Kings-Edmonton preview

With the trade deadline past, the Kings can concentrate on the final 18 games of the season. You’d think this might mean we’re going to get a look at a lot of the younger players in the organization, but that’s not the way the Kings have handled things so far. Teddy Purcell was sent down this week and 38-year-old Jon Klemm brought up. So if the point right now isn’t to win games or to see the future, I’m not really sure why they are playing. But the Kings are going to be on the ice tonight in Edmonton anyway to start a four-game road trip. Unfortunately, it’s not going to be televised on regular cable. So most of you won’t be able to catch a glimpse of what prospects like Scott Thornton and Klemm look like for the future. One thing to watch, or listen for, is what goes on with the defensive pairings now that Stuart and Modry are gone. Crawford doesn’t even seem to know what he’s going to do. Assuming Blake is out, you can put the names of Johnson, Visnovsky, Preissing, Harrold, Dallman and Klemm in a hat, mix them up, pull them out two at a time and make as good a guess as I could. In fact, that might be the way Crawford decides it.

Edmonton is in a similar place as the Kings, in last place in the Northwest and without a real chance at the playoffs. The Oilers have won five in a row at home. The Kings are 2-0-1 against Edmonton this season and are trying to take the season series for the first time since 1998-99. Dan Cloutier is expected to get the start in goal for the Kings.

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  • ReggieMoto

    Well, Crow did say that he was going to pair Harrold with Vis, so I guess you don’t need to include those two in your “hat”.

  • Vilela

    Whoa!
    Best post of the year by a wide margin.
    Thanks, Matt. Nice job.

  • Matthew Kredell

    Reggie, Crawford has paired Harrold and Lubo together the past few games but hasn’t said he will tonight or in the future. All he has said is that Blake and Johnson will play together when Blake returns.

    I do have to say Crawford’s confusion on what to do with the defense pairings is understandable. He has a bunch of similar, small, right-shot players to choose from.

  • marc V

    Matt,

    Now that is looking more and more like both a NHL and the AHL team are going nowhere in the playoffs, why is it klemm and not one of the kids. Are we going to see more of the AHL, because the future is all we have.

  • EncinoMan

    Not sure which reason I want Edmonton to win more for……1) Improving the Kings #1 draft pick status, or, 2) worsening the Oilers (aka Ducks) draft status.

  • Paul

    We probably won’t see a lot of the kids yet because both the Monarchs and the Royals are fighting for playoff spots.

    I’d rather the Kings prospects get playoff experience, instead of last place experience.

  • David

    Another of about ten reasons to send both Dumbardi and Crawfish packing on the next train leaving downtown LA, straight out of town!!

    Boyle, Moulson & Purcell have all proven that they clearly belong on the Kings roster and should be playing in the final 18 games of the season with the big club. This would be the best thing for their development (and the Kings) heading into next season.

    The difference in play between the NHL and AHL is substantial, primarily in the speed of the game.

  • Quattro

    lol – way to pump us up for the game there, Matt. :-D

  • brianguy

    c’mon Danny Boy show us your former glory. go Oil

  • Featuring Rudy Ray Moore as FROLO-MITE!!!!

    GREAT post, Matt! It’s very clear that you are just calling it as you see it.

    Be careful how you criticize the coaches and front office here though, Matt. The Kool-Aid drinking, myopic masses might turn you into the next Anthony and begin to take aim at you with their torches and pitchforks!!

  • Anonymous

    “So most of you won’t be able to catch a glimpse of what prospects like Scott Thornton and Klemm look like for the future”

    this bit made me laugh matt! Bring the kids up..there’s nothing left of this season except watching our prospects play in the NHL!!!

  • Anonymous

    “Whoa!
    Best post of the year by a wide margin.
    Thanks, Matt. Nice job.”

    AGREED-

  • Chazz

    I’m jumping on the Steven Stamkos bandwagon, especially after watching this clip. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wxDchLQIQa4
    I hope we get the 1st round draft pick!!

  • Deelo

    Matt,

    Didn’t take you long to become a pessimist.

    The Monarchs are currently 4 points out of a playoff spot and I think the youngsters will be better served in more meaningful games in Manchester in a playoff push.

    I still think the Kings will be alot better the next couple years, and with the 12 picks that Lombardi now has in the first 4 rounds of a strong draft our team will look great in 5-7 years as well.

    I applaud Lombardi for not buckling to the constant criticism he receives from the fans. Everyone expects mega-trades or mega-signings. Last I checked the Rangers are struggling to make the playoffs after signing Drury and Gomez. These mega-signings are obviously not a guarantee.

    Could you imagine if the Kings were in the playoffs and traded the equivalent of O’Sullivan, a younger Calder, Purcell, and a 1st rounder for a rental player in Hossa?

    I am glad that Lombardi shies away from this stuff and has stuck to his plan. We have the best prospects in the league and the future looks great. Lombardi doesn’t even have 2 full seasons in yet.

    Remember the criticism for the Demitra deal? O’Sullivan and Demitra have the same amount of points and we also picked up Trevor Lewis in that deal. In hindsight I would say it worked out very well. When the trade originally happened though most people wanted Lombardi’s head on a platter.

