Pick the second line

Not surprisingly, yesterday’s poll results overwhelmingly gave the Kings a first line of Patrick O’Sullivan, Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown. This one will be tougher. Who would you pick to be on the Kings’ second line? This has been a problem area for the Kings over the last couple seasons. Michal Handzus, signed last summer to be the No. 2 center, could not fill that role last season and the team struggled to find some chemistry on the second line. Who would you pick?


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  • anthony

    Center – Stoll – if he’s ever signed
    Right – Frolov
    Left – Boyle or Purcell

    Bolye is the real thing. Just because he’s a centerman doesn’t mean he can’t play wing.
    A Boyle-Stoll-Frolov line would be great compliment to Sully-Kopi-Brown line.
    I saw Purcell play 10 games last season. I noticed him struggling and being overpowered along the boards.
    Hopefully he beefed up a bit.

  • Josh

    I think we are going to see Stoll and Frolov connected at the hip like Kopitar and Brown. Purcell and others will rotate in. Stoll is a big physical body, Frolov is a big scorer, then you need someone with speed like Purcell.

  • Pat McGroyn

    For second line center, I would give the nod to Stoll over Handzus because of Jarret’s greater offensive potential. Frolov is a no-brainer here, and my other winger would be Teddy Purcell, again because of his great offensive potential.

  • David

    Stoll with Frolov and Purcell seem like the next choice but I doubt it because they are all Right hand shots. You might see Boyle, Handzus, or Richardson given a shot on this line because of that.

  • Tompa

    I’m thinking Frolov and Stoll are locks, unless Handzus makes an amazing comeback. The last spot is difficult. Purcell seems like a good fit but that’d make it 3 right hand shots which isn’t optimal. Boyle maybe, but I think a guy with his size and reach should be playing center. Richardson is a LW, which is the natural position of Frolov, so that doesn’t fit very well either. Calder? I think if his thumb is good again he could have a decent shot at the second line.

    In any case I believe we’ll see some rotation on that position until we found a good match.

  • Aaron

    Zeiler? Seriously?

  • ReggieMoto

    Great…2 right wings, or a right wing and a center as your second line wingers.

    The correct answer (given the choices) is:

    Mouslon – Stoll – Frolov

    Boyle is not a 2nd line center yet…if ever. He most definitely is not a winger…no amount of wishing on a star is going to make him so.

    Purcell is a right wing, as is Frolov. Could he play on the left? Sure, he just probably won’t be anywhere near as productive.

    Moulson and Purcell are pretty equivalent. The rest of the choices…aren’t.

  • ReggieMoto

    My mistake…I thought I saw where Frolov was a right wing.

    Frolov – Stoll – Purcell

    is most likely the correct answer.

  • Pat McGroyn

    David & Reggie,

    Great points. I forgot to consider Right Shot / Left Shot. Moulson it is!

  • Anonymous

    First line was straight forward, 2nd line seems to be as well.

    Frolov-Stoll-Purcell

    I give the nod to Stoll over Boyle due to experience, Purcell had better #’s at the AHL level than Moulson last year, so he gets the slight advantage.

  • anthony

    If anybody says Derek Armstrong – I’m gonna puke.

  • Quisp

    The one thing I’m sure everyone agrees on is, the second line is the Frolov line. The issue is, who is going to get the most out of Frolov. Big body in front = Handzus. Sniper = Purcell. I disagree with ReggieMoto re Boyle: he IS a top-six center, just not this year. And re Purcell and wingers playing on the “off” side: obviously lots of wingers prefer it, so I don’t think you can generalize. Re Moulson and Purcell being equivalent: I think you’ll see Moulson with Boyle, given their history.

    However, the real answer is, whoever clicks with Frolov will be on this line. I expect that TM will try each of the centers with him over the course of camp. I think it’s reasonable to expect that Stoll vs. Handzus (with Boyle as the dark horse) for this slot to be one of the story lines of training camp.

  • Bobby

    Man this coaching stuff is easy. Where do I sign up?

