9/30 notes, quotes

Is it worth noting that the Kings have earned eight points in five preseason games? Possibly, but it was a fairly light Ducks lineup tonight, and tomorrow night’s game in Anaheim should be a better indicator of what this rivalry will look like this season.

Jason LaBarbera has looked sharp and confident recently, both on and off the ice. Who knows how it will translate once the games start, but I’ve been covering Jason with the Kings since 2005 and I’ve never heard him talk more confidently about his abilities. LaBarbera stopped 30 of 31 shots tonight, following the 20-for-22 outing in his last game.

A few notes and quotes from the night…

– With his third goal of the preseason, Matt Moulson is now tied for the team lead with Anze Kopitar.

– Oscar Moller once again played first-line minutes with Kopitar and Brown. The longer the Patrick O’Sullivan situation drags on — and there’s still no indication that a deal is imminent — the longer Moller will get a chance to stick around and impress.

– Dustin Brown and Ryan Getzlaf had a scary collision with about seven minutes left in the game. Both players skated off slowly. Brown came back and didn’t appear to be in any trouble. Getzlaf went to the locker room and I didn’t see whether or not he returned.

– Wayne Simmonds got in two fights tonight and didn’t really come close to winning either, but he continues to impress. Last week, a Kings official called Simmonds one of the surprises of camp.

Some quotes…

Terry Murray, on the game…
“We had better composure and better conviction to execute. We didn’t get the puck deep enough on a consistent basis. However, we were much better in the third period. We had a lot of opportunities. Both goalies were very good tonight.”

Dustin Brown, on season preparations…
“We’re getting there. Obviously we have about 10 days before we need to be completely ready. In about seven to 10 days we’ll have a better idea of where we’ll be at.”

Brown, on the change in coaching styles…
“They’re very different coaching styles. I don’t know if you want to call it an adjustment, it’s a different feeling. Coach Murray is much more calm. That seems to trickle down to the players. It seems like we don’t panic as much. I think the defensive zone coverage we’re trying to change a bit is helping us.”

Sean O’Donnell, on the trade…
“I was a bit surprised, but I’ve been around long enough where nothing shocks me… Anaheim will always have a special place in my heart because they gave me something I dreamed of since I was a young boy [the Stanley Cup]… I’ve been at this for a long time. You do what you can control, show up and play as hard as you can. You be a good teammate, be a good person and things will work out.”

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  • Nick

    Rich, how do you see the lines shaping out?

    Brown-Kopitar-?
    Frolov-Stoll-Moulson
    Calder-Handzus-Purcell
    Richardson-Boyle-Ivanans

    If O’Sullivan signs….there is no room for Moller or Simmonds….If he doesn’t one of them seems to get a shot…but what happens to Armstrong…? He doesn’t seem to fit in the line-up anymore…Richardson is an NHL player….Kings need Ivanans or Westgarth’s toughness for sure with a young group.

    Ellis or Zeiler seem like sure bets for the 13th forward….But Army can’t sit as well…

  • Ksy92003

    I was at this game, as well. I saw the scary collision between Brown and Getzlaf. Brown went to the bench, stayed, and then came back onto the ice a bit later. Getzlaf went straight into the tunnel, then returned to the bench after a couple minutes and appeared to be skating normally on the ice. So I don’t think there’s any concern about either player.

  • D

    Thanks Rich!!! Keep up the good work….

  • Crawford SUCKS

    Dustin Brown: “Coach Murray is much more calm. That seems to trickle down to the players.”

    That is ALL I need to hear. Crawford was a horrible coach for this team. Murray was available when Lombardi took this job. Why didn’t Lombardi hire him then?

  • Tito Jackson

    Kopitar looked amazing last night. His ability to control the puck, has gracefully as he does, is fun to watch.
    Much more physcial team than last year, though I understand most of those guys will be sent down.
    LaB looked good, mostly because the defense kept the shooting at a distance where he could see the shots coming.
    Unfortuantly, they are still doing the bubble cam. :(

  • wavesinair

    Is it worth noting that the Kings have earned eight points in five preseason games?

    As youve noted, the Kings havent had a losing record in the preseason since 1988. I cant imagine this preseason is any different in terms of an indicator of the season. I know its fun and exciting for fans to finally see live skating, but other than player assessment by coaches, arent these preseason games meaningless?

