200 Feet of Chemistry

Chemistry.

Pearson-Carter-Toffoli have it. As do Kopitar and Gaborik, Clifford and Lewis, Stoll and Williams, Doughty and Muzzin, Greene and Martinez and Mitchell and…

A friend sent me a text after the game and asked me if I was starting to become a Jake Muzzin believer. Jake Muzzin played an okay game (and has had a good series). He was reliable although I didn’t care for his stick positioning on Chicago’s second goal. His job there is to tie up Toews’ stick and lean on him. But what excited the hell out of me was that Slava Voynov looked like the silky, smooth Russian defenseman with a North American edge. I missed Slava and I was happy to see a complete game from him.

Of the entire team, Mike Richards struggled (though I appreciated his hard work on the PK) as did Dustin Brown, to a lesser extent. Brownie’s big hit, followed by unpleasant greetings to Toews thereafter are the kind of moments that can trigger Dustin to bigger and better things. I remain hopeful of each from our Captain.

Kopitar and Williams were okay, Anze more than Stick and that is one of the things that we should take away from a win like this. While we play a great 200 foot game from just about everyone, different players are contributing. We have 6 forwards that are a constant threat to generate high quality scoring chances and score goals. And each of them can do it with speed, skill and/or the hard-working and greasy kind. We then have another 6 that don’t hurt us defensively and chip in on an as-needed basis.

On defense, I am content. Greene appears to have found his 2012 form, just in time. He keeps that up and he brings the kind of balance that made us a force.

Did you notice that their top line was taken away the Kopitar-Gaborik line? I told Jacob that I wanted to see Sutter put Lewis’ line on Toews and just have Lewis shadow Toews. That would free up Kopitar and Gabby to do what they do best – bury the biscuit. Looks like they were more concerned about it than we were. Hope they stick with that. Because when you try to stop The 70’s Line, even if that is possible, you get a face full of dazzle from our 1st.

Back to chemistry.

It is often said that some players just have it and you can’t create it. I disagree. While, like in life, we are more compatible with certain people, far more than others, a complementary skill set and an equally fierce work ethic is the foundation for chemistry among hockey lines or defensive pairings. Our men must never forget that last ingredient and while we lead the series 2-1, building upon our work ethic with more of the same is the surest path to continued success.



Categories: L.A. Kings Game Reports

Tags: ,

27 replies

  1. Swap brown and Williams. Trade brown Richards in off season, get rid of king

  2. Not sure I want to see anyone traded…I have been on the fence about it but our core is winning so perhaps don’t mess with it. Give Brown opp to get his mojo back. Same with Richards. They are both winners.

    • I think the question becomes what are the plans for the 70’s line moving forward. Does Crater stay at center between the two kids next year or do they have plans on moving him back to wing?

      If Carter stays at center, in my mind that would be bad news for Richards. We’re not paying 6 mil for a 4th line center beyond this year, especially when we need 5-6 mil to pay Gaborik.

      It shall be an interesting off season.

      • Carter playing center won’t affect MR next year. Mike Richards is not a 4th line center because for this playoff run, Sutter is rolling 4 lines fairly evenly and playing him there. And he’s explained that more that once. . If you’ve watched the Kings all year, you saw how good MR was thru Dec, and not just keeping under a PPG pace, in all aspects playing terrific Something went 360 in the other direction in December, just before xmas, whatever that was DL is very aware of it. (something MR hinted at in an interview with the CBC when he was talking about the Olympics and Sochi)

        DL is not only a huge fan of MR but also values center depth, which right now is the best in the NHL and a reason why they’re winning, esp in this series. The Hawks have not been able to match and the Kings bottom 6 is playing better than the Hawks and that is the bottom line, to win. And when healthy again, MR is a smarter player and a far more dangerous that Stoll, as far as a 3rd line pivot. Kopi-Carter and a healthy Richards down the middle is stronger than most teams in the NHL.

        The Kings look good now, and if they win a 2nd Cup, he’s a large part of that, he’s been very good in these playoffs , strong on the stick, defending, hustling, puck possession, keeping the other team off balance in the last minute when you need that hockey smart warrior, all the things Sutter wants from him. If you can’t what a great leader he is and how much this teams has benefitted from that, you’re selling him far to short.

        Gabby’s 6 mill won’t be affected by MR’s salary. Currently (Capgeek) they are 13 mill under for next year with King to sign. If they keep king and give him a fair increase, add in the 6 mill they get from MItchell and Greene, that’s more than enough to sign Gabby and a Defensemen and bring up McNabb. And that’s not even if Clifford is traded.

        DL has created a very special group of players, warriors, brothers who have all spoken highly of how special ‘the room ‘ is and how much they have faith in the leaders , the guys who know how to get it done when the battle is at it’s peak. Richards is one of the those guys, and DL values that and how large a part of the team’s success is from that. When he traded for MR, he mentioned a 5 year window that he had to keep this core together , based on age and experience, to be contend every year. And right now, in year 3, they aren’t close to that window closing.

        • I would hold on to as much of this team as possible for as long as possible. They are a very good team and when they are running on all cylinders they are a very tough out. Why mess with that?

          • Agreed! This is the best and deepest Kings team to ever dawn this uniform. Every position has been maticulously hand picked for aspects that range from chemistry to needs. It is my belief that if a player is having a down year statistically with this team, there are probably 5 other reasons that this franchise will show more patience than other franchises would.

            Just my theory but as the summer plays out we’ll see how accurate I am.

  3. Yes. Winners.

  4. That certainly was another very exciting game! I was at a game party, and we were all screaming throughout that game! The Kings and Hawks both played hard.

