O’Sullivan speaks

These type of things don’t always translate to the ice, but I can say that Patrick O’Sullivan seems a lot more confident, just in personal dealings with him. At camp last year he was quiet, maybe even a little on the aloof side. This year he just seems a lot more comfortable in his own skin, so I’ll be interested to see how that translates on the ice.

During the first couple days, O’Sullivan has been moved around a little bit, but he seems to have gotten into a groove playing alongside Michal Handzus and Ladislav Nagy. I remember that this was a subject during the summer, about how the Kings would be well served if O’Sullivan could earn that spot alongside those two guys. So that’s something to keep a close eye on during the rest of training camp.

O’Sullivan, now in his fourth NHL training camp, said he feels more confident and enjoys his new linemates.

“For sure. They’re guys who like to move the puck and I think I can fit nicely with them and get myself open for some scoring chances,” O’Sullivan said. “Obviously they play well together. I don’t understand Slovak but I think I already have a good read on how they like to play. When you play with two good players, it’s pretty easy.”

Of course, it’s too early to assume O’Sullivan has a spot on the team. It’s likely, but he will need to maintain that consistent work ethic, something that put him in Marc Crawford’s doghouse for a while last season.

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  • Joshua Trujillo

    Thanks for keeping us updated Matt. Great work so far! We Kings fans are loyal…as you are about to find out!

    As for Sully, I thin he will be a point producer this year…I think somwhere in the area of what Brown scored last year, that would me a healthy jump I think.

  • anthony

    I believe O’Sullivan is going to have a break-through season. He has a dealdy shot that’s very accurate. During the AHL Calder Cup finals, I noticed that all his goals were targeted at the upper shelf of the net, just above the goalies shoulder.
    He also hit many crossbars & posts.
    The line of Handzus-Nagy-O’Sullivan will be very productive and high scoring if Coach Crawford is patient and leaves them alone.
    I can’t wait to see that line in action.
    Go Kings!!!!!

  • WhoThePuck

    As always, thanks Rich.
    I have been a kid in a candy store since this blog started and on cloud nine this past week with the excellent coverage.
    Still waiting for the advertisements though…..
    (hello Daily News, “is this thing on”)

  • Marc Nathan

    Marc Crawford hasn’t done anything particularly well enough DURING HIS TIME HERE IN LOS ANGELES to have any reason to HAVE a dog house, much less put Patrick O’Sullivan in it. The guy has more talent than any other forward on the Kings roster… now it’s just a question of him getting the opportunity to develop the kind of comfortability that will let him produce naturally… if you build it, it will come.

  • anthony

    HERE HERE – Nark Nathan, I couldn’t agree with you more.
    Don’t be a synic, just because because he didn’t score 50 goals last year.
    Kings better not let this kid slip away.
    I’d hate to see him score 100 points for Edmonton or even worse, the Quacks.

  • Pat

    Nathan: With all due respect, what the heck are you smoking? Hatrick O’Sullivan the best Kings forward? Hey, we’re all pulling for the guy, and he’s got some excellent skills, but don’t try to sell me that. Can you spell Anze? And by the way, I couldn’t find comfortability in my dictionary. What the heck does that mean?

  • Jim

    Can’t thank you and Matt enough for all of this great info.

  • Paul

    I have to agree that the jury is still way out on O’Sullivan. He may have a lot of talent, but he certainly hasn’t translated it into on ice success.

    That said, I think he is good enough to make this team, and I think he’d really benefit from being on a line with Handzus & Nagy.

    While we’re on the subject of forwards, is Lauri Tukonen in camp? I haven’t heard a peep about him all summer. Does he have any shot at making the team?

    How about some other promising young forwards such as Fedorov, Braun, or Moller?

    I’m assuming most or all of these kids will not make the NHL roster, and therefore will be in the minors, juniors, or their native countries, but I’d be interested to find out about the progress.

    Thanks again for all the hard work.