    The longer the Patrick O’Sullivan situation drags on, the longer Moller will get a chance to stick around and impress.

    I was thinking the very same thing. Does anyone else get the sense that Moller is being used on the first line to make a point? Maybe directed at a certain someone?

    Whats Sean ODonnells nickname? I like what he had to say. Very good attitude and maturity. Im sure hes much more bummed out than hes letting on, but that will fade soon Im sure. However, he sure does seem like a fish out of water with this group. Who will he get on with? Army I suppose and I guess hell naturally look to connect with Preissing. Wow, what a change for him.

    Was the overtime goal a great move by Kunitz or a weak save attempt by Labs?
    Why was the collision between Brown and Getzlaf scary? What happened?

    Unfortunately, they are still doing the bubble cam.

    Really? Wow. I was listening on radio and I heard the same music and sound effects in the background that were played all last season. Seriously, the experience at Staples is really getting boring. Why dont they mix it up? I mean there are so many things they can do differently each game. Sure, some songs and sound effects are standards and always fun, but it really seams like they can do so much more to make the experience less predictable and sterile.

  • nykingfan

    I like the OD trade. If we don’t trade him, we got him for nothing. He’s a physical presence. that’s what we were sorely lacking last year on D. I’m starting to like the makeup of the D. I’m not saying it’s a cup winning D, but at least teams will pay the price for standing in front of the net…something that didn’t happen last year.

    Interesting things Rich had to say about Barbs. While I may have wanted others in goal to start the yar, lets hope he can turn thing around and be a productive goalie for us. If he does turn himself around and we don’t make the playoffs, he’s a valuable trade commoditiy.

  • Gene Carr

    Hi Rich, Man I missed your reporting over the weekend.

    I have been a big fan of Patrick O’Sullivan, but I find myself beginning to turn on the guy. And, Moller is awesome and would be fun to watch during the season.

    O’Sullivan, I think, is taking bad council. In my opinion, and based on his “career” of 1.4 years, can he really be so arrogant as to hold out like this? He has come down several notches in my eyes.

  • jet

    With the addition of O’D, I believe we have enough beef to keep the kids from becoming hamburger. The GK’s also have to believe they can come out of the net and not get run over.
    O’d will go back to the Ducks at the deadline, but as Blake helped JJ last year, O’D will help Greene this year.
    Waves- Moller is not specifically on the AK line to pressure POS, but to see if he can handle the pressures, physical and mental, which come with the position. I agree there will be a great deal of room to skate with our new found size, but opponents will still look to take the body on the little guys. Do you think that POS can come in late, get in game shape, learn the new system, and effectively contribute 25 minutes a game?
    The only positive about POS signing late is that he also has the ability to contribute to a third or fourth line. At 8 or 9 minutes a game, he probably wont hurt the team to much.

  • wavesinair

    “He has come down several notches in my eyes.”

    Here it comes. People are starting to turn. It’s amazing how people just assume that management MUST be making a reasonable offer so therefore, Sully is the bad guy and is now “arrogant” and “taking bad council.” I mean really. How long do you think it’s gonnna take Brown to realize he got robbed by DL? He probably already has. We got him dirt cheap and Sully isn’t buying. Cammy said no way. Gone. Lubo got a good contract. Dumped. DL wouldn’t even give Blake, a true King, 4mil but he’ll deal with the enemy to save a buck? The Kings are going to have to pony up at some point. Then again, maybe they’ll just keep pulling the wool over fan’s eyes and make us believe it is all necessary and part of a grand plan.

    “Do you think that POS can come in late, get in game shape, learn the new system, and effectively contribute 25 minutes a game?”

    Yes.

