Pick the third line

Now that you’ve given the Kings a second line of Frolov, Stoll and Purcell, what to do with the third line? Remember that this can go a couple different ways. Do you try to create a third line that will bring some scoring depth, or focus on more of an “energy line”? Who’s the right center for the line and who might play well with him on the wings?


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  • http://Ethman Ethman

    I’m not sure what should happen with Boyle. He looked so good last year I’m hoping he can become a 2nd line center. Athough Lombardi did mention using him as a shut-down type guy, someone who could match up nicely with the Getzlaf’s of the league (other team’s top lines). This could be a good role for him, while shutting down other team’s top lines he might be able to score some goals too. Nothing better than a shutdown line that keeps the puck in the opposing team’s zone.

    Also I know Calder gets a lot of heat on these boards for not playing up to expectations, but I have to admit I’m a fan. There were games where his scrappy play really excited me. There were times (not every game) when he made really smart decisions with the puck and was hard to knock off of it. Maybe he’ll have a better season and play more consistently this year.

    In any case, I really hope Boyle is given a chance to develop more this year. He’s a beast. I still remember the check he threw on Phaneuf last season….

  • Quisp

    Of the players available on the ballot, I select Moulson/Boyle/Richardson. This of course leaves Handzus as a fourth line center, which is a bit weird. Calder/Handzus/Ellis is an excellent shut-down line, so that works. It’s just kind of an expensive one. I think the Boyle/Moulson alliance is a good one, and Richardson (if he makes the team) I believe is supposed to be speedy (or maybe that’s just because he’s speedy in the only clip of him I’ve seen). Really, though, I think Stoll and Calder might have chemistry, so I’m hoping for the aforementioned Handzus resurgence. Then the Boyle/Moulson line would be the fourth line, which I think would be fabulous and scary. Or, if you prefer, the Stoll/Calder line would be the fourth line, which is (again) a little expensive but also fabulous and scary (for other teams).

    One of the things I’m realizing while being forced to in this exercise is that, if Handzus plays well this year, we are stronger down the middle than I thought. Given TM’s comments about overall team defense, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him try Kopitar on different lines (as many people suggested earlier but I never really considered), in order to effect a more balanced attack.

    Brown/Stoll/POS
    Purcell/Kopitar/Frolov
    Moulson/Boyle/Richardson
    Calder/Handzus/Ellis

    It is 52 days, 7 hours, 9 minutes and 44 seconds until Saturday, October 11, 2008 at 7:00:00 PM (Los Angeles time)

  • Irish Pat

    I also chose Moulson/Boyle/Richardson for the third line. I have to admit that when I look at what’s left I don’t see where Army totally fits in. I know he can play right wing, but unless Boyle just completely sucks ass in pre-season or an injury occurs to one of the centers I see him being the piece that ends up getting the Kings a veteran defenseman. Mere speculation on my part, but we’ll see.

  • David

    I still don’t think we will see a frolov-stoll-purcell line because they are all Right hand shots. I think the line up may look like:

    Brown-Kopitar-O’Sullivan
    Frolov-Handzus-Stoll
    Richardson-Boyle-Purcell
    Ivanans-Army-Calder

    Moulson and Zeiler will see some time too.

    I think the line of Frolov-Handzus-Stoll is a good line to go up the other team’s top line. They have enough skill to possess the puck and all are defensively responsible.

  • JDM

    I voted for Richardson/Handzus/Calder. I think this can provide a balance of offense and shutdown. Hopefully Richardson can compliment Handzus and Calder well.

    I then would want Moulson/Boyle/Ellis or Ivanans on the 4th… man I wish I could find a regular spot for Army. Ideally I want 4 lines that can get rolled pretty evenly. I don’t really want there to be a huge and obvious difference between the 3rd and 4th lines. Both should have high enery, be a scoring threat but most importantly play good defensively. I think having Boyle on the fourth line will make him harder to defend against. If there is a scoring threat down all 4 lines, opposing teams can’t very well have their shutdown line out all the time.

    Eventually I think Boyle could be great against other teams top lines, but I’d rather he have more room to skate on the 4th than being thrown up against Getzlaf and such.

