From Rich Hammond: New Lines
New practice lines " LA Kings Insider
- Obviously, Andrei Loktionov had to (has to) dress and play top-six. I believe Jimmy Neutron has the ability to make Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown look like hockey geniuses. I know that sounds like I'm saying Loktionov is stupid. I'm not. I'm saying, I have seen him make passes that make the crowd gasp audibly. I don't want to overstate his abilities. But I do think there's reason at least to hope that he'll be the cure for what ails the Standing Still Obvious Brothers.
- I think swapping Dustin Brown and Justin Williams makes both of those lines better, but I get the (deterrent) value of having Brown on the ice with Loktionov; also, that would break up two of Murray's forward "pairs."
- Richardson/Stoll/Williams was a waste of top-six minutes. I like Ryan Smyth on the second unit. Keep him away from the opponent's shut-down line. And he can mix it up in a way that Brad Richardson just can't.
- I assume that there aren't two Jarret Stolls now and no Wayne Simmonds.
- I would be surprised if Trevor Lewis dressed tomorrow. I'm hoping for Kyle Clifford / Brayden Schenn / Richardson. Clifford is especially necessary if Kevin Westgarth is to be scratched (and really, he must be); Richardson may not be top-six material, but he's played well enough to keep himself on the roster. I think he's a very good bottom-six player, and that's where he will (or ought to) be tomorrow night.
- Second choice: Clifford/Schenn/Lewis.
- I will just note that Smyth/Stoll/Williams and Clifford/Schenn/Richardson is just a hair away from Smyth/Schenn/Williams and Clifford/Stoll/Richardson, which I think is where we're headed, sooner or later. Hey, that's not bad.
Loktionov / Kopitar / Brown
Smyth / Schenn / Williams
Alexei Ponikarovsky / Michal Handzus / Simmonds
Clifford / Stoll / Richardson
In the abstract, I really, really (really) like that.