1:3 Sharks @ Kings – Turf War

So far this series has not resembled last season’s low-scoring affair between the Kings and Sharks. However, the home ice advantage seems to be intact and tonight the Kings need to see that this one consistency remains for a few more games.

We know what the Kings need to do…

NOT FORCE THE PUCK UP ICE.

The Kings have gotten burned every time they move through the neutral zone by trying to force an overload on a strong side. The Sharks have identified this, applied pressure and caused turnovers time and time again. These strong side plays arise from trying to move the puck up ice too quickly, hoping to catch the Sharks or keep the pace going. It’s more important to settle the puck down in the defensive zone and organize a proper breakout utilizing the width of the ice with shorter passes.

AGGRESSIVELY DEFEND PASSES OFF THE SHARKS’ RUSH

The Sharks formula to beat Quick is fairly obvious. Speed across the blue line, pass above the circles and shoot as quickly as possible. Quick needs to be sharper but can’t be expected to totally adjust his style of play. I am confident in Quick’s ability to stone the puck carrier coming down the wing with speed if he is forced to shoot. The defense needs to not hedge their bets, trust Quick to stop the shooter and crowd the would-be receiver of a one-timer.

PISS OFF NIEMI

Despite copious puck control time in game two, the Kings were unable to generate much offense. Niemi has been too comfortable and is seeing the pucks that come at him. We don’t score our goals the way the Sharks do. Trevor Lewis’ goal last game was exactly the type of play I want to see more of, two players driving towards the net at once, one with the puck, one without. I would like those player’s names to be Kopitar, Gaborik, Carter and Brown. We don’t have a Penner-type anymore to plant a fat ass in front of the net, so it needs to be done by committee. If there isn’t a King hovering within five feet of Niemi at all times in the offensive zone, there is a problem.

FEED OFF THE FANS

This is not up to the Kings, it’s up to you. I don’t care that the Kings come to Staples down 2-0. I don’t care about the embarrassing nature of those losses. It’s time to be LOUD, from the puck drop until the final buzzer. It’s going to be very easy for the building to go silent if the Sharks gain momentum or score a goal. How can you expect the team to ride and turn the tides of momentum if the fans can’t. People will be waiting for the other shoe to drop. It’s up to the team to see that it doesn’t drop, but if it does, it’s incumbent upon you to help put it back on and beat the Sharks over the head with it.

We can’t control who will be the difference maker for the Kings, the player that will score the back breaking goal, or win it quintuple overtime.

You can only control what you do. You can start that chant that gets the crowd roaring. You can lend your voice to a smaller one. You can be that difference maker for the fans.

You can also pray.

Our Kings, who art in the first round, hallowed be thy game.
Thy Kingdom comes as thy wills be done, on home ice at it has been before.
Give us this day our defense back, and forgive no Sharks their transgressions,
As we pound into submission those who trespass against us.
And lead us past game three with a win,
Past these evil Shark fucks.

Amen.

Hail Kopi, full of grace, the fans are with thee.
Blessed art thou amongst players and blessed are the fruit of thy skills, goals.
Holy Kopi, dominant of centers, play for us sinners,
Now until the hour of our Cup.

A-fucking-men.

You know what to do.

Go fucking nuts.

GO FUCKING NUTS!

GO KINGS GO!

GO KINGS GO!!

GO KINGS GO!!!



Categories: L.A. Kings Game Reports, LA Kings Playoff Coverage

Tags: , ,

57 replies

  1. A-FUCKING-MEN and A-FUCKING-MEN!

    I like the double prayer…but if I may suggest, we need a third prayer for our D-core as a whole. I feel we may be a little gun shy at the moment. We need a prayer for health and no hesitation! Attack, attack, attack!

  2. Does anyone know the lines skated this morning? Please tell me Pearson is on the second line!

  3. * how the lines skated this morning?

  4. Those two ass whippings were hard to stomach. San Jose came with both guns blazing and took us by storm. We knew the right cross was coming but we still got five across the eyes. Choking on blood and tears made it hard to see the rest of the assault that ensued.
    Down but not out, today is the day we pick ourselves up by the boot straps, look the enemy in the eye and unleash a furious assault of fire and brimstone.

    WE ARE MANY
    WE ARE PROUD
    WE ARE HOME
    WE ARE KINGS!!!

  5. Freakin Regher runs into Quick and costs the Kings the lead. Starting to want to join the Robin bashing.

    • Yeah I noticed that too right when it happened. When you’re clumsy and slow and always behind the play, you will take shortcuts like that, and stumble into your goaltender, trying to keep up with the NHL pace. You will always fall trying to turn and crash yourself into the boards, as Regehr also did this game.