    These last two lines are really a toss up in some ways. As we’ve been saying all along, whoever shows great chemistry in camp gets the nod. I think as we all know its fair to assume Moulson and Boyle already have that chemistry.

  • anthony

    Boyle-Handzus-Moulson
    Boyle and Moulson should have a lock on the third line. I’m curious to see if Handzus has recovred completely (knee).

    Why are some people so high on Brad Richardson.
    To this day, I can’t imagine why DL wasted a 2nd round pick for him (that says a lot about a GM who adores draft picks).
    He’s unproven, and he may not even make the team.
    I expect Richardson and Zeiler to be off the team pretty soon.

  • Hipcheck

    I’d have to hope for a th3rd line of Handzus Zeiler and Ivanans. i think may undersestimate the scoring touch that Raitias has been developing. He can punch in some goals and punch out some opponnents. The HZI line will work. Go Kings.

  • WhoThePuck

    Wow!
    This one is all over the place.
    Clearly the fans have no idea what our lines are going to look like.

    For my clueless part I went with Calder/Zeus/Richardson

  • Anonymous

    After the ist line, the talent really drops off (except for Frolov) Poor Fro, he will never have good line mates

  • mrbrett7

    Anthony, two things I disagree with you on.

    Richardson made a much deeper and more talented Colorado team, so why would he not make the Kings? He will be on this team, and he has talent. Not top 6 level talent, but talent.

    I also disagree COMPLETELY and WHOLEHEARTEDLY with putting Boyle on the wing. This man was dominant in college in the faceoff circle (somewhere around 70%) you absolutely, positively cannot keep him on the wing, yet you continue to do so. He will never see the ice at the same time as Handzus. This just makes no sense whatsoever.

    A third line of Calder/Boyle OR Handzus at center/Moulson is as solid a 3rd line as there is in the NHL. Our achiles heel will continue to be that our 2nd line center isn’t really a 2nd line center. Whether it’s Stoll, Boyle, Handzus, Armstrong…none of them are true 2nd line centers (and one will need to be traded as well). Playing the wing is a much different game, both on offense and in defensive responsibility.

    In my opinion, your 4th line to START the season, will be Ivan the destroyer/Boyle/any one of 10 guys and by the time Christmas rolls around Boyle and Handzus will switch.

  • anthony

    Mrbrett7,

    I agree with you on the Boyle theory. A good face-off player shouldn’t be wasted at the wing position.
    But I also don’t believe Boyle should be placed on the 4th line. He’s either a 2nd or 3rd line player.

    I still don’t think Richardson will make the team though.

  • guidedbyvoices

    Why is it that we aren’t trying to place Trevor Lewis in this picture? He’s 21 and should be challenging for a spot at this point if he was a good pick. Remember that Boyle was drafted out of high-school and was marked as a project, yet Lewis is not even being considered yet. It doesn’t make sense to have Richardson here for the 2nd round pick if this is a rebuild. 3rd and 4th line spots are positions where these draft picks should be gaining their NHL experience. If Lewis is nothing more than a 3rd or 4th line prospect he should have been the one traded for Richardson, and the 2nd round pick spent on him should have been used in a trade for an established defenseman.

  • ReggieMoto

    Moulson – Handzus – Murray

    The problem from this point forward (or down) is that the Kings have a plethora of centers and left wings, but no natural right wingers. It really becomes a crap shoot. Murray has some NHL time and is a fast skater with a good shot. I think he compliments Moulson well and if Zeus returns to form this could be a decent line.

    In reality, Zeus and Boyle fight for the 3rd line center job but I believe that for the beginning of the season at least it goes to Zeus and Boyle likely starts in Manchester.

  • Anonymous

    The best third line for me would probably be Moulson-Boyle-Calder. Calder is hard gritty player, Boyle tough big body and Moulson the clear shooter.

  • Kyle B.

    I agree with Anthony with high doubts of Richardson playing. That trade for him in the draft was absolutely pointless unless the guy becomes an Eric Belanger-type player.

