The “Who wants to play on the Kings’ fourth line?” competition continues in earnest as today, Jonny Brodzinski is being demoted to Ontario as Justin Auger moves the other way. He and Adrian Kempe generally looked overmatched in their time together, and though they weren’t on for any goals against, Brodzinski wasn’t able to muster a shot on goal (on two attempts) in his three games. He’ll be back if he can rediscover his shooting touch in Ontario.
The good news for both Jonny and Justin is that precisely no one has looked comfortable next to Kempe, who’s posting a 35% Corsi For despite a 60/40 ratio of offensive to defensive zone starts. In Kempe’s 25 games in 2016-17, his best numbers came when he skated next to either Dustin Brown/Trevor Lewis (64.5% CF%, plus-six penalty differential) or Nic Dowd/Kyle Clifford (a staggering 89% expected goals for % according to Corsica, albeit in just 30 minutes). Neither of those lines is happening any time soon, but that at least shows a Dowd/Kempe duo isn’t a lost cause. For now, Kempe is going to play Wednesday night with Michael Cammalleri and Justin Auger. If that’s not a message to Kempe to be the speedy playmaker LA needs him to be, nothing is.
- “The Kings have discussed, internally, the possibility of doing this, later in the season” is a hell of a way to renew the Alec Martinez and Jake Muzzin rumors, Pierre LeBrun. (It’d have to be for Matt Duchene or else no way, right?) [TSN]
- John Stevens enjoys all sports, and other insights from the head coach! [LA Kings Insider]
- Our podcasting friends at Thx Bud really love Dustin Brown, you guys. [Thx Bud]
- “Is it time to panic yet?” articles are my favorite. [Stanley Cup of Chowder]
- All of them. [Nucks Misconduct]
- I SAID ALL OF THEM. [Die By the Blade]
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GAME TO WATCH
I’ll always recommend a matchup between division winners, even if it’s (checks standings) New Jersey and Tampa Bay? Sure! It’s on NBCSN at 4:30 Pacific!