Handzus and Nagy

Sometimes I feel as though I’m the only one who feels this way. Perhaps I am. But I can’t get past the feeling that the signings of Handzus and Nagy have been profound disappointments. In September, I saw them as two-thirds of a potential strong second line, perhaps with Frolov or O’Sullivan on the other wing. They were supposed to have great chemistry together. Has anyone seen it yet?

Handzus, who got a four-year, $16-million contract, has one goal and three assists in 23 games. Nagy, who got a one-year, $3.75-million contract, has four goals and seven assists in 20 games. Not awful, but he has the potential to be a 20-goal scorer. As for Handzus, I understand that he’s still getting stronger after ACL surgery, and I believe he has played much better in his last few games.

I have a hard time believing, though, that the Kings are paying Handzus $4 million a year because he’s a valuable two-way, third- or fourth-line player. And I have a harder time believing they’re pleased with Nagy, especially since Marc Crawford made him a healthy scratch Sunday. I asked Crawford about this duo and here’s what he said:

“Handzus has always been regarded, by us, as a good two-way player and a guy that would, often times, match up against the top player, as he did yesterday against Getzlaf and like he did in San Jose against Thornton. Getzlaf scored the one goal, a very hard-working goal by them. There was no mistake made; they just made a good play. They got the puck to the net and he got his stick on the tip and we were in position all over the ice. So you have to give them that. Good players are going to score and they’re going to get opportunities. The other one was a 4-on-4 play and they got a break. Vis fell. I think that Handzus is really picking up his game. We’re starting to see him do what he was brought here for and he’s getting more and more comfortable playing for us and how we’re utilizing him.”

OK. How about Nagy?

“Well, Nagy didn’t play yesterday, so it’s hard to have an impact on the game when you’re in the press box. From that standpoint, he was the odd guy out. As we say to players, `You should always be concerned when you’re not playing,’ but there’s not much you can do about it. All you can do is come here and practice hard and be ready for your next opportunity. He most likely will be in the game against San Jose and we’re looking for him to respond as well as he did the last time he was sat out. I’m not sitting guys out to elicit a response. I’m sitting him out because I thought the other people gave us the best opportunity to win yesterday’s game.”

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  • nykingfan

    I agree . To think we have to put up with 3 more years of Handzus playing this way is killer. They were supposed to take the pressure off Kopitar/Brown/Cammy. They have been invisible most nights. At least offensively.
    I haven’t noticed any of the veterans doing anything offensively. If the top line doesn’t score, we lose. Notice how other teams are matching, on the fly if necessary, their checking line against Cammy’s line? there’s no secondary scoring at all.

  • http://dotdoubledot.com sandman

    On Saturday night we heard one name again and again. Handzus.

    He may not be scoring but he’s involved, constantly making plays and causing turnovers.

    I think it’s a bit soon to write him off.

    That said, of the new guys I think Calder has been the best.

  • Cameron Coughlan

    I agree to an extent Rich… Nagy has been really inconsistent but I feel that he has played better since he was benched the first time this year. Should we be that surprised though? He has never really lived up to his potential and he is basically a third line forward at best with the efforts that he gives night in and night out. I think the fan in us hoped he would be a strong second line forward but he has so far just panned out to be average.
    Handzus has been dissapointing but his track record is pretty good and he has been doing some things really well. He is coming back from two injuries so I cut him a little more slack than I do Nagy. I just wish Crawford would play him more. He puts him on the fourth line and rarely gives him the chance to play with other skill players on his line. So how is he supposed to react? He is adapting to the role that he has been given instead of getting the opportunity to play in the role that he was brought here for. He was expected to be the second line center but he hasn’t been in that role since the first game of the year. He is also rarely on the power play so we don’t get to see what kind of potential is there. Armstrong has no business being on the powerplay.
    My biggest dissapointment has been Preissing. He was given a four year deal to play like a sixth or seventh defenseman. He is not offensive or defensive. He is just there. He hasn’t shown a big shot or great movement on the power play. He is not physical and can’t move people from out in front of the net. So what is his specialty. What validates his contract. He was benched earlier and is basically non existent on the ice.

