Well, Shit, I Hate Those Lines.

Dwight King – Anze Kopitar – Jeff Carter
Dustin Brown – Mike Richards – Justin Williams
Kyle Clifford – Trevor Lewis – Matt Frattin
Daniel Carcillo – Jarret Stoll – Jordan Nolan

That is just…awful.

That certainly is a very tall first line. 6’4″, 6’3″, 6’4″ – one towering group of forwards. By height, it’s like having seven Martin St. Louis on one line. Is Tampa Bay a short team? I am too lazy to look.  The problem is Dwight King now has to play above his skill set and Jeff Carter is without Mike Richards. Yin needs Yang.

Dustin Brown with Mike Richards has never done it for me. The thing with Jeff Carter is that he knows how to get open. He has a terrific hockey IQ and he makes finding the open space or seam look easy. Mike Richards is obviously so in tune with Carter that when Carter is open, he generally has the puck on his stick. Dustin Brown doesn’t have that same skill and Justin Williams is, akin to Richards, more of a play maker. So unless the purpose of this line is to…actually I don’t know what the purpose of this line is. Do you?

That third and fourth line is just a mess. It’s like a finger painting work of art my 5-year-old would draw. I mean, I know what she intended because I am her dad but you wouldn’t. I don’t know what to do with the third and fourth. I love Trevor Lewis at center. And that’s about it.

I want the last lines back.


I still love Darryl Sutter.


Categories: L.A. Kings News

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17 replies

  1. What Neil said. Wouldn’t put alot of water in that bucket. I do get an uneasy feeling though cause adjustments seem unnecessary. Maybe Sutter knows exactly what every teams weakness is though, and custom builds the lines to expose them. Like maybe Dwight King on the first line is the hole in Tampa Bays Deathstar.

  2. That’s just dumb. Stoll on the fourth line is ridiculous. Might as well just scrath him or trade him. Otherwise, I don’t see what your problem is. They probably set those lines in practice and found some good chemistry going on. Doesn’t hurt to give it a try. Kopitar might do better with King driving to the net as opposed to Brown’s game wich more offensive minded, isn’t as brutal on defenseman. Carter will draw a lot of attention, giving Kopitar more room to do what he refuses to do, and score some goals. The second line with Richards will now draw less of the defensive stallwarths of the other team, giving Williams his playmaking ability to shine and brown for some open looks at the net. I also beleive that Lewis is
    better on wing. He’s just not a playmaker, or someone that carries the puck particularly well. His game is disruption and speed witch is better being on wing.

  3. I don’t like the hybrid lines either, and DS needs to stop playing mad scientist, changing lines every game doesn’t give the team a chance to get cohesive. And putting JC and AK on the same line gives the other team an advantage as they don’t have to decide who among JC or AK to put the shutdown players out there against. And although JW and MR have been pretty good together when they’ve played on the same line (and JW being one of the leagues best puck possession players should help there, esp since Richie is a good playmaker , so maybe more time on the O zone ) but Richards and Brown don’t mix well and never have.
    And I don’t get how DK is on the first line or why in the 1st period yesterday on the PP he was on the first unit with JC and AK. Richards , their best PP guy and usually the brains out there, not only wasn’t n the 1st unit , he wasn’t on that PP at all (and it went nowhere) He just can’t be happy unless he’s tinkering, the PP works best and goals and scoring chances come from AK, JC, DB, MR and DD out there as 1st unit. But more often than not, its’ 1st line then 2nd line or in yesterday’s case, DK?.
    Hopefully it’s a short lived experiment and things to back to normal during the game. He did comment on the fact none of his centers have goals yet , so maybe if that changes, he’ll right the ship.
    IF Sutter is that unhappy with the lack of LW, then he should sweet talk DL into making some CAP room and ridding some salary to move Pearson up in the least.
    Even with the line shakeups, the Kings are better and hopefully will come away with 2 pts .

  4. I think he gave a pretty big hint in his interview about none of the centers scoring so far. I think he’s doing this to shake up the centers and get them to start putting pucks in the net. Sorta
    Ike pulling a goalie mid game even though you may be down a couple.