      That’s 3 million on the books next year, folks. Thanks Dean, you asshole. It’s been a long time coming, but I can officially call myself a smarter evaluator of talent than Dean Lombardi right now, by far, and since everyone on this blog thinks I’m a total idiot, I hope it makes everyone who thinks that re-evaluate how exactly they should feel about Dean Lombardi. Im not even going to argue about whether I’m an idiot. I’m just pointing out that it’s very clear that however much of an idiot I am, Dean knows even less about hockey. It’s not even debatable anymore. Regehr, Lewis, Mike Richards, so many other things, I’ve called them all. I used to get insulted by other Kings fans who got offended when I complained about Mike Richards’ regression. Now everyone sees it. I was one of the first. Dean probably still hasn’t seen it. It’s pathetic.

  6. Ok I have to say..
    I DO NOT Like Jeff Carter on the PK..he is no D player..have seen this numerous times this season :-(((
    GOKINGSGO!!!

  7. Ain’t meant to be this season.

  8. Trevor Lewis’ hands of stone bobbling the puck in the defensive zone led to that final shift and the goal. This is where lack of skill kills you. You can dominate territorially all overtime without finishing because you don’t have the skill to make the final play, and then it just takes one bobble in your own zone because you can’t handle the puck to end the game.

    Anyway the skilled defensemen on this team are way too small and weak, and the big defenseman are way too slow and untalented. The forwards are all too slow. I counted about 15 strides when Justin Williams turned around and skated the puck from halfway in his own zone to the center ice line. Just nothing on his strides. And it’s like that for most of the forwards.

    We could have gotten better bounces to make it 4-2 or 4-3 in the 3rd period, but the Sharks just would have come and tied it back up anyway. Whenever we go ahead, they turn on the jets and score at will. This team sucks. Gaborik had his one moment of brilliance on a 3-on-2 when the Sharks let him skate all the way to the net untouched, but the other 99% of the time when he has to skate through checks, he’s not fast like he used to be and he’s soft along the boards. It’s hard to score in this league. To be an elite skill guy, you really do need to have the type of speed Gaborik had at his peak, or the speed Nathan Mackinnon is showing now, or you need Patrick Kane’s combination of quickness and otherworldly stickhandling. No one on the Kings has that, although Kopitar and Carter are elite all around players.

    But our future GM has a lot of work to do next summer. I just hope it’s not Dean.

    • Hey, that’s pretty severe and yet I for one am not a huge Dean supporter. Without going into his decision making, I’ve said for years that he seems to lean towards a style of play that existed years prior to the lockout – while most all other teams in the west have upped their level of speed and skill.
      Some compare us to the Bruins, but they have way more snarl and their puck movement in the offensive zone is better, to say nothing of the fact that they get way more offense from their bottom six than the Kings, who essentially get very little.
      That said, Stoll and Lewis scored in the series so far for the Kings, but Way too many other problems as a team.

  9. And to clarify, we had FULL POSSESSION until Trevor Lewis bobbled it.

    And once Marleau had it, Mike Richards could have gotten to him and blocked the shot with a poke check, except he was a STEP SLOW (plus he went for the hit instead which was stupid).

    But why was Mike Richards a step slow to get to Marleau? Because he’s a step slow PERIOD. That’s what happens when you draft (or in this case trade for) character and “leadership” over talent, and just assume that someone’s character is going to trump the fact they’ve been declining EVERY SEASON for like five years.

    If Mike Richards is such a character player, how does Dean explain the fact that he lets himself get more and more out of shape every single year? The dude has so much character he probably hasn’t walked into a weight room since before signing his big contract back in Philadelphia. When you’re that small and you want to play in the NHL, plus you’re not a natural skater, the only way is to keep yourself in absolute peak condition every single season in order to get the maximum amount of juice out of those legs, because he needs it. There’s a reason Philadelphia traded this guy, he couldn’t have less character.

  10. Game over man, game over. Mike Richards or Dustin Brown or both?

    • Sutter said Richards played 18 minutes tonight. Never really thought he was much of a factor though. There’s so many things wrong with his game right now. His passing is atrocious. Like Herb Brooks says the pass is from the heart. Richards flings his passes at waist to head level thinking that it’s gonna connect. Yeah sometimes you gotta elevate your passes but holy shit not that elevated. Not to mention his constant fanning. I don’t think he even has an assist even. Elite players step up their games come playoff time so what does that say about him.

      Browns been out of it since day one really.

  11. Fuck this. I’ve keep deleting what I got to say, cause I got nothing

  12. Listened to the game and I heard “he shoots wide, he shoots over the net, he over skates the puck, he fans on the pass, he can’t control the pass” all game long. Sheer disappointment with the outcome. Could have went either way but the better team won.
    Series isn’t over yet. One more round to fight.

  13. Not much to complain about from me. The boys played a solid game of hockey. I’ll take that effort with a smile.

    As I mentioned before SJ is playing well and getting the bounces…hard to beat a team when you combine the two.