    Quick got beat five-hole by Toews on that partial breakaway. But stopping a shot from Toews is not an easy thing to do. Otherwise, Quick played another solid game.

    And yes, Muzzin was unable to stop Toews on their second goal, but how many players CAN stop Toews?

    I’m proud of the Kings. They’re working hard to beat the Hawks. And so far, they’re succeeding!

    The chemistry on the 70’s line is absolutely a joy to watch!

    I enjoyed Voynov’s excellent play!

    Another “Well done” to the entire team!

    Go Kings!!

    • I think Slava has looked better because he’s paired with Mitchell again. I think he feels a lot more confident when 33 is back there and that has translated into his game.

      • That makes good sense!

        • And you can’t put a price tag on how much Slava’s game, from the time he came up to the Kings, has benefitted from 33. Any young player would soak up all he could. And as you see with other D pairings, some are just a good fit. I think he’s better with WM than RR, but Sutter doesn’t always buy into that, I thin he feels play the position, doesn’t matter with who.
          And you have to keep in mind that for most young normally take about 300 games or so until they are really comfortable. It’s a hard position to learn and a very responsible one. There’s a growth process and part of that is mistakes, errors, and learning from that. . He’s not hit 200 NHL games yet and under the circumstance, he’s done well. He’ll continue to learn and grow and the Kings future on the blueline is a lot brighter because of him. By my eye, what I’ve seen of him , he’s going to be a very very good, top D.

          • Yes, we can see excellent improvement in each one of these young D-men. Their futures are bright indeed!

  5. That was a CLASSIC Voynov goal. It made me very happy. I’ve also been very impressed with Clifford’s puck possession all throughout the playoffs. He’s really stepped up his game there.

  6. All about the centers. Chicago isn’t winning shit with Hanzus centering their second line. I like the guy, but come the third period he’s just standing still. Stoll and Richards rounding out the bottom. I know it’s early… But I won’t be horribly disappointed if I don’t have use my game 6 tickets. It would feel much better to hand them a 4-1 series and return the favor. No OT or any of that nonsense just 2 more solid wins and a handshake in front of their crowd :) GKG \X/

  7. Kings news: From a Russian news report

    http://www.allsportinfo.ru/index.php?id=83373

    Nicholas Prohorkin leaves CSKA “Los Angeles Kings”

    21-year-old CSKA Moscow striker Nicholas Prohorkin decided to terminate the contract with the army club. He will continue his career in the “Los Angeles Kings” (USA, NHL). This was a special correspondent of the Agency of sport information “All Sport” Dinara Kafiskinoy said agent Andrew Nicholas Prohorkina Mukhachyov.

    “Nikolai wanted to stay to play for CSKA, but he requested to improve the financial conditions of the contract and extend it, – said Andrey agent Prohorkina Mukhachyov. – But for six months, we have not received any formal proposal. Contract with CSKA he acted for another year. However Nicholas decided to terminate it and go play “Los Angeles”. NHL club has made us a specific proposal. “Kings” has long expressed an interest to Nicholas. ”

    Note that in 2012 was chosen Prohorkin “Kings” at the NHL Entry Draft under the 121-m room.

    I’m not really familiar with him. What’s his upside?

    I found a top 10 goals of the week from last fall and Prohorkin is #5, great move and a nice goal.

    • Never heard of him but kid has to be good if he’s coming in with a nickname like Moscow Striker in hand eh?

      • Last I checked he was leading Moscow CSKA in points and goals, he is on the same line with Radulov. Radulov is the highest paid KHL player, Prokhorkin is out scoring him. We would have heard more about him from Hoven I think but it looked like he was gonna stay in the KHL. 3rd or 4th round Kings pick. Would have drafted higher without the KHL threat to bolt. He reeks of the kind of Russian player that would never succeed in the Kings system. One man show syndrome. Training camp should be very interesting next year. Clifford and King are gonna be playing for their jobs.

      • Thanks for posting that. From that link, this was posted , a write up on him from a month ago. Sounds good 37 pts in 52 games

        Top 3 drafted centers

        Nikolai Prokhorkin, CSKA Moscow
        Drafted in the fourth round, 121st overall, in 2012 by the Los Angeles Kings

        Equally capable of playing center or wing, Prokhorkin had a spectacular season in the KHL, scoring 19 goals and 37 points in 52 regular season games. But more than the raw figure given by points, the most promising aspect of Prokhorkin’s season has been the fact that he could lead a good team like CSKA populated by many veteran players (including Alexander Radulov, Alexei Morozov, Igor Grigorenko, and many others) while also receiving consideration for the national team, where he was one of the last cuts from the 2014 World Championship squad. Prokhorkin has obviously progressed since his first taste of North American play with the Manchester Monarchs of the AHL, so it will be interesting to see how he will fare in his second attempt. Prokhorkin has declared more than once that he is interested in attempting to again compete for a spot in the NHL, but he still has one year left on his current contract with CSKA

  8. Just Wanted to Say..
    Yeah! SLAVA Finally showed up!
    Not just his goal but his Entire play…and I have been
    mad/sad/pissed/worried about him. Think Sochi compounded his ‘sophmore’ slump..or whatever the correct term is.
    Coidience he is back with Willie..I don’t think so!
    Willie is a Firece competitor and I think we really don’t know his value in the Room.
    Big minutes for him.
    GOKINGSGO!!!

    • Willie Mitchell is a great defenseman. With him, the Kings can win the Cup. Without him, I don’t think so. He does make a huge difference. And he does make Voynov a better player.

      Go Kings!!

  9. I’m having a very good time.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,048 other followers

%d bloggers like this: