rd line the scoring it’s been missing on a reg. basis for far too long. And that experience will help when he moves up to the 1st line to take JW’s place one day. Only problem is I think Clifford is a better fit there (muscle) than Lewis , so where would that leave Lewis? Or is Sutter gonna keep Lewis there and move Cliffy? Then there are too many on the 4th line. And what if one of the kids has a great camp…lots of bottom 6 decisions to make.

    Applicant 3 is the perfect fit for the 2nd line and like the first, gives the balance of shooter, playmaker and power forward. He has less than 2 year NHL experience and coming to a new team, with a coach who can motivate the shit out of most players not named Penner, I think he’ll shine. I keep watching some of the highlights of him from this years playoffs Leafs vs the Bruins and he looked great and had consistency . I think that losing time to the knee injury/surgery, cost him some of his confidence, as some players tend to be a bit cautious after an injury. Priior to it, he put up great numbers for the Leafs and seemed to gain it back in the playoffs. He knows this is his chance to show he can do it and that punishing presence is what that line needs and I like how he is fearless at times and drives to the net, not afraid of the dirty areas. I just think he’ll be a great fit there and finally that line will have stability.

    Off topic- at hockey camp in Canada today, the team was on the big ice, but it was covered with boards, painted to look like the ice and had nets. They divided into 2 groups and played street hockey with a ball. Babcock was in mid season form, barking orders. He said this to him was far more valuable than just watching videos. And the players agreed, they said it really made the videos, instructions and system being taught come to life. And although it wasn’t skating, it was running with the stick, on a line, and getting used to the extra distance. Good idea from Babcock, who remains the best coach in the game.

    • Babcock, that dick, he really is a fantastic coach. He and the other prick from Phoenix who somehow manages to take dog shit and turn it into a competitive NHL team.

      But most of all, I am so fucking happy we finally have a coach who isn’t a moron.

      Yes, I am drinking, why do you ask?

  8. Things from Frattin that will help the 2nd line

    1. From this years playoffs, manages to get the puck from Seidenberg, then tie him up which
    helps Lupol get a goal. His size and strength will be an asset, just imagine that’s Carter scoring.
    http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/2576401/leafs2.gif

    2 last Jan vs Sabres, GWG with 1 second left on OT, powers down the boards and to the net
    http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=matt+frattin++goal&view=detail&mid=87CDA89CD49E5D1F652087CDA89CD49E5D1F6520&first=0&FORM=NVPFVR

    another one from this year where he goes right to the net and scores
    http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=matt+frattin++goal&view=detail&mid=4E70939C911A4B17E2F64E70939C911A4B17E2F6&first=61&FORM=NVPFVR

    Shows his speed, and strength, powers down the side and drives to the net and scores.
    That’s just the player that line needs:
    http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=matt+frattin++goal&view=detail&mid=1D779770D4000C79C68F1D779770D4000C79C68F&first=61&FORM=NVPFVR

  9. We won’t know until we see the chemistry part of it all in preseason. Sometimes its just there, sometimes its not. I.e. clifford didn’t seem to have “it” for the second line last year.

  10. Having the ability to skate the full length of the shift with your line mates will be a good qualification to have as well!

    I hope it is FRATS!!!

    GKG

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