    If we had kept Demitra we would be in no better situation than we are now. Demitra is a UFA after the season and we have fruitful years ahead with O’Sullivan.

    The posts and sarcasm are getting way out of hand on a pro-Kings site which I think is still very good. To imply the coach pulls names out of a hat is ludicrous and I hope the future reporting can leave these snarky comments out.

    There are plenty of sites where all Kings fans do is whine and complain. I would hate for this blog to become another one of those sites that I just ignore.

  • metalmaster

    I thought Monarchs were making playoff push when
    Clutes was brought up. I
    have an idea-why not call
    ip Manchester and send down the Kings so atleast
    one will make the playoffs.
    Enough joking though I think the Kings are trying to lock down 30th position
    with these moves. I think they have it clinched because for some reason
    Toronto and Tampa Bay keep
    winning. I actually thought
    that tonight was the unofficial opening of 2008
    exhibition season but I guess not. It is possible
    DL is keeping kids down to let them experience playoff
    pressure type games. If
    Manchester gets eliminated
    and he does not then make about 6-8 call-ups then I will really wonder what is going on.

  • Anonymous

    The Kings are 2-0-1 against Edmonton this season and are trying to take the season series for the first time since 1998-99.

    Haven’t they already taken the season series? The worst they could do is go 2-1-1. Although from Edmonton’s standpoint if they win tonight, they’ll be 2-2 against us.

    The reason I’m guessing some of the young players aren’t up is because they want Manchester to make the AHL playoffs. I would send Anze, Jack, and Sully down for the same reason. (Not to mention having a better chance at SS.)

  • therealhipcheck

    Albeit late to this seasons dance, today marks the day the Kings start on the road to the Cup. I fermly beleive this and that being said I beleive additionnaly that the Kings will start to be the best team in teh NHL very soon. Lombardi and AEG have put us on the map with a state of the art training facility and a .500 ahl team which is remarabel in todays ahl and whatnot. Berneir will be called up soon I can just feel it.

    Lets go Kings

    therealhipcheck

  • Eric K

    “So most of you won’t be able to catch a glimpse of what prospects like Scott Thornton and Klemm look like for the future.”

    haha, thanks for making my day. great to see a little emotion and sarcasm in the post!

  • Anonymous

    I believe, and correct me if I’m wrong, that DL alluded to the fact that he wanted playoff experience for the prospects, right? They are a few points out of it right now, and he wants Boyle and other to gain that experience…maybe he’ll bring up the youth later in the season, but my guess is he’ll leave them in manchester for this reason…

  • Mike

    The Monarchs are fighting for their lives right now. That’s the reason we aren’t seeing an influx of young players. I’m sure DL and Hextall would love nothing better than to see this team play miserable, secure last overall and aid Manchester in making the playoffs. Once in the playoffs, guys like Boyle, Lewis, Harrold, Petiot, Cliche, Parse, Purcell, and most importantly of all BERNIER would have a chance to be in the AHL playoffs. With the exception of Boyle, Petiot, Harrold and Lewis – those guys would be tasting their first cup of playoff hockey in a professional atmosphere.

    I don’t speak for DL or Hexy but I’m sure they would love nothing more than to see Bernier LEAD his new team through the playoffs. That experience would bode very well for Bernier going into training camp in September.

  • Bryan

    Matt,

    the kids were sent down to Manchester to compete and try to make the playoffs. The theory is that guys like Boyle, Purcell and others need to learn to win in the AHL first and then learn to win in the NHL. Now whether this theory will pan out or not remains to be seen, but it seems that playing for something in the AHL is better than playing for nothing in the NHL. Hope that clears things up

  • Pierroth

    For those of you with Center Ice, it appears that the game will be on Directv Ch 780 tonight.

  • Marc Nathan

    Blake has been activated. This may mean that Klemm will be in a suit eating nachos…

  • dbushik

    Matt, I’m hesitant to write this because I sure don’t want to tell another professional how to do their job, but I am noticing a shift in the objectivity on the reporting on the team.

    It seems like you’re openly interjecting a lot of your personal opinions into the coverage. Is that good or bad? I’m not to say at this point but do want to mention it.

    Here you are openly implying the Kings are off-track in what they are trying to accomplish with the rest of the season (saying they don’t appear to even know why they are playing and making a sarcastic remark about youngsters like Thornton and Klemm).

    Would the team be acting in anything but an openly amoral fashion if they did not try and win every game they play? Are there not rules in place in the NHL that require a team to field their best roster in good faith? So, you’d think it acceptable if they tried tanking it from here on out?

    There’s no bigger Tampa Bay Lightning fan in SoCal right now than yours truely, but from an official POV, that position is not defensible.

    Then a day or two ago you openly lobbied for the team to trade Cammalleri.

    I have to think comments like that are going to effect how these people (the organization as a whole) respond to you as a reporter. Hey, you are there and know more than I do about the situation, but it does seem odd to me.

    I’m not trying to compare you to Rich or anything (despite how obvious what I’m going to say seems to imply that, so sorry), but the big strength of this blog seemed to me to be the journalistic coverage over commentary and opinion or silly fan-site crap. Raw information is good.