    Definitely Kopitar and Richards need to start putting the puck in the net or it could lead to slump city. And slump city is funk city which fucks with your mind and tough to snap out of sometimes. Stolly could be chipping in also as well a a Fraser.

    Give Fraser a taste of game playing and he’s salivating like pavlovs dog. Fraser running with the big dogs he ain’t centering Carts anytime soon but King yeah possible.

    • Yesss! Deirdre. Yess.
      “IF Sutter is that unhappy with the lack of LW, then he should sweet talk DL into making some CAP room and ridding some salary to move Pearson up in the least.”

      I’ll take every Lombardi comment I can get without being accused of not appreciating Dean myself.
      I do appreciate him…….. I just don’t appreciate his apparent wearing of blinders when it comes to building a team with skilled forwards and having a balance on the team.

      In fact, the more I think about it….. he traded for JW, Already had DB and Kopi, and still, seven years later we haven’t got One Fricken top six forward that he’s developed himself (taking of course into consideration Schenn being traded who presumably would have been one). But still. What does it take?! A decade?
      The problem is that I’ve been going on about this for so long that it’s just – a drag. I’m sorry, but Dwight King is not a first line winger. It’s that simple.

      So, I agree with you Deirdre.
      Rant finished.

  5. I got home and was all set to sit down and write about the new practice lines when I see I’ve been beaten to the punch.

    I was ready to write how much I hated them too. Then I read this article and changed my mind… Sort of.

    I don’t like that Sutter changed them. We played well on Sunday, the team is looking for consistent efforts, stick with the lines, worst case they don’t play well and THEN you change them. So I’m annoyed hat Sutter seems to be tinkering, retrying to strike gold when he at least has some silver he may piss away in his search.

    On the other hand, I’m not a huge believer in that the lines, unless we are talking super chemistry, like Brown-Kopi-Williams USE to have, Carter-Richards have less often than we like to think, or Triple Crown business, are as important to success as some think. Changing the lines shouldn’t take you from being a strong team to a weak team. If your success if tied to lines, then your success is tenuous at best.

    As for the lines themselves, they don’t bug me as much as they bug you, Scribbles. King-Kopi-Carter, sure. Sounds interesting. It’s huge, has speed, size, talent and also Dwight King.

    “So unless the purpose of this line is to…actually I don’t know what the purpose of this line is. Do you?”

    Yes, I do. The purpose is to cycle and get players rotating to the front of the net. Richards isn’t afraid to shoot like Kopi and these guys will play a puck possession game that isn’t reliant upon one guy dangling. This line has potential to score and generate a lot of zone time momentum in the process.

    The third line… Fairly certain is untouched from the last game. Good line.

    The fourth line will pound the shit out of the competition and I am a fan of giving Stoll a role that has less of an emphasis on scoring. Having Lewis and Stoll both play center is smart and gives us great match-ups throughout the line-up. Carcillo and Nolan will do some damage and I don’t see it as a fourth line really. This is two top lines and two bottom lines.

    And now that I’ve rambled on about this, Sutter will either change them again tomorrow morning or just go back to the lines from Sunday.

  6. Darryl’s views on who is playing well are always entertaining, and his approach tends to be far less complicated than meets the eye. With that in mind, think about how often he’s said that Kopitar has been the best player by a country mile. Now think about how often he’s said that certain people (Brown and Williams) are lucky to get to play with him. Finally, think about who he recently said was playing best on the Left wing, and who he has always said is the best on Right wing (one thing we can all agree on), and suddenly King-Kopitar-Carter makes sense. It’s 2 parts reward and 1 part “don’t get comfortable.” It’s not a chemistry experiment. Line 2 is just the other half of the top 6, also not a chemistry experiment. I doubt it lasts long, and if it does it’ll be because it happens to work. Stoll on the 4th line is not a problem in and of itself, it raises the quality and expectations for that line. Nolan and Carcillo are going to have to show they can play at more of a 3rd line level for me to really dig it though. Otherwise it’s a waste of Stoll’s abilities. You know, either that, or he’s been pouring over advanced metrics at 4am and figured out how to rule the entire Tri-State Area. Could be that.