    Mrbrett7, from my understanding, the Avs are not as deep as you believe. According to the Avs’ local newspaper’s blog, the fans are quite concerned at where the goals will be coming from this year. While their defense seems solid enough, their depth as an offensive team is pretty shallow from my understanding. At the same time, I do not know what kind of player Richardson is, and he could come into camp and surprise us all. In that case, put him with BOYLE and MOULSON. From what I remember, wasn’t it these two that had pretty good chemistry? If so, let’s keep them together. I think that there will be much movement between BOYLE and HANDZUS depending on health and production/roles.

  • Dave

    I would go with the line of
    Moulson-Boyle-Calder

    Let Calder do the dirty work, traffic in front of the net, get some loose pucks, grind it out in the corners and get pucks to the skill guys. Createing some time and space.

    mrbrett7 – in regard to Boyle on the wing you said…you absolutely, positively cannot keep him on the wing…(because of his faceoffs)…Playing the wing is a much different game, both on offense and in defensive responsibility.

    I dont see how having Boyle on the wing would keep him from taking faceoffs. I would much rather have 2 guys that can win faceoffs on a line than just 1. Playing the wing is a different game but it is much easier adjustment to be on the wing than center.

  • JDM

    guidedbyvoices –

    I too would love to see Lewis make the line-up. He definately was eclipsed by Boyle, but at least now if he’s in Manchester he should get a full year centering the top line there. I would definately prefer him to Zeiler. Don’t know about Richardson, all I know is he ahs more NHL experience than Lewis and we need all we can get in that department. I would rather Lewis get oodles of ice time in Manchester and come in off the heels of a great AHL season (not the case this past season) and grab the 3rd or 4th line center spot after Amry is presumably gone.

    However, he is getting ‘old’ for a center prospect and if he keeps getting passed this year he might find himself in a tough spot with the Kings and end up getting traded. It is my understanding that the club is still high on him. I hope he makes it.

    I’m glad he wasn’t traded for Richardson since I have a lot of my blind Kings faith in Lewis.

  • Nick

    I voted for a Calder-Boyle-Moulson line. I don’t think Stoll or Boyle should play the wings.

  • Quisp

    Guidedbyvoices –

    re Lewis:

    I love Trevor Lewis and I think the reason he’s not on the (fan’s) radar is that (1) he didn’t have a great year last season and (2) we have a lot of other prospects either slightly ahead of him in development (Boyle, Purcell, Moulson) or bigger splashes as prospects or picks (Bernier, Hickey, Doughty, Teubert…).

    However,

    – he is a very highly regarded prospect. He was #17 overall in 2006, first round, not second round as I believe you said.

    – Hockey’s Future has this to say about him:

    “The biggest strength of Lewis game is his speed. Lewis has excellent top speed, but he also has good agility and acceleration. Also making Lewis dangerous offensively is his offensive awareness. Lewis does a good job of utilizing teammates and finding the open man. When shooting the puck himself, Lewis has a hard and accurate shot.

    Like most top centers, Lewis is reliable defensively… His speed, defensive awareness, and hustle make him an excellent penalty killer who can even create offense shorthanded. At 61, 192 pounds, Lewis has the size and speed to make good hits on the forecheck. He doesnt hunt for hits, but he finishes his checks.

    As a center, Lewis will have to continue to work on his face-offs, but he has the skill set to succeed as a winger as well, if he were ever placed there. Lewis is the type of player who can contribute in any role and on any line, hes a hockey player.”

    Long term, Lewis could become a second line NHL forward, but the odds may be more likely that he becomes a third line forward who uses his speed on the forecheck but has the skill to contribute offensively and fill in on higher lines if needed. Even if regulated to third line duty, Lewis is talented enough to be one of the best third line forwards in all of the NHL.”

    I just want to underline, “TALENTED ENOUGH TO BE ONE OF THE BEST THIRD LINE FORWARDS IN THE NHL.”

    – the third thing I wanted to mention is, at prospect camp, he stood out consistently for me as a man among boys. Many of our best prospects (Moller, Simmonds, even Teubert) still seem like teenagers. But Lewis looked “full-size.” I kept checking my roster to see who it was. (The other guy I did that with was Cliche.) Now, I can’t claim to have really watched in detail, as I was with my 4 year old who kept asking me why the Kings were playing the Kings; but those two players stood out for me in terms of maturity. Along with some giant defenseman we’re not talking about…Bagnall, I think. Yeah, that’s who it was. I kept looking for Teubert and thinking Bagnall was him. Teubert looked small by comparison, but that may have been due to heightened expectations.