    • I gotta agree they came to play. Sj had some lucky ass goals. Quick looked like he was ready to go guns of navarone.

      Its happened one to many times this season. Kings dominate then end up losing some weird fucked up way.

  14. I wouldn’t quite say the Kings played a solid game, but I will say that they DID play better. They DID make a game of it. We saw many of the same problems that have existed with this team, but there certainly was some improvement. They tried. Three unlucky goals by the Sharks didn’t help the Kings. However, the Sharks played another one of their very solid games. That team is very good. I don’t like them, but everyone needs to admit that this looks like their year. Everyone on that team is playing well and they’re getting the bounces. It looks like they’re this season’s team of destiny. If they continue to play like they have, they could take it all. That includes beating the best of the East, which could be my favorite team in the East, the Rangers, but will most likely be the Bruins. Personally, for this playoff season, I’ll be rooting for Colorado to win the Western Conference Championship.

    As for the Kings’ organization, as expressed above, in all of the other very good comments, changes certainly DO need to be made. No one can know what the ownership of this team will choose to do. If they’re smart, they’ll think of major changes, tweaking will not work. And this process will take time. There is virtually no way that they’re going to fix this team in the off season. We will need to hope for the best, and continue to support them as those changes are made.

    I would like to add that Jonathan Quick played a great game. If he hadn’t been as good as he was, the Sharks would have had another blow out.

    • I did watch the game at 2am on replay so they did cut part of the 1st and 2nd periods for “time constraints” but I saw a solidly played game.

      I did DVR the game so I’ll watch it in its entirety, but what I saw was Kings controlling good portions of the game. I believe we had them on their heels and played solidly in their zone with good pressure for large amounts of time.

      I saw a good forecheck with great body contact creating turnovers. I even saw Toffoli throw a couple hits with purpose. I was pleased with his game. He made good strides from the previous two battles. That beautifully place pass, was a gem.

      I saw Pearson compete his ass with with his limited experience during a crucial game. I think this kid will be a solid second line LW with a little more polishing. I’m excited about this kid.

      I saw both Gaborik and Kopitar drive to the net with vigor that resulted in two beautiful goals. Can we please have more of that, men? Beautifully done!

      I saw the forwards play Kings hockey on the back check and with their defensive responsibilities.

      I would say the 3rd and 4th lines held serve and played evenly. Something we didn’t see the first two games.

      I hated the penalties but that happens when your putting forth your best competitive spirit. They were hustle mistakes. I can live with that.

      I have to admit, I didn’t watch the d-men all that much so I’ll watch the game again before I comment on the group.This of course is where we need a few upgrades, no question.

      Of course mistakes are going to be made, but did we play well enough to win? In a ten game series how many games would end in victory with last nights efforts? I would guess the majority 60-70%, but I am half-full kind of guy, so that may be a bit liberal. But I truly believe that.

      As you say, SJ is a good darn team who’s riding a wave of momentum and good fortune at the moment and we battled them to the end. We easily could have won that game. It just wasn’t meant to be. It happens that way sometimes.

      I still believe we only need a few tweaks or upgrades. And I don’t believe it will take a long time. Are they the best team? No. But they can compete with anybody in the league, even at this point where some think big changes need to be made. We’re not elite but we certainly don’t suck.

      We earned 100 points in the West with both Mitchell and Greene showing their age and not producing like we hoped they would. Some will add Robyn not being adequate, but I think he did his job night in and night out. I like him. Two of our top six forwards had horrendous years which caused major inconsistencies and our number 1 goalie was out 20 something games and we still finished with 100 points in the West. Not bad, I’d argue!

      We certainly need to move forward and progress, but I don’t think it will take as much as some think.

      • This was a decent, solid game by Kings. If they had played this way the first 2 we would have a different series leader.
        Quick played his game. He was On.
        Kings forechecked, backchecked, had gap control. This was a game that held my attenion and respect.
        Gabby goal was my highlight…that is what he does!
        Just art on the Ice. Awesome.
        Stollie esp all heart out there ♡ for his Effort.
        Pearson..great job. He should be pleased.
        I agree Greene..scratch …and Mitchell showing age..Although I think this was Willie’s best game.
        I love RR from way back, and thought he was fiesty and solid for most of the regular season games. .a couple of them flat out great But I see he is not able to keep up in Playoff Hockey. I can see, and understand our older guys getting pink slips this summer. :-(
        GOKINGSGO!!!

    • What really bothers me is SJ got guys like Marleau and Thornton, who are point per game players EVERY SEASON for like the last decade, to re-sign for only three year contracts, and they got Logan Couture and Joe Pavelski to sign for only six years, right after both took much lower $ bridge contracts, but somehow we have to give Dustin Brown, who hasn’t as good as any of those players, eight years?