  • Jeremy

    I like moulson and frolov with a tougher presence like stoll who can put the puck in the net. Moulson is like Luc, always around the net and finishing the job, not flashy or quick but he gets the job done. Frolov can make it all happen and stoll can create some space for both fro and moulson.

    If we are talking power play…throw boyle on the 2nd line.

  • Marc Nathan

    Horrible. I clicked Frolov, I clicked Stoll… and then I paused for about 60 seconds, and thought to myself… WHY? WHY? WHY am I spending money supporting this mess? There’s no second line winger on that list to complement Frolov… Hell, there’s barely a second line center (Stoll)… and up front is the team’s “strong suit.” Defense is young, and hardly ready to compete, and the goaltending is tragic.

    Keep steering the ship, Deano… but know that the water is murky at best.

    P.S. I clicked “Enter” with just the two because there wasn’t a third forward that deserves a second line designation.

  • Eric K

    Derek Armstrong.

    all joking aside, it’s Frolov-Stoll-Purcell. Purcell’s spot is gonna be a rotating mess until someone steps up and earns it. i think Purcell has the best shot at it, so i put him in there.

  • Anonymous

    Kings needed to get some to play wing…I picked Purcell to play with Frolov and Handzus, but I am not sure he will be ready to play the second line.

    I know people are not high on Handzus, but I think he can rebound, if he is healthy he can be a good veteran center to play the second line.

    I wish the Kings did something to replace Cammy, God it is going to be a long season

  • Bob Bobson

    Rich, thanks for keeping us Kings fans interested and engaged. It really helps make the summer months go by sooner.

  • guidedbyvoices

    O’Sullivan Stoll Calder

    Greene Johnson

    If Calder can’t cut it with these guys waive him.

  • JDM

    Frolov-Handzus-Purcell

    Frolov, obvious.
    Handzus because I think he’ll rebound and he’s the only guy whose played for TM which gives him a slight edge.
    The big one for me though is that Purcell is really the next best offensive talent that should be on the second line, and in his 10 games, Purcell by far looked his best while playing with Handzus.
    Likewise Handzus played some of his grittiest hockey with Purcell at his right wing. So if those two can jive with Frolov, we’ll see a nice second line.
    Stoll would be great, but Stoll will see PP time and Handzus likely will not, so Stoll will make up the time and points while playing on the PP.
    Moulson could make it too, but I agree with those that see him playing with Boyle.

    Ultimately, as usual, Quisp is right on the money. Whoever seems to light a fire under Frolov’s butt will be playing with him. Even if its Ivanans. I’ll be fine so long as Armstrong is never ever EVER on the second line for even a second during the season. If that happens it better be because Moulson, Ellis, Zeiler, Boyle, Purcell, Stoll, Handzus, Ivanans, Calder AND Richardson are injured. Hell, I’d call up Lewis and have him center the second line before putting Amrstrong there.

  • andre norway

    let us all calm down and let us see who is making the team or not. But Im all in for fro and stoll. Army has been playing with fro before and have some chemistry with him and can play wing(Anthony are u puking now?). But we have no straight up 2 line winger except from fro so it is an open spot.

  • Harry

    Tavares will be our #2 center………………. in 2010 :)

  • Timoteo

    I think one of the issues that stands out with this exercise is the logjam we have at center. We have a clear #1 center in Anze. After that it’s a crapshoot. If (a big if) Stoll is back to his best he’s our clear #2 (68 pts in his best year). Handzus from a scoring standpoint would be best suited to 3rd line (58 pts in his best year) but could also be a strong compliment to a pair offensive minded wingers (Stoll was a -23 last year). And I think we will see a better Handzus this year, he got better over the course of last season and should have strength and confidence in his knee now. But then where do we play Boyle and where do we play Army? Boyle as a 4th line center doesn’t make much sense. Although he did try the D experiment do we want to turn him into a grinder? His shooting during his Kings flyby last season would seem to say no. So the question is, who among these guys can play wing? Or who is trade bait?