    As I think I said commenting on an earlier post, Parse and Lewis are wild cards. They have a chance to turn some heads next month. And they are uniquely motivated, since every year they don’t make it is another year Simmonds and Moller have to grow into their jerseys.

    2009:

    Brown/Kopitar/POS
    Moulson/Boyle/Frolov
    Purcell/Stoll/Moller
    Ellis or Parse/Lewis/Simmonds
    Ivanans or Westgarth

    Doughty/Greene
    Johnson/Preissing (or similar model)
    Hickey/Teubert
    Martinez

    Bernier
    Ersberg

    See what I mean? Nice…

  • guidedbyvoices

    Quisp. Lewis sounds eerily like Craig Johnson to me.

  • peaches

    1 osullivan-kopitar–brown
    2 moulson–spezza–purcell
    3 calder—handsuz—stoll
    4 ivanans–armstrong–ellis

    thats right frolov and boyle are traded for spezza
    bet on it

  • Marc Nathan

    Boyle is a center. PERIOD.
    In the Kings context, probably a fourth line center to start the season, with spot duty on the second PP unit.

    The concept here is carving out minutes for the forwards.

    Ideally, the third line is the “stopper” line… the line that is often called on to check the opposition’s top line. In games where the Kings have home ice advantage, hence the last change before a faceoff, the third line may get a minute or so less than they’d be called upon while on the road.

    Handzus centering Calder and Richardson is probably the most logical way to go, as none of them have shown the ability to take advantage of their offensive capabilities, yet are game ready and overpaid, so you have to give them significant enough minutes since their trade value (certainly in Handzus and Calder’s case) is lessened by their lack of effectivity in recent seasons.

    There are many ways to go, and we can speculate til the cows come home, or til a space ship lands on Staples Center and delivers a #1 goalie to the team, but for now, I’ll say that barring any radical changes, the four centers will be Kopitar (20-23 min), Stoll (17-20 min), Handzus (15 min) and Boyle or Armstrong (8-10 min)…

  • john

    for some reason I forgot Kyle Calder is still on the roster..

  • Harry

    When did we get Spezza, peaches?

  • cristobal

    I just want to remind everyone that Handzus is not a checking line center. He’s meant to be an offensive contributor as evidenced by his large contract. He’s supposed to be playing with creative and skilled forwards in order to produce points, we can pay Armstrong to center a checking line. If he doesn’t find linemates to produce with, he’s wasted. There’s no trading him, though, because he’s overpaid and may never be the same player he was with Philadelphia. It’s like trying to mold Pavol Demitra into a checking line player. What’s the point?

  • JDM

    cristobal, I can’t say I agree with comparing Handsuz to Demitra in any sense. Handsuz has in my book always been a shutdown center with offensive upside. I can see your point about his contract = offensive expectations, and I think DL probably expected ~50 points a season from him but I see his contract as mostly being because he is a veteran role model who he saw fitting in for a few years, while contributing and guided forward defensive play while chipping in offensively, hopefully as a 2nd line center, which I wholly think he will be this season. 3rd at worst… to put him on the 4th line would make your statement true. 4th line for Handsuz is a huge waste and a dissapointment. 3rd is ok so long as he plays the shutdown role like he used to and can be great at.

  • mrk

    I’m no gambling man, but it’s so farfetched that I’m willing to take that bet Peaches.

  • Anonymous

    For anyone who missed them, paraphrasing Jim Fox’s comments on Boyle after Boyle scored I think his 3rd or 4th goal: Fox (ecstatic): Boyle’s going to play in the league for 10 years. Believe me. What a shot. Then Fox went on to say he thought Boyle may end up as a left wing.

    Fox felt left wing was maybe Boyle’s best position, as he could play up ice, use his size and reach to create havoc on the forecheck (and my comment is that wings with a good defensive centerman do not have to worry so much about defense where Boyle’s relative lack of footspeed could be exposed).

    My guess is that Boyle is talented enough to play center or wing; let the other NHL teams figure out his weaknesses and see how he adjusts to how he’s played before any clear cut conclusions are made; it might be three years before its clear which position he is best suited for. 3rd line? I put him 4th with Moulson and purcell and give the lads lots of minutes.