      Say what you want about Doug Wilson, but he has all those San Jose players completely whipped and completely in love with San Jose to where it eliminated all their leverage. Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau are like 33 or 34 years old. Every other player like them, at that point in their career, since the lockout, has used their leverage to get the “last big contract.” Everyone else in their position goes for that Brad Richards type of contract, the last big contract that takes them until they’re 40 or whatever.

      Put simply, if Marleau and Thornton had gone to market, they could have gotten maximum term (7 year) deals. And normally, that means that if their team wants to re-sign them, they have to compete with that term. As in, “we want to re-sign here, but we can get 7 years on the market, and we’re nearing the end of our careers, so unless you can at least offer us 5 or 6 years, we can’t stay.”

      That’s normal. But those Sharks players are so in love with their organization and their city and their GM, they just do whatever their GM wants. They also could have gotten 8 million a year on the open market, especially Thornton. 8 million per year, 7 years. They could have gotten 56 million guaranteed. Instead they signed for 6 million a year for three years.

      Marleau and Thornton rejected 56 million dollars guaranteed to sign with San Jose for only 19 million guaranteed. I mean that’s crazy. What if they get injured in the next three years, career ending? Only 19 million is guaranteed. They could potentially lose out on over 35 million. But they did that to re-sign with San Jose. Couture and Pavelski have also led the way there in volunteering to take “bridge contracts” after their entry level deal, which means now every player in San Jose is going to have to follow suit and that they’re going to get cap friendly deals on all their young players, like Tomas Hertl. Joe Thornton’s brother is even the agent for some of the Sharks players, like Couture. Joe Thornton clearly has a huge stake in the Sharks organization, so it’s obvious his brother is going to try to help the Sharks too, instead of trying to get his clients the absolute most money like every other agent does.

      When we had to re-sign Drew Doughty, his agent wanted the biggest contract possible. No loyalty to the Kings, no helping them. But when they had to re-sign Couture, Joe Thornton’s brother convinces him to take 2 million a year for two years.

      And we give Dustin Brown 8 years… I just don’t get it. How does Doug Wilson have everyone in San Jose on lockdown, but Dean has gotten himself in this position where he has to hand out max term to Dustin Brown? It’s really frustrating, and it’s a big reason why the Sharks can fit as much talent as they have under their cap, and a big reason we may struggle to keep up with them during this upcoming era of four-division NHL hockey.

  15. Fuck all yall. It aint over.

  16. I hope your right Matt !

  17. I’m of the opinion that merely possessing the puck hardly translates to domination. I can carry a puck around in my fucking pocket all damned day, it’s not gonna help anyone on the scorecard. Anyone else notice the crap chances we were left with in their zone. We were forced to the backhand on every shot. The possession we boast is the same possession we give to other teams because we know we can handle the shots cause they won’t be coming from anywhere players score from. Those are the shots the Kings take, and that is the possession we enjoy. Perimeter possession is for basement teams that aren’t up to the cap in payroll. That game should have never gone to OT. We gave the lead away twice in our building. There was a distinct difference in intensity, the Sharks had the upper hand. We played the game not to lose, they played it to win. There is probably no chance in hell we dump Sutter or any of our overpayed players in the off season. The Kings are gonna have to stop selling out games to give a shit. Maybe fans wanna pay to see the Jennings trophy winners.

    • This is so true. Shot totals can be very misleading, not to mention SJ was even leading in shots like 37 to 25 at some point if I remember correctly. But a lot of the Kings shots are not clean opportunities. It’s like all they can do, if they’re lucky, is somehow fight for possession of a bouncing puck down low, and then kick it back to the point really quickly because that’s the only place that’s at all open, and the defenseman has like half a second to flip the puck to the net before the shot lane is covered, and everyone just hopes it deflects or bounces off or something into the net. Obviously the powerplay is a little different, you get more clean chances (although our PP still isn’t good), but I’m just talking about 5 on 5 here.

      We’re getting very few clean opportunities. Everyone talks about the Sharks getting bounces, and they have, but one of the reasons we’re complaining about bounces right now is because our whole offense is built around bounces. Kick it to the point, flip it at net, try to get traffic, hope for bounces. It’s not like we have prime Sheldon Souray back there picking corners. Every once in awhile Muzzin, Doughty, or Martinez picks a corner, but this series has been so hard fought, with so little time and space, they haven’t even have time. It’s literally like, just flip it and hope that it doesn’t get blocked, and then hope for bounces.

      Everything is on the outside. Almost nothing is clean off the rush. And in the half court cycle, no one has the speed to take it from outside to inside without getting it poke-checked away. All they can muster are opportunities from the outside.