  • Datacloud

    Handzus, if healthy and can rebound to top playing form, would be a good choice at the 2nd line center position with Frolov. He can dish the puck well and the two of them together would make for a sick puck-possession team. Add to that Frolov’s highly underrated defensive skills and you have a lot more responsibility than the first line, unless Kopitar suddenly realizes that he can backcheck and play D like a well-rounded All-Star should.

    Stoll would be a good choice at RW. Training camp will decide if Purcell or Moulson are ready for that role, otherwise it’ll go to Stoll or Calder. I see Boyle centering the third line with ?

    If I recall correctly, Crow had Moulson/Boyle/Purcell on the same line for at least several shifts and they were capable, with a lot of energy. That would be fun to see.

  • JDM

    Timoteo –

    I’d say Army is deadline trade bait to a team looking for some vet grinders. He could net a 3rd or 4th round pick to the right club. I think Boyle on the 4th line to start the season makes a lot of sense. He’ll play with Ivanas, Army, Calder, Ellis, Zeiler or Moulson. If he scores with those linemates and makes them look better, as well as providing some added bonus to the 2nd PP unit, then gradually I think we’ll see him move up to atleast the 3rd line by December or January, and if he gets a chance because of injuries, he’ll get a crack at the 2nd line too. It seems like he won’t be much use to the 4th line, but remember Brown and O’Sullivan started out on the 4th line and quickly worked their way up. I think Boyle will see a similar road to glory because it seems he can single handedly provide some offense. Purcell on the other hand, being a smaller but more gifted offensively player will be better suited to playing with other talented players. Then again that logic could go the exact opposite in that Purcell needs big linemates like Ivanans and grinders like Calder to free up space for him, whereas Boyle can handle himself and thus be a huge boon to playing with Frolov, Stoll, Moulson or whoever on the 3rd or 2nd line.

  • Timoteo

    Could be JDM. Moving Army makes sense from a youth movement standpoint. On the other hand we need to have some veterans to help steer the ship. Army’s tough because the guy is just an awful shot, but makes the occasional nice pass, has got no moves whatsoever yet protects the puck pretty well, and is VERY responsible defensively and always plays hard.

    I lean toward thinking that one of those guys will be moved to a wing as opposed to traded and how it all falls out relative to who plays on what line will depend on how guys look in camp and chemistry between the players. IMO Purcell and Boyle looked solid with the Kings last year, I’d like to see those guys used on the 2nd or 3rd line so they get some decent ice time. Unless Murray rolls the lines a lot I think we can expect the 1st line to eat some serious minutes and when it’s all said and done the 4th won’t get over 10 minutes too often. JDM’s point about guys in the past earning time via 4th line performance (O’Sullivan, Brown) is a good one, we’ll see if that was a Crow policy or if it continues.

  • typicaljs

    haha wheres my credit for suggesting this :) ? thanks rich.

  • mrbrett7

    Anthony, just so you know, and you SHOULD know this.

    Frolov has been a LW his entire career.

    I just thought I should point that out to you.

    Those who are putting Boyle on the wing are completely discounting his dominance in the faceoff circle his entire career…he is more suited to be the 3rd line center.

    Face it…someone is going to be traded (most likely Armstrong at this point). Handzus may start the year as the 3rd line center, but will end up as the 4th line center with Boyle taking over that spot.

  • MarkE

    2nd line of Sully & Frolov with Boyle centering and moving Stoll to 1st line. I thing the #2 line will cause match up problem for other teams. We will be big up the middle, with speed and great puck handling on the wings. Boyle size will require the attention of defenseman , giving space freedom to Fro & Sully. That still leaves Handzuz with Purcell & Caulder. Army, Moulson & Ivanis on the 4th. With Army and Caulder providing veteran leadership until they are injured….Then bring up another youngster Ellis, Clune, or Richardson.

  • tainted

    Hanz is too good defensivly to take off the third line. Let’s try Boyle on the second line with Fro and Stoll. I would hate to be a Left D with Brown and Stoll coming at me all night. Here’s hoping Stoll is 100%.
    Also, I wouldn’t give Stoll a long contract (Taylor, Allison and Dead) until we are sure the cobwebs are gone. So, he may be the trade bait in Jan.