  • cristobal

    JDM – The comparison was more of an analogy, but I don’t see anyone projecting O’Sullivan as a 3rd line checking center and Handzus has had similar offensive numbers in his career on average. I understand O’Sullivan has upside, but is Handzus really worth 3rd line checking on a team with holes everywhere? If anything, they should drop Stoll into that 3rd line, if they sign him, and demand some production from Handzus both in pts and plus/minus.

    http://worldhockeydaily.wordpress.com/

  • Duckhunter

    cristobal, where have you been? Welcome back brother, I was getting worried. I think DL brought Handzus in to play defense against the big line centers in the west, who has the capability(which we haven’t seen yet) to chip in a few points here and there. Also, JDM brought up a good point in Handzus ability to contribute on the PK. Comparing him to Demitra is a stretch, but your’e right on his salary, what was DL thinking!?

    It’s not hard to see this is going to be a feel out year. This year we’ll see where everyone stands and what the kids bring to the table. Next year we should see some giant strides in the right direction. This year is going to be scary. We are putting a lot of stock into these rookies. Along will multible rookies, we have newcomers like Stoll and Richardson and guys that have lots to prove like Handzus and Calder. This is going to be a trying year, but a necessary one, to see what areas need to be addressed in the following years.

    I had Boyle-Handzus-Richardson
    I know some of you don’t think highly of Boyle on wing, but until we can figure out who fits in what position, I was just putting out the best athletes to be a shutdown line with the ability to score. This is a make or break year for Handzus and maybe Stoll. If one or both don’t pan out, then Boyle can take over, but until then I still want him on the ice, and on one of the top three lines, which means playing on the wing. Richardson is my ? We’ll have to see.

    I have Ivan-Army-Calder as 4th line. This could also be interchangeable with the 3rd line. whoever is playing better, plays more minutes.

  • cristobal

    duckhunter – thanks for the welcome. I have an alias, guess who. I thought my name was too incendiary for the time being. Also, I don’t know who else had comments blocked, but I wondered wether I was the sole target of the “comments” topic and didn’t want to ruin the site for everyone. I actually posted under this name by accident with that one about Handzus.
    As far as the lines go, I want to see Boyle playing, period. I think Stoll should possibly be the 3rd line guy, he fits the bill, and I want production demanded from Handzus. I’d even play him 1st line sometimes with Brown and Ivanans. Put some spine around him and he may gain confidence. Ivanans, though tough as nails, is not a poor skater with rocks for hands. I don’t want to see anyone on the Kings knocked around like Pronger did to Handzus last year. If they do, i want stick work and fist work in retaliation. McSorley would never have stood for that. Hell, maybe Ivanans can skate well enough to defend. Anythings possible at this point.

    http://worldhockeydaily.wordpress.com/

  • Quisp

    guidedbyvoices –

    re: Trevor Lewis eerily like Craig Johnson

    And it’s true I’ve never seen them in the same place at the same time…

    Poor Craig Johnson… 33rd overall in 1990, picked right before Doug Weight and way before Craig Conroy, Kozlov, and the Kings (late round) pick of the draft, Robert Lang. Johnson was pretty good at times, and there wasn’t really even enough hype to say he didn’t live up to it. Came over in the Gretzky trade right? Well, at least he was useful for several years there. I do think, however, that Trevor Lewis projects to be a significant upgrade over Craig Johnson, or even Eric Belanger, whom I like and have been comparing Lewis to in the privacy of my own mind. Just so long as he doesn’t turn out to be eerily like Roman Vopat.

  • Duckhunter

    cristobalwithmanyvoices,:-)

    I agree Handzus or Stoll would be good on either line. Comes down to who wants it more. Who willing to give the extra effort to be “the man” on the 2nd line.

    I also agree Handzus has to man up this year. Many people have good things to say about Handzus. I hope I see that player this upcoming season.

  • Anonymous

    that

    triplcrown said:

    Assuming he comes back strong from the relatively “minor” (non-surgical, I believe) knee injury
    from last April, I think Boyle may
    blow a few minds this season.