      And ironically enough, the Sharks have had this same problem for years, but the additions of Brent Burns, Tomas Hertl, Matt Nieto, and Raffi Torres has fixed this to a large extent for them, plus the combination of playing against such a slow team (us) has really allowed them to create more off the rush and more clean opportunities than ever before.

  18. Changes will come, players will leave, others will arrive. That won’t make this team better, rather ‘different’. The biggest problem with the Kings is Sutter. His system is a very demanding one, a hard driven pace (playoff style hockey) that is mentally and physicall taxing. It’s no coincidence that they look worn out and have so , for hte most part, since Jan. This being their first full 82 game season in that system. They hit a a wall at the halfway point for a reason and if not for the 3 week Olympic break, they wouldn’t have caught a second wind. Next year, they don’t have thta luxury, 82 straight in the Sutter meat grinder. And DS has mismanaged the bench most of hte year, the most glaring example being stripping TT of his confidence. That kid should have been Kopi’s RW all year, good or bad, learning from his mistakes by playing more and with STABILITY which all young players need. He was also outcoached in this series.

    DL will trade some of the current roster and bring more in, but don’t forget, they will be DL type players, not necessarity the ones you want or have mentioned (trade this guy to that team for that Left wing. or D ) THe players on your wish list might not be the ones on his. Defense needs a big upgrade as does the bottom 6. If Gabby agrees to a 3 year reasonable deal, add TT full time up on the 1st and Pearson ont he 2nd and keep them there, all 82, no juggling. Retool some of the bottom 6 to add players that can score and contribute like other teams have. A nice dream but not likely.

    I see an NHL that is evolving and teams with coaches, either younger or more in tune to adapting to the evolution, utizling a system that encourages speed and skill. But Sutter is not one of those coaches, he’s old school, very stubborn and set in his ways. And DL loves the guy…
    I just can’t see progress as long as he’s behind the bench.

    • I agree with you Deirdre. And as far as Pearson, Vey and Toffoli are concerned, I really like those three players. Sutter has jacked them around all season. What does this mean? It means that those young men will take more time to develop. Maybe they’ll be traded away like other quality young players have in the past. Then, they’ll become stars on another team.

      I would also like to see King taught to be an imposing force in front of the net. He has the size. And we’ve seen that he has good hands. He isn’t a great skater, but he doesn’t need to be an awesome skater to be “that man who stands in front of the net.” We’ve all seen the difference a good strong player, who can stand strong in front of an opposing goalie, can make in a game.

      • Good point on King. And given how ineffective their PP was most of hte year, why not put him out there and just stand in front of the net. It’s worked for Simmonds and worked well. And he does have the size to do it, just rare that you see him try.

        • That needs to be trained into him. He’s big and strong. And with good hands, he can practice a lot of tips, which we’ve already seen him do in a few games this season. He would make a good “Power Forward!” He doesn’t need to be mean. He just needs to be strong and skilled. And with his ever-present smile, he would drive the opposition crazy!!

          I’m thinking of other forwards in the NHL who’ve made it their job to plant themselves, very successfully, in front of opposing goalies. And Tomas Homstrom was one of the best at it!

          http://icehockey.wikia.com/wiki/Tomas_Holmstrom

    • Deirdre I’ve had some disputes on another blog w someone who feels Dean is doing everything he can to make adjustments. I don’t though so best I don’t even get into it anymore over there.

      In life, things can often change fast, and they have in how the game is played.

      St. Louis added Schwarz and Tarasenko (who Dean could’ve had), San Jose Hertl and Nieto, Colorado MacKinnon, Landeskog, Duchene (granted drafting very high), Chicago added Saad and that new guy they brought over (forget the name), and on it goes. Detroit Tatar and Nyquist (2nd and 3rd rd respectively). ALL OF THOSE WITHIN THE LAST THREE YEARS,

      Meanwhile in Seven Years Dean has constructed a top six out of trades and what Dave Taylor left him. I didn’t even notice if Toffoli was in the top six last night (seem to recall he was). The League Has Changed Dramatically and he’s failed to adapt to it.
      If that continues then there sure as hell is gonna be challenging moments ahead for the franchise.

      • I think the confusion might be DL making calls , not ‘doing everything’ or what his version of ‘doing everything ‘ is. It could be he did try to get a D and the price ,to him was too high. I know from what he said on a TSN radio show that he tried for an LW but hinted that the cost was too high. So I’m guessing the D was the same. Gabby was the cheapest option. I’m guessing Vanek or Moulson would have cost the Kings TT and DL backed down. (which is good) But it was pretty obvoius this year, esp down the stretch and in the last 3 games, that the D needs upgrading. Greene is done and Mitchell, I wouldn’t sign him either, RR is a Sutter favorite but I’m not sure if he’s fast enough going forward in this system. But he might have to stay.
        I’m guessing DL agrees with Sutter and who comes up, etc If he wanted TT in the top 6 , I think TT would have been there no?
        I still hope that he’s seeing all the youth that are propering on other teams and next year, TT and TP and maybe McNabb are on the team.
        We’ll see…but he has to at some point, let go of his attchment to certain grinders, time to move on .