  • Cob

    Hello,

    The problem with Frolov – Stoll – Purcell is they are all RIGHT-HANDED shots.
    And Purcell has to earn his spot, it can’t be given to him. He needs to strengthen up too because he’s soft as butter.

    Here’s an idea:

    Frolov – Kopitar – Boyle
    big, slow, strong, and DOMINANT along the boards. I say experiment with this line. Keep note that Kopitar struggles on face-offs and Boyle EXCELS at it. They can switch on occasion, especially in key situations.

    Brown – Stoll – O’Sullivan
    would absolutely love to see this line. all three can dish out hits and score.

  • Duckhunter

    I won’t comment on Stoll or our young guys coming up because I haven’t seen them play, but a handful of games. But I have seen Handzus play. Some of you keep saying “if he returns to form” he’ll be our 2nd line center. My question to you is how much upside does he have, because he wasn’t impressive at all last year. If he improves by 30%, I still don’t think he’ll be good enough to be 2nd center, and 30% is huge. I think Handzus at best, is a shut down center, which belongs on the 3rd line. If Stoll can’t beat out Handzus, we might be in trouble.

  • JDM

    Good point Duckhunter about Handzus’ upside. I’d say “returning to form” for Handsuz would be for him to A) be our top shut down center, B) much it up in the corners and C) provide some grit, draw some attention so that if he’s on the second line a guy like Frolov has more room to work instead of being the sole person on his line capable of containing the puck. If he can do this well I think he belongs on the second line, even if he doesn’t have huge offensive upside himself. I think at worst, Handsuz is a reasonably good shut down center… even last year he was solid on face-off’s and penalty kills. There were a quite a few kills I thought he played brilliantly. He reads the play extremely well. He’s also friggin huge and I think his nursing of his injury made him seem a lot smaller than his full 6’5″ frame. Returning to form would essentially to be to play like the 6’5″ beast he used to and still can be.

    I’ll be so happy if he does, not just because he sucked last season, but because I was thrilled when we acquired him since I’ve always admired and respected the type of player and fierce compeitor he is.

    Timoteo – I feel your points about Army and his role. I think I’m hoping that we’ll get a better Army type like Shanahan, atleast if we’re going to have an aging veteran who isn’t too effective anymore (or in Army’s case… ever) he might as well be a former world class player or champion.

  • Datacloud

    A note about Army: He would arguably be the best 4th line center the league. I’ve taken a lot of flack by being such a big supporter of his, mainly because he keeps getting 2nd line duties, for which I agree he is not suited. Top defensive forward, though, with good puck-possession skills and decent passing.

  • Pat McGroyn

    Cob,

    Those are some remarkable line combinations. I’m skeptical that we’ll ever see them come to fruition, however I like how you are trying to think outside the bun here…

  • Duckhunter

    Datacloud, I to am a Army supporter. He is a true locker room and ice warrior. Lacks skills, but makes up with heart and determination and grit. You said it perfectly, he’s not a 2nd line center, but a descent 3 and a great 4th line center. This guy oozes team. This guy played his heart out when the Kings were horrible, hope he’s around in some capacity when things start going well.

  • Quisp

    You know, I always gave Armstrong a hard time (in the privacy of my own mind) and have long wanted him gone, but — given everyone’s support of him — I am going to make an effort to wipe the (mental, prejudicial) slate clean. Maybe I HAVE only been hard on him because he was playing on the top two lines. If he is the team guy everyone says he is, that’s exactly what we need. Let’s trade for him! Wait a minute…

  • Mat

    Hey Rich,

    Do you think it would be possible to track down Purcell for an interview sometime. I’d like to see how his summer has progressed. I’m interested to know how much weight he’s put on (he needs it) and if he’s been working his tail off knowing he’ll be playing fulltime in the NHL next season, much like Jack Johnson last summer. Thanks!

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