    Now I see a poll here about trade deadline day that you can’t miss being highly inflamitory (hey, I have no issue with Blake and the NTC thing, but of course anyone would have taken a first for him; what does that poll aim to get at other than incite further contempt for Blake directly and what the team couldn’t do anyway?).

    I totally appologize for even coming within a mile of telling you how to do your job, but I do want to point this out in case it’s not something you are actively aware of.

  • Jonathan B

    Hey Mike is Bernier gonna carry his .890 save percentage and GAA over 3 AGAINST 17 year olds into the AHL playoffs? Wonder how that’ll work for him.

  • joe

    Do you really make Klemm eat Nachos ? I say let Dallman eat nachos tonight

    Klemm-Preissing sounds better to me than

    Preissing-Dallman so ya in my opinion we need Klemms presence more than another offensive minded dman.

  • brianguy

    Nacho Suit… I like that, gonna have to add it to the vernacular. as in, the suit a guy wears when he goes up to the press box to eat nachos. or “hey Dallman nice suit, where’s your nachos?!” well done Marc

  • geeblenob

    fyi to all: we have 11 picks in the first 4 rounds not 12. We have 2 in the first round and 3 in each of the next 3 rounds. I think some believe we have 4 picks in the 4th round because we acquired 3 other 4th round picks. However, last summer we traded our own 4th round pick for this year’s draft.

  • geeblenob

    fyi to all: we have 11 picks in the first 4 rounds not 12. We have 2 in the first round and 3 in each of the next 3 rounds. I think some believe we have 4 picks in the 4th round because we acquired 3 other 4th round picks. However, last summer we traded our own 4th round pick for this year’s draft.

  • Matthew Kredell

    Dbushik, blogs are about interjecting opinions and encouraging interaction. What I put in the blog compared to what goes in the paper is different.

    I’m sure more young guys will be up soon, probably by the next home stand. Lombardi indicated in the quote I posted about Boyle his plan to get prospects playoff-run experience. Whether it’s better for them to get that or get more experience at the NHL level is open to debate. But it kind of leaves us in a purgatory stage right now, as observers of the team. The trade deadline is past and the season is all about looking at and planning for the future, but much of the future is still in Manchester and a lot of guys who aren’t part of the future will be playing for the Kings. So I’m dubbing this the “purgatory road trip.”

  • Marc Nathan

    just going on record as a supporter of Kevin Dallman. He’s got his limitations, but Kings fans have no tolerance for the guy, and I do. He has upside. He’s a guy who has excelled at every level prior to his coming to the NHL, and he’s only in his third real full season. I think he develops, despite the Kings retarding his growth by having him sit for so long.

  • kingkongkorab

    Mark Nathan
    You do have guts for saying what you like, but I see Dallman as a under sized, unskilled filler and he most likely will not be on the team next year. I am pretty sick of seeing him getting bashed around down there. He trys real hard but so do most hockey players. What we need is big stay at home guys to defend the slot from big guys screening our goalie. We need the mix to counter the offensive smaller guys we have already. Hopefully the draft will take care of that and maybe a trade or free agency.

  • Paul

    Here’s an interesting quote from the Oilers color commentator: “One thing I noticed is that the Kings don’t work hard enough in the defensive zone. They work very hard on offense, but on defense they just kind of wander around and hope the puck comes to them.”

    Not a good quote, and not a good start for the Kings as Cloutier gave up a softie already.

  • Joe Dirt

    Is this game really happening? Its not even on local radio

  • Renbe

    Matt as a fan of the Kings please continue to state your opinion on the blog. As a long time Kings fan and season ticket holder it is clear we are more interested in where we draft then winning. I am also tried of hearing people defend Dumbardo. The Sharks never won anything. They were a talented, under achieving soft team when he was there.

  • Paul

    @Renbe & all the other guys who call Lombardi & Crawford names….

    Is this how you treat people in real life? Since you’re a season ticket holder, I assume you’re an adult. How about acting like it?

    I stopped calling people names in junior high.

    You don’t like the job they’re doing, fine. You have every right to boo at the games and come on this blog and other forums and gripe. But please leave the playground antics on the playground.

    And don’t tell me you can do their jobs better. If that were true, you’d have their jobs. Like them or not, they deserve your respect.

  • Cris

    Paul, that sounds like a Marc Crawford team. Oh wait..

    In Colorado MC had Patrick Roy to bail them out. In Vancouver he had Clout. That was the Canucks’ downfall right there. They didn’t have a goalie capable of compensating the lack of D. We face a similar problem, and Dean Lombardi’s love for mobile puckmovers isn’t going to help. Bottom line: we suck on D

  • metalmaster

    Nice points Chris. Burke was smart enough when he got fired in Vancouver not
    to bring Clutes with him.
    Unfortunately MC was not as
    for some strange reason Clutes has always been his
    boy. Clutes was horrible as
    a playoff goalie in Vanc.
    playing in front of a very good team that wound up
    underachieving mainly
    because of him.

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  • http://tampapainter.livejournal.com/ Tampa Painter

    Good post, thanks