        • Agree wholeheartedly. He is far too attached to some sort of vision in his head as to what the DL prototypical player is. Well………………. That about eliminates Tatar, Nyquist, Tarasenko, Hagelin (sp), and probably another 15-20 young talented 2nd or 3rd year players had they been available in a phantom rookie draft.

          I swear I don’t know for the life of me What his issue is with fast, skilled players.
          It seems that the Kings draft pool is limited as well. Seems to be rather exclusively Canadian Juniors WHL and OHL, American colleges, and Russia. Scandinavia, Sweden, Finland etc seem off limits.

    • This is a very interesting and thought-out theory. I think you might be onto something. I remember thinking the same thing about the NY Rangers under Tortorella a year or two ago, but hadn’t really thought about it with the Kings since they’ve always played better in the playoffs under Sutter since he arrived, not worse. But you bring up the important variable which is that this is their first full season under him. So that’s very true.

      Although, they did have Terry Murray before Sutter came. Was that not also an equally taxing system? So they may not have had a full season under Sutter yet, but they did have a full season under Sutter/Murray, and that’s the year they won the Cup.

      But still I think you’re right. Even if it’s not just that it’s the first full season of Sutter, since they already had a full season of Sutter/Murray, it’s still probably true that they’re just worn down. They’ve been playing this style under Sutter (or Murray before him) for years, and they’ve gone deep in the playoffs the last two seasons too. So I definitely think they’re worn down.

      However, that’s also on players like Brown and Richards. We can talk about the first full season under Sutter, but those guys had dead legs the first game of the season. So it wasn’t the whole season that wore them down, it’s the fact that they came to training camp out of shape and they were never in shape to begin with. Poor work ethic. Someone like Jeff Carter who came to training camp looking faster than ever still looks great, because he worked hard all year and all of last summer and kept his body in the type of shape you need to succeed in the NHL. San Jose plays a very taxing style too, and yet Patrick Marleau at his old age looks faster than he’s ever been. All their players are flying. Because they stay in top shape all the time. Marleau had one bad season under Ron Wilson, otherwise he is the same guy with amazing legs every year. Thornton has the same legs every year. Same with Burns since he got to San Jose. Same with Couture, somehow who fell in the draft because of concerns about his skating and speed, the guy is faster than 90% of the players on the Kings and he flies around, gets huge jump from every stride. Meanwhile all our comparable guys, Richards, Williams, Brown, even Kopitar at times, Regehr, Greene, Mitchell, even Voynov, King has gone down since the Cup year, so has Voynov, Clifford’s gone backwards, all of our guys, their legs get worse. The Sharks players stay the same or get better.

      So I think a big part of it is the culture. The Sharks obviously have some sort of fitness coach,or locker room leaders, keeping tabs on all the players all offseason long, making sure everyone stays in top shape. And they have Thornton and Marleau (and Boyle), who for all their shortcomings, definitely are the example to young guys of “how to be professionals.” Because they are in top shape EVERY year. They never lose even half a step. And everyone else on the team takes after that.

      Dustin Brown is the opposite. Some years he’s not in shape the whole season, and he looks slow all year. Some seasons he comes to camp out of shape, and only gets into shape halfway through the year and his legs come alive. But he’s not consistent at all and he doesn’t serve as a role model to everyone else on the team to always be in shape.

      And then there was the offseason after Kopitar got injured where Dean Lombardi was like “I think he’s really working out this offseason and really wants to win this year and he’s working harder than ever before.” Really? So then why wasn’t he doing that every other year? Of course that was the year he had the best playoff run and we won the Cup. Coincidence? Since then he’s probably gone back to his normal routine from before, and he’s obviously still very good, but is he doing all he can like that one year? Probably not. And we know Mike Richards, another role model on this team, was shipped out of Philadelphia in part because he wasn’t being a good example to young players and seemed to be more interested in partying than working out. Dean said “it might be time to grow up” when we acquired him, but the dude was already the captain in Philadelphia for years. Why wasn’t he already grown up at that point? If he was relied on as Captain in Philadelphia, but he still wasn’t acting grown up even then, then what made Dean think Mike Richards could come to LA, not have the responsibility or scrutiny on him of being a captain, and then actually work harder and party less? In LA.

      And that’s another question mark… who knows how much of it is just that they live in LA? Yes the Lakers succeeded plenty despite being in LA, but basketball is not the same. Being in shape is important in basketball, but it’s mostly about skill. Kobe’s 40-time isn’t going to affect his game that much season to season. It’ s not like in hockey where speed means so much, where the power of your stride is everything, your ability to separate from checks or not separate. These players are celebrities in the party capitol of the world, and that probably affects their physical condition too.