    Interesting stats of BOYLE’s from his 6 NHL games:

    4 Gs/1 assist (You knew that already)

    +4 (cool)

    21% shooting avg (yup)

    and 1 more fact
    2 ponder:

    ALL of his points were even strength!!

    We haven’t even seen him cut loose
    on an PP yet!

    Boyle is as of now still a largely unseen
    weapon in the Kings arsenal.

    I would think, even if, in the
    early-going of the ’08-09 season,
    he plays 3rd or 4th-line,
    he will STILL be used on the PP, where he excels.

    Get ready for this guy!

  • Moondoggie

    Tough call….I’ll go with….

    Zeus – Boyle – Moulson

    Let the (real) games begin!

  • 28 KINGS

    “peaches said:

    1 osullivan-kopitar–brown
    2 moulson–spezza–purcell
    3 calder—handsuz—stoll
    4 ivanans–armstrong–ellis”

    Keep dreaming about Spezza, cause that’s all that it will be.

    more like:

    1 osullivan-kopitar–brown
    2 frolov–stoll–purcell
    3 calder—handsuz—Boyle
    4 ivanans–armstrong–ellis

  • jb

    simmer-dionne-taylor

  • Anonymous

    triplcrown said:

    Correct that for Boyle’s games played, from to 8 (eight).

  • ryan oliver

    yikes this team isnt good at all. But thats fine with me. Hedman/Tavares, here we come. On a different note, cograts on all the work on The Hockey News Yearbook Rich. Its great work, and great to see Kopitar get some high praise at the front of the book where everybody reads it. Also, I have a question. In the Top 50 players, someone wrote that the Kings will make the playoffs. This was written in Kopitars little diddy. Who wrote that?

  • cristobal

    ryan oliver – i don’t know who said that, but if you consider what Washington made the playoffs with last year, the Kings have some better stuff. Its not beyond the realm of possibility considering there could be trades. Interestingly, its up to debate as to what management really wants. By all accounts as they stand, it tends to look as though they’re chasing Tavares. T. Murray and all the players, I’m sure, will be giving everything they have. And the playoffs in the modern NHL of parity, are not what they used to be. Think back to the early 90′s, late 80′s in this division at the strength of teams like the Oilers, Kings, Flames, and even the lowly Jets who could never make waves with a roster that included Selanne, Zhamnov, and Tkachuck.

    Duckhunter – not too difficult, huh? I agree with your season seat purchase decision you posted earlier. Plus, if you have a DVR, you don’t even have to deal with commercial time-outs. I’d really like to see Commercial Time-Outs given the boot from hockey. They disrupt the flow of the game.
    Who are you most excited to see this year?
    I’m dying to see the defensive guys, but I agree with Anonymous too, that Boyle is an interesting player. I’d love to see him do what Penner does better. Not quite Rick Nash, but using his big frame to control the puck, knock defenders off, and show some sweet hands. Rick Nash-like, of course, would be acceptable too.

  • 28 KINGS

    cristobal, making the playoffs beyond a pretty far stretch but you never know. Washington had an MVP guy named Ovechkin and had an established goalie, we have neither. TV timeouts are part of the game in a sport were every dollar is needed. Just remember what they pay for…BOB MILLERS SALARY! It could be a lot worse like the NFL or NBA where every stoppage they go to tv time out. Could you image a tv time out after every goal or penalty kill?

  • cristobal

    28Kings – But the Kings do have Kopitar, Frolov, Brown; my picks for the 1st line. And, they have Stoll, O’Sullivan for the 2nd (my choices again). In goal, you never know. Ersberg could pull a Cam Ward or a Ryan Miller. Its really in the defense where the horrorshow weakness is glaring. Trades happen, however, so I just consider it a possibility. Beyond Ovechkin, Semin, Backstrom, Poti, and Green, there’s not much quality in Washington.
    As far as commercial time-outs, i’d love to see them go the way of the dodo. I don’t care how necessary they ‘appear’ to be, there are other ways to sell advertising. I’m not in the business, though, so I don’t know. I’ll just whisper this so that nobody else hears because they don’t like when I mention it, but football has two 45 minute halves with no commercial breaks and they are a marketing and money generating juggernaut.

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