Just some random passing thoughts on the season, stats, players and other NHL musings.
With 17 road wins....the Kings are 2nd best in that category. Remaining schedule has 16 at home and 13 on the road; 12 technically after this trip. Kind of weird to see the remaining schedule and lament the large amount of [I]home[/I] games.
People who were ready to run T Murray out of town might be eating some crow. In recent games I'm very impressed how we can roll 3 solid lines in almost any situation. I know the team will say 4 lines but lets be honest.
I know its been asked before but I would love a Justin Williams update. If the team continues its winning ways though Im not sure I play him even if he is ready sans the odd game in which we dont need Ivanans. Yes, Im aware there is a golden opportunity to hit the quote button on that last sentence. On that same note a Drewiske update would be great as well.
Peter Harrold....youre ok in my book. Dont know where that came from but there it is.
I was ready to say how amazing it was the West playoff race is so tight with so many teams still in the hunt until I checked out the East....8 teams only separated by 2, yes 2 points. A 2 game win streak could conceivably move the 13th place team into 6th.
While Id like to think the Kings are in good shape for the post season how many times have we been heartboken in the late season? Calgary, Dallas, Minnesota, and Anaheim are all fighting for the last spot and while Im glad we dont see Calgary any more this season we play Anaheim 4 more times, Dallas 3 more times & Colorado 4 times as well. Basically, we cant let up against anybody. The Good News-Colorado has lost their last 2; the bads news is their next games are against the Rangers and Columbus.
Anaheim appears to be playing a bit better and bad for the Kings that Selanne will probably be back in time to face them for all 4 games. Not sure if the Ducks are dirty or ultra gritty but it amazes me that almost every game against the Eastern Teams has an all out melee.
And watching Hayward its amazing how its always someone on the other team who starts it. I really think given the standings and what happened last game against the Ducks the Kings would certainly be warranted to recall Westgarth or Clune. While the hype around the next game will be huge Im actually interested in seeing how Oscar Moller plays. I recently watched the new Witch Mountain Remake with the Rock....cracked me up that the boy character and Moller shared such an uncanny resemblance.
Really happy for Quick but what really surprises me is that while he is having a good season by NHL standards & a great season by Kings standards...I really dont think he has been dominating. Using a couple of Masons for example-remember how good Steve Mason was Columbus during their run a year or two ago? Same with Steve-while he didnt get his team to the post season he was very very tough to play against. Maybe its a case of the grass is greener?
Of the Top 10 goalies in Wins, Quick's SV and GAA is 2nd worst out of the top 10....that said #10 is Marc Andre Fleury so maybe its relative.
Once again, you will see it a lot of times where the young team rides a hot goalie to the playoffs. Heck its what the Kings did their last playoff appearance with Potvin. But with Quick its not really like. He is certainly solid-godlike by Kings standards but to me he has not reached his peak. I guess Quick will officially be the Kings #1 goalie when Yahoo can actually get his picture.
Kings PK seemed to improve but looking at the stats we're still in the bottom 10. Boston is #2 in PK, lets hope we can see a reversal of fortune tomorrow.
Im way too lazy to do it but I would love to see what the standings would like without the shootout with ties simply ending up with each team getting a pt and moving on like in the good old days.
I predicted that Simmonds and Doughty would have good seasons....but I never though Doughty would be #2nd in scoring on the team. If Doughty played on any East Coast team he would be the NHLs media darling. I'll go on record and say that will all change during the Olympics. Call me nuts but I think a strong showing in the Olympics accompanied by a playoff appearance by the Kings will almost surely spell a Norris bid for Doughty....which I predicted before the season started as well.
Nice to see Kevin Westgarth starting to score. Dont look now but as long as Moller is with the big club Westgarth is tied for 4th in goals for the Monarchs. Looking at the AHLs website I have to say the Monarchs logo is one of the best in the league.
What ever happened to Randy Gilhen? Or Francois Breault for that matter?
I may as well weigh in on the Kovalchuk debate. If atlanta is prohibiting teams from talking contract extension....I say screw it. Depth and young talent is a beautiful thing and something we as Kings fans have never experienced. Through the history of the LA Kings the phrase "great young talent pool" pails in comparison to the usage of the phrase "miss the playoffs yet again."
I would like to see us perpetually build the pipeline giving players time to develop and bringing them up when theyre ready.
Case in Point is when Forsberg was traded to the Predators. Forsberg was near the end granted but-Preds gave up Scottie Upshall & Ryan Parent plus a 1st round pick & a 3rd round draft pick. Upshall is 1st in goals for the Coyotes, not sure about Parent, and not sure who the picks were spent on. Regardless- Forsberg didnt help Nashville out at all and they lost core players and potential depth as well. Given Dean Lombardi's knack at getting good players in the 2nd and 3rd rds Id rather roll the dice at getting another Wayne Simmons then roll the dice a flashy hot shot russian on a UFA contract will somehow lead the Kings to glory. If Atlanta gives a Sweetheart deal maybe-but anything less then that I would rather simply wait and try to get him for nothing as a UFA. Purcell, Moller and a 2nd or 3rd? Why not but anything more then that I pass. Too risky when the fruits of our patience are finally being realized.
May think of somethings later but that's it for now. Go Kings and as always look forward to your thoughts.