      So it’s a lot of things… none of them good. But it’s been clear to me all season long that a good number of players on this team have not been held accountable by the organization, and they were not in good shape all year long, and they did not work out over the summer the same way, say, the Sharks players did.

      • And by the way this extends to the prospects especially, which I’ve been harping on a lot. As much as I love Tyler Toffoli, this year’s Tyler Toffoli is at best the exact same Tyler Toffoli as last year’s, and probably a little bit worse. That’s a whole year in his development cycle, a pivotal year, and the dude has made zero progress whatsoever. No faster, no stronger. It’s like he didn’t work at his game at all in the offseason, or hit the gym at all, and it’s like the organization wasn’t involved at all in his development over the summer and making sure he was working on the things he was supposed to. And that’s a problem that goes all the way back to Matt Moulson and Teddy Purcell, who the organization failed to develop as well. But then they go to other organizations that know how to develop players and make sure they’re getting faster and stronger every offseason, and they turn into great players.

  19. And one last point…………. With all of the good things they have already in place (kopi, doughty, carter, quick, voynov, perhaps pearson) it is a pity to not take advantage of that which is in place.
    I feel a more forward thinking GM could reshape what we already have. I’m personally less clear wrt Sutter.
    I just know that the types of players they draft and the philosophy of the team (Totally agree with Deirdre) is designed to wear them out over an 82 game season plus the travel.
    Teams who rely more on skill and skating DURING THE REGULAR SEASON have more left in the tank to bring in skill plus physicality come playoff time.

    See: Sharks San Jose, Blackhawks Chicago as references. It’s easier on the body and easier on the spirit.

    • You made some good points Drew. The Kings don’t need a total rebuild, but if the right changes aren’t made, none of us will be happy with the future of this team.

      • I hope so, I really would like to see TP and TT in the TOp 6 next year full time, no bouncing. And even tho I’d like to see another young hungry prospect in the bottom 6, not likely.
        Retool the team, maybe, just move some pieces out and bring in (hopefully) a solid D partner for DD to start. Given the Cap and other contracts DL has to get to, not sure how much would be left, if Gabby gets the 6 mill or so as well.

        • Given the cup win and all DL is definitely locked into some pretty serious contract engagements. And that’s possibly as you say, an issue moving forward.
          Deirdre, you hopefully saw my comments above regarding the drafting of players by other teams.

          It truly has me puzzled as to why we haven’t been able to draft young dynamic forwards in one way or another. Yes Simmonds is great, but he was 3rd line while in LA. If Toffoli starts to develop next year then that would be one thing……. But eight years in to a GMs reign before you have One dynamic home grown forward?

          That seems very ……….. odd, strange, disappointing, whatever the word is, to me.

          • I guess we can complain, but it won’t make any difference. It would be nice if we could e-mail suggestions to DL!!! :-)

        • I like your thinking, Deirdre! :-)

      • That’s the issue, isn’t it? The fans might have one version of ‘right change’ and DL might have another. He doesn’t seem to be the type to change his stripes. I don’t see him shopping for gazelles. We know he wants to upgrade at D and he tried to get ad LW but I’m thinking Gabby is it, no more coming in. Possibly 6 M to Gabby and at least 5 for reasonble D if not more. So he has to move a few pieces. Heavy on RW and TT moving into top 6 makes JW expendable. Clifford and Greene I think as well and possible another bottom 6 player
        But fans being fans, whatever the move is, there will be some unhappy.,

        • It’s a fact that, if this team is going to improve (a must) several of the regulars will need to go.

  20. Yeah Persister. Deirdre really nailed it but she and I see pretty much the same things.

    Old time hockey was great during that era, but even Stoll was quoted in today’s Times as saying the players are getting faster every year. It’s life. It’s evolution. If we don’t evolve we get left behind. Personally I don’t quite see Dean as someone open to the new young progressive approach some are integrating.

    I’m learning to never write off anyone, so who knows how Dean might evolve?
    But it’s true what Deirdre says that DS (and Dean IMO) are currently tuned to a different frequency.

    • I don’t think, with the now faster game, that players will have long careers in the NHL. That will be a thing of the past. Slow and slower will be a thing of the past. There won’t be guys who manage to hang on until they’re in their forties. They will need to be bigger, faster and stronger!

  21. A lot of you guys (and gals) have made some excellent points and observations!
    Change is needed. DL & DS’s old school hockey mentality is great…..for old time hockey. This isn’t the NHL your daddy grew up watching!
    Wake up you old fuckin dinosaurs this ain’t the late 90’s Devils type league anymore!

