Here is my opinion of the Kings from what I have observed so far in this early season. I REALLY don't like the 1st line of Smyth/Kopitar/Brown. This line is just not connecting. My opinion is that Dustin Brown doesn't belong in this line. Before you critisizeme, I know he leads the team in goals(3), but most of the time he is just skating around in a confused state of mind and that slows down an offense. This also contributes to Anze Kopitars sort of slow start. So far, Kopitarhas NO GOALS on 15 shots with 3 assists. These are not the numbers for a #1 center, specially Anze Kopitar. Now the other winger on the line, Ryan Smyth, has been showing signs of a Ryan Smyth I remember playing for Edminton Oilers about a decade ago. So far, Smythhas 2 goals on 11 shots with 3 assists and leads the team in points. In the last 2 games, Terry Murray moved Smyth to the 2nd line and substituted Andrei Loktionov. This didn't improve the line. In fact, this HURTS the line only because Loktionov has NO NHL experience before the season began.
The 2nd line in the last 2 game, Smyth/Jarret Stoll/Justin Williams, has been great. Stoll'snumbers are 2 goals on 13 shots with 1 assist. William's numbers are 2 goals on 9 shots with 2 assists. Withthese numbers, this line SHOULD BE THE #1 line! I would be surprise if TM makes this line the top line, but I WOULDN'T be surprise if he breaks it up by putting Kopitar in center. This WAS the line TM started off last season and was on fire until Smyth got hurt and was out a few games andthen Williams was out almost half the season with a broken leg. If TM DOES go with Smyth/Kopitar/Williams line, this should put kopitar back on track. If I recall, the 2nd line started out withBrayden Schenn/Stoll/Williams. Schenn has alot of potential to be a big time scorer, but right now, he's best suited for the bottom 6 so he can get some NHL experience.
The 3rd line of Alexie Ponikarovski/Michal Handzus/Wayne Simmonds has started off slow at first, but has started to click the last game. Simmonds has shown some grit with hard hits and don't care who you are attitude. Handzushas continued from where he left off last season with some great puck handling andalso with 2 assist to show. Ponikarovski has started off slow, but that is only because he's one of the new guys on the team.
The 4th line is one of a few question marks on this team. The line started off with Kyle Clifford/Brad Richardson/Kevin Westgarth in the first 2 games. The chemistry was awful, but nobody expects the 4th line to be anything but to give the other lines some rest. On the other hand, this line has done nothing in defense and has given up a few goals. The last 2 games had the line changed to Schenn/Richardson/Westgarth, but with little improvements.
The defense and penalty kills(18 for 20) is the heart of this team and has been superb. There is nothing wong with it. The BIG problem for this team is the power play. Seriously, what happen to it? The power play last season was 12th in the league, now it's basically last in the league this season. They are 1 for 16 and last game had ONLY 1 SHOT out of 5 POWER PLAY OPPORTUNITIES. That is unacceptable for any team, even a team that dresses 16 skaters. One of the problems is the fact that they move the puck too much and they don't shoot the puck enough. Also I've noticed that there isn't enough movement in front of the net. If they could minimize the passing, do more shooting and at least wiggle in front of the goalie, I think the power play would improve.
In closing, the Kings look good, but not good enough. some players have stepped up, but some haven't. As I stated at the beginning of this, this is my opinion and I know the season just started. Until the next King's game, SEE YAAAA, and GO KINGS, GO!!!