    • ” If your success if tied to lines, then your success is tenuous at best.”

      Well put Surly. Also, the article in the Times did point out that the centers haven’t exactly been a goal scoring machine after six games so far. They have four more games imo to avoid humiliation. Because if they still have Zero goals amongst them after ten games……………………..

      ………………………………………………………….. that would be sad.

  7. I don’t think DS is turning into the “TWEAKER” like Terry Murray was. The “TWEAKER” was like a kid with OCD, who didn’t take his medications, so even if a line like Kopitar/Brown/Williams had 3 goals, 6 assists combined in the previous game (just hypothetically as an example), the “TWEAKER” would still change the line combos regardless.

    I believe DS is just trying to as they say in soccer (football everywhere else) get Kopitar, Richards, Frattin, Stoll to open their goal accounts. If Clifford, Lewis, also somehow open their accounts that would just be a bonus.

    I see this as DS just trying to give Kopitar/Richards/Clifford/Frattin/Lewis/Stoll a better chance at putting a few pucks in the net, in an effort to get that early monkey off their back.

    I see this as DS trying to create a more balanced attack, along with giving the Kings a more physically imposing and punishing fore check and back check.

    Dwight King – Anze Kopitar – Jeff Carter
    Looking at this line Carter has 4 goals, and King has 1 while Kopitar has 5 assists and Carter has 1.

    Dustin Brown – Mike Richards – Justin Williams
    Looking at this line Brown has 2 goals, Williams has 2 goals while Richards has 4 assists.

    Kyle Clifford – Trevor Lewis – Matt Frattin
    Looking at this line Clifford still has no points, Lewis no points and Frattin has 2 assists.

    Daniel Carcillo – Jarret Stoll – Jordan Nolan
    Looking at this line Carcillo has 1 goal, Nolan has 1 goal, Carcillo has 1 assist, Stoll has 1 assist and Nolan 1 assist.

    These lines might just be a temporary adjustment to start the game tonight, while Sutter can still make his in game changes.

    If the Kings are looking to get their cycling game going, then Frattin and Clifford can help out in that area.
    Its just too bad they don’t have Frolov on the team anymore. Fro was a beast on the cycle and puck protection as well as possession not to mention his defensive back checking and puck stripping.

    Kopitar needs to shoot the puck more become a little more selfish instead of looking to make a pass 1st. Kopitar needs to improve his play on the half wall, and be more physical. Kopitar needs to drive to the net more or create space for himself.

    Dwight King needs to step up and use his size. King needs a mean streak and he needs to drive to the net, and not just float around. King needs to get in the corners and win some puck battles.

    Richards will come around eventually, but for the time being, he needs to get a goal or two on the power play, maybe score a shorty to get him going.

    Its good to be getting these experiments done now, rather than later.

    If the Kings are still able to get 2 points with these changes, great, if not then go back to what was working before.

  8. Lines were back to normal today, so I’m not sure what DS will do. But it wouldn’t be too much to ask the first 2 lines to get at least 1 goal each 5 x 5. That area need to pick up. Looking for a good game tonight, Bishop is in net.

  9. Ok, my one negative comment for the night; Kopitar, PLEASE, son, shoot the damn puck. Shit, you are one of the most frustrating Kings I have ever watched.

  10. Well hell, the lines tonight SUCKED! Put them back the way they were! Oh, and what the eff is going on with DD?

  11. Did not see a new blog this am probably cause you 2 were as disgusted as I was at the schlacking We received yesterday.
    The lines were crap..whole team was pretty much crap.
    The D is really playing poorly..DD and SV particularly..
    what don’t we know?
    Lightening certainly exposed our shortcomings.
    We knew they had speed, so where was our forechecking to counter and equalize?
    Depressing game after looking decent vs Panthers.
    GO KINGS GO!!!

  12. I don’t understand breaking up Richards and Carter or even messing with the line up after the Kings played by far there best game of hockey. Maybe they should start playing Kopitar on the wing, or moving him down to a lower line but as of right now I don’t think he is earning that #1 center position. Still very early in the season, but this 1 or 2 goals a game is getting pretty old.


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