    • You are so right!!

    • You can say that again. My buddy was harping on how we need to get a Scott Stevens type badass player on D. I couldn’t help but agree, then I thought about it a little. Scott Stevens would be the most hated player in the NHL and would be the most suspended player of all time if he played today. If he played like he did then of course. How many top tier players careers did he end with head injuries. It’s a different game in a lot of ways. It’s a much less physical game in some ways and a lot more in others. Can you imagine if Drew ended Crosbys career with a head shot. Didn’t Stevens hit Lindros twice in the head? Ya pretty different…….

    • I still believe in Dean and Darryl, although I’m wondering If the old Sutter magic may have waned a bit. I’m disappointed in Dean very much for not replacing Scuderi and tinkering with the bottom six a bit, but that doesn’t make him bad. He is still a good evaluator of talent and has been pretty good at finding diamonds in the rough, such as Gravel and a then perpetually injured Williams. They.one the Cup for Christ sakes. They should be given more time and leeway.

      • How much time? How much leeway? We won the cup in 2012, WCF last year and on the verge of a first round exit. I’m not delusional to think we can win the cup every year, but since the cup win this team hasn’t been the same. I’d hate to see the core players lose the prime of their careers because management needed more “time”.
        Look, I don’t know what the answers are but I’m a fan just like everybody else here and want a few more Stanley Cup banners hanging from the rafters

    • So true. Like I detailed in the comments a few days ago, the best roster player on this team that Dean has picked with the last SEVEN 1st round picks is… wait for it…

      Trevor Lewis. And he picked Lewis over Claude Giroux and a million other better players WITH SKILL.

      When that happens once, maybe you can chalk it up to coincidence, but when it happens seven times in a row like that, it becomes obvious that Dean’s preference is not for skill. Even Tanner Pearson, who looks like he could develop into a nice complimentary player, is not an acceptable 1st round pick. That’s a nice 2nd or 3rd round pick right there, someone who is a good complimentary two-way forward who will play on your 3rd line, maybe your 2nd if you’re lucky. Someone with a 50-point ceiling, basically.

      Why would you ever limit the ceiling of your 1st round pick that way? You should be drafting players with 100-point ceilings in the 1st round. That way you at least have a shot at a superstar like that. And if it doesn’t work out, and he only becomes a 50-point player, then you’re still no worse off. Or he could bust completely, sure, but that can happen with anyone, even more so these guys with no skill in the first place that Dean drafts which gives them even less of a shot at making it in the NHL, where skill is kind of important.

      So the Kings entire draft philosophy is flawed, and we’re seeing the results on the ice.

      • Hey, I’m probably one of the biggest critics of Dean Lombardi. Just to clarify; Doughty (2nd overall and great pick, but you’d better come up w something drafting so high). Bernier, I’ll defend DL on that one too as Quick was not yet established. And Schenn was a good pick and the decision was made to get Richards.

        So far so good. Where it gets very poor though is going Off the board w the 4th overall pick for an undersized dman like Hickey.
        Colten Teubert in the Doughty draft. Horrible pick. Another muscle tough to play against type who couldn’t even make Edmonton. That’s Very poor!
        Derek Forbort picked before Tarasenko who is a bonafide goal scorer w St. Louis, at a time when the Kings desperately needed a forward who can score goals. And the reports so far on Forbort are only average.
        Trevor Lewis is a really nice player, but he’s the sort of player that the Detroit Redwings would draft in the fourth or fifth round. So he could have done far better there as well.

        Clifford was a second round pick, and normally you’d like to get more than five goals in an 82 game season from a 2nd round pick.
        It’s not as bad as you say, but it’s sure not an amazing draft record either.

  22. Oh fuck man dude. Who the fuck cab step up anymore considering we are back to a 1 Centre team followed by a bunch of bottom six? Okay, Carter can play Centre but he is a goal scorer. Fuckng Regehr man, Marleau just makes him look stupid. Voynov look like he’s Zhitnik at 40. These tickets need to fucking step up. These fuckers are simply not a championship caliber team. That’s all there is to it. You can put however many Gaboriks into the lineup as you want, but the fundamental weaknesses of this team are finally and fully being exposed. I wish you the best.

  23. The mr. Commiserate or whoever you are. Don’t care. But why don’t you shut the fuck up with your negative bullshit. Go fuck yourself!

  24. Maybe a GM should be judged by the farm team (pipe line) NHL is tough league and great “O” players usually suck At “D” except ours ….just a thought to some of the Dean comments…(not quite sure myself) the sharks look like a team that has retooled the last couple of years to beat us in the playoffs…plus I think we are a little smaller now… Having said that we put together 2 longs winning streaks at the end of the year so 4 in a row is very possible and if any team could do it we can just ask #10 ..peace!

    GKG!!!!

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