  • fulton

    Once O’Sullivan commits to playing the entire sheet of ice then I think he will be the complete player we all know he’s capable of being.

    When you see him “floating” then you know he’s opted to go with a game that is one dimensional. And Sully does that a lot.

    He certainly has the ability to be a top forward on this team and if he decides to dedicate himself to being a complete player I think we’ll see it happen.

  • Marc Nathan

    I didn’t say “best Kings forward” — I said “more talent than any other forward on the roster,” and then I tempered that with the fact that he hasn’t been comfortable enough to exhibit it to the fans in Los Angeles. I stand by that. No disrespect to Kopitar, but from an offensive point of view, I do believe that O’Sullivan’s skill set is greater. And, if you google “comfortability” you may not find a dictionary definition, but you will find MANY references to it, in many legitimate places. The ability to be comfortable in his situation is what will make Patrick O’Sullivan thrive in the National Hockey League.

  • Guzman

    I agree with you 100% Marc, (Nathan, not Crawford). When/If Patrick hits his stride we will be in awe of his talent. This is a special situation where the ceiling on his potential accomplishment has yet to be determined. There’s always someone to kick you when you’re down and this kid has had his share of that. Now he’s a “floater”, just wait ’til he score 80 pts. and needs to sign a contract, then he’ll be greedy too. Sheesh! He’ll be the most interesting rookie on the team.

  • Mark3

    Well put Marc Nathan. O’Sullivan has plenty of skill and great potential. I too would hate to see him lost in the shuffle only to have him blossom on another club a year or 2 later.

  • Richrd

    I’m curious to see if Crawford does the multiple line changes like last season. I had a difficult time following the televised games. Here to a better season and hopefully better stability in for the Kings as a whole. I’m looking forward to Patrick O having a breakout season.

    p.s. I love the daily blog Rich, keep up the great work

  • LA Kings 2010-2011 Stanley Cup Champions

    Marc I couldn’t agree with your assessment of O’Sullivan more, except for one key point. While Sully has a great wealth of talent still left untapped, Pat is correct in saying that Kopitar is by far the more talented player of this team, he too is just barely scratching the surface of his abilities. With that being said, I love the potential and direction that this team is headed towards, and i actually take joy in seeing such arguments taking place as to whom is the most skilled, talented, deserving of the “C”, etc….It is a much appreciated change from past seasons.
    LA Kings 2010-2011 Stanley Cup Champions!!!

  • Steve

    Rich, my brain can’t handle all of this information all at once! Considering I have never had this much to look at about the Kings. This is great stuff! I’m sure you’re tired of hearing about how much you are doing for Kings fans but this is information that we have been lacking for years. I go way back, about 30 years. Thanks again and keep it coming. This is my 1st stop when it comes to Kings info. Prediction tonight: Kings 5, Ducks 3. Go Kings!

  • anthony

    Mark 3 has a good point.
    Crawford was juggling the lines quite often last year. I don’t believe that helps the players establish a chemistry with one another. Just put the lines together and let them play. And stop benching O’sullivan just because he didn’t get a hat trick in a game. If you keep him on a line with Handzus & Nagy, he will easily average a point per game (maybe more).
    The only person that belongs in Marc Crawford’s doghouse is Marc Crawford.

  • fulton

    Who wouldn’t line-juggle given the situation last year………..

    Like everyone else, I truly want O’Sullivan to do well, but let’s see him prove himself on a nightly basis before we go crowning him as the next Butch Goring.

    I thought the doghouse was an appropriate place for him at times last season considering his reluctance to play both ends of the ice.

  • amy

    I too agree with the assessment of O’Sullivan’s pure talent. I believe he does have an edge over Kopitar [sorry Kopi fans]. It hasn’t been as obvious, since Sully hasn’t really found his way in the NHL yet…but, just because you haven’t seen the results yet, it doesn’t mean it’s not there.

    Afterall, you can’t see the wind, but you can see it’s effects. Given some time, I think we’ll see more of the effects from O’Sullivan’s talent, too.