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Weekly Discussion: How Would You Fix the Bottom Six?

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The Kings are usually praised for their depth, but this year, the third and fourth line have struggled to generate offense. Sounds like some tinkering is in order.

Stoll and Lewis: consummate bottom six players who haven't scored a goal.
Stoll and Lewis: consummate bottom six players who haven't scored a goal.
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

Robert's Solution: The Tanner and Tyler Option

Last year, the Kings rolled their top three lines pretty evenly as 3rd line center Jarret Stoll actually saw more even strength ice time than 2nd line center Mike Richards. This year, the third line has been very unproductive and has been clobbered in the possession game. The third line needs to get its game up to the level of previous years, so that the Kings top six won't be leaned on so heavily. That could result in late season fatigue.

How should they do this? Well, Tanner Pearson and Tyler Toffoli are playing very well in the AHL. They need to make room for both of them. They also need to be given a long leash and quality minutes.

What would my lineup look like?

Brown-Kopitar-Williams
Pearson-Carter-Frattin
King-Richards-Toffoli
Clifford-Stoll-Lewis

This would entail the Kings waiving/trading Fraser and Ellerby. Although I wouldn't be opposed to trading Stoll instead of Fraser, but it would seem that Stoll's trade value is pretty low given his contract, performance this season and history of health issues.

Eric's Solution: The Keep Everyone Option

Consider this a devil's advocate option, because (1) I do think that calling up Pearson, at the very least, would be a good idea and (2) I don't think that Dean is desperate to call anyone up, though it will happen if a player is indeed traded. So, I'm gonna try and solve the scoring problems with... the current roster!

First, split Carter and Richards. I think this is the only way you're going to get adequate scoring from three lines. Would this prove more beneficial than having these two excellent forwards together? Probably not, unless...

... you give them both a legitimate offensive option on the wing. That means one of them gets Dustin Brown. The other one gets Matt Frattin, who has been playing reasonably well in a complementary role and is capable of generating offense.

That also means King-Kopitar-Williams on the first line. The goals are on and off, but their possession game was good before Darryl Sutter reunited them. (Yes, I know Brown-Kopitar-Williams was not only good, but the BEST.) And Dustin Brown had clearly improved the third line in his time there, at least in a Corsi sense. So we're looking at something like:

King-Kopitar-Williams
Clifford-Carter-Frattin
Brown-Richards-Lewis
Carcillo-Stoll-Nolan

The more I look at this, the more I convince myself that it could work. Emphasis on could.

Calling up someone would be better though.

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