    If we are going to struggle then why don’t we bring up some more of the young kids and let them play. The Coyotes are showing a great potential by letting their young kids play and doing better than the Kings. Get rid of Thornton and Modry and bring up some kids that can build up towards next year. As Dean says the more free agents that you have to plug in, the more it shows how much lack of organizational talent that is ready to play. At this point there is nothing to lose…..

  • Big Rob in Dallas

    My Thoughts:

    Zus: I”m not sure if he’s 100% healed from his knee injury so I’ll give him some slack. His only goal was an empty netter. So far, I’m not impressed with his offense.

    Nagy: I remember him as a King killer in Phoenix. He seemed to always score a big goal against us. Not sure what changed. I think the Kings would be better off to give his ice time to a rookie given his minimal output.

    Blake: I know he’s got a hip injury but he’s a bust in my mind. He should be our 6th d-man with the way he’s stinking up the joint. Give his Ice time to JMFJ!

    Armstrong: He might have an undisclosed injury or at least he better with the way he’s playing. Once he gets the doughnut off the goal scored column he may light it up. He’s in same category as Willsie, Zeiler and Thornton. He’s not your top six forward.

    Crawford: Part of me says that he is screwing things up. It seems the players never can develop chemistry because of his constant shuffling of the lines. I’m not sure what the expectations are for this year. Going from Worst to First is not going to happen. I guess grabbing the 8th seed in the playoffs would be considered a success. Realistically, no one can say we should be much higher than that.

  • http://www.myspace.com/hittheswitch Jonny

    Cameron,
    How can you say anything bad about Modry this year?? He’s one of the few guys that’s been showing up every night. People have to get over hating the guy. He’s not supposed to be great, but he’s obviously been our best D man this year. Switch him with Blake for all I care. Let Blake Mentor JMFJ from the third Pairing.

  • John

    Zeus is a defensive MONSTER! He sets a great a tone & a great example for the kids. Scoring from him is gravy IMO

  • Scott Pearson

    I have not thought Handzus would pan out as a top six guy. I liked the acquisition as a big stopper for the third line who can line up against the Joe Thorntons of the world. I think you need to let him recover from the injury before you judge him. Great stopper lines are critical to winning — look at Detroit with Maltby and Draper, New Jersey with the Madden/Pandolfo line, Anaheim last year with Pahlsson.

  • JB

    Let’s talk about Sullivan too. Some people on this blog have been complaining that he should get some time on the top lines. Well he has the last two games and he’s looked lost out there. Honestly it seems he may be no more than a good shut down guy. He plays well on penalty kill and shutting down other lines but I’m not seeing the offensive flash that he supposedly had in the AHL.

  • Cameron

    Jonny,
    Modry hasn’t been that bad but where does he fit into the future of the kings? He is the sixth defensman on a losing team. I would say that other than Lubo and Jack he is just as expendable as every other defensman on the team. He won’t be back next year and is just an average defensman at best. It isn’t so much an attack on Modry as it is the team as a whole and where the organization stands as far as develoment. My point is that we have nothing to lose in bringing up some kids to replace some of those fill in type players that won’t be back next year and don’t figure into the future…

  • Vahe

    This is what happens when you go after 2nd and 3rd tier free agents. You hope they are free agent steal, but more often then not, they are busts. The Kings need to stop shopping at swap meets to get their free agents

  • Eric K

    calder… was clearly the gem of the class love watching him play.
    nagy… well, you said he had 20- goal potential, and he technically is on pace for 15 goals. a minor disappointment, but not a huge one.
    handzus… at this point we shouldn’t be looking for points as much as solid effort, defense, physical play. in that regard he’s been good, but clearly, we overpaid for those tools.
    preissing… i’m just not seeing it out of this guy.