  • nykingfan

    Wavesinair

    Here’s my feeling about the Sully situation and I think others feel the same way.
    We’re all Kings fans. We root for the jersey, not the player. We root only for the player while he’s wearing the Kings jersey. If you’re not in camp and holding out, you’re holding out against the fans. We couldn’t care less what he makes…heck, we’d all do this for free…please don’t take that phrase literally, but you get the jist.
    We all love Brown because he’s made the committment to the team and to a larger extent..the fans…We are the team! If he accepted less to stay with us, we love him all the more. Nobody begrudges Sully for wanting more $$, we hold it against him because he’s not here helping US. I think we want our players to make a long term committment to the team…this shows loyalty.
    We Don’t know what actually goes on behind the scenes with negotiations. As fans, we only care about who is in uniform and who is playing for us.
    Blake was a true King, but only while he’s wearing our uniform. I loved Blake, but I’ll tell you one thing…if OD has him lined up and lays him out cold, I’ll be cheering! Sounds mean, but its true. It’s all about who’s wearing the crown on the front of the jersey.

  • Kyle

    A few comments, which are only as good as any other fan’s observations: Moller was solid, not spectacular. Positionally good, still could use a little more muscle, but he’s got a future. His time on the first line was not a message to Sully, but a test by Murray to see what Oscar’s got and how he’d handle the role.
    I can only assume that’s why Murray picked our 3 shooters for the shootout. They don’t take the shots if we’re out just to win versus seeing how these kids do when it’s all on them.
    Doughty could be the real deal. He still got beat a bit behind the net, and he’ll make some mistakes getting used to the speed of the game. But the upside is well worth it.
    Don’t focus on the fights, and what Simmonds did was play well with and without the puck. He’s got smarts, and looks as if he has the ability to anticipate plays, not just react to them.
    Westgarth need to be a better skater. He doesn’t yet have the speed or the raw strength on his skates he needs to play every day in this league.
    The unspellable Russians (Loktionov and Voy(i)nov) need work, but give them a year. They’re going to be good–maybe not Frolov good, but quality additions.
    Can Boyle grow another inch or two? He doesn’t tower over everybody enough yet (sarcasm off). His wingspan on the forecheck cluttering up passing lanes is a sight to see. Needs to be a bit more fluid on his skates but that’ll come.
    Man it felt good to be yelling at zebras again…

  • Quisp

    I don’t think anyone’s “turning” on POS. As I have said many times, I think he’s not being very smart right now, not acting in his own best interests. Wavesinair, you have responded that we don’t know what the Kings offered, we don’t know what POS is asking for, we have no proof that he is, for example, getting bad advice from his agent, etc.. But we do know the following: DL is looking for a long term deal, three years or more. POS is looking for a short term deal (obviously less than three years, or it wouldn’t be an issue). DL saw the money POS was looking for and said “oh boy”/”we’re not even close.” Now, from that, we can deduce that they are apart by more than a million dollars. Otherwise, they would be close.

    It’s also reasonable to assume that DL is offering more than 2.5 (low end) and I would guess closer to 3; given the fact that he wants a long term deal for POS, I would bet that his offer is a hair more than 3 (since long term deals frequently overpay in the beginning in order to underpay at the end; the player gets slightly less in the last years than he would if he played great and had a shorter contract, but in exchange he gets security, i.e. more years). It’s completely reasonable to assume that the Kings would like to sign POS to something like $10MM/3 years, or $14MM/4 years.

    And that’s a slightly better deal than the $15MM/5 year deal you offered POS in your stint as fantasy Kings GM.

    That’s why it’s reasonable to assume that this is POS’s fault and he’s being an idiot.

    And I don’t know why you have such faith in his ability to jump right in and produce without having to, I don’t know, get in game shape or anything.

    Nor do you have any reason to believe that Brown and/or Frolov think they got screwed at $3MM+/season. You’re just making stuff up, really.

  • JD A

    Is it me, or did Anthony lose his internet connection? Seriously, he must actually be getting some work done, instead of complaining about DL all day.

    I have to agree that is was great watching live hockey again. It was a great to see the kids giving their all and showing potential.

    Kyle – I agree that it does feel great to be yelling at the zebras again. What a horrible call on Kopi in overtime to kill our powerplay chances. I was sitting right behind the penalty boxes and heard someone yell, “Hey Ref! You should get on your knees because u just blew that call”. God, I love our fans!

    I was very weary about Labs going into last night’s game and have to agree with everyone. He played great. Not too many rebounds, controlled the puck well and kept his composure under pressure a few times. Nice Job!

    I’m heading down to duck country tonight, and plan on ruffling some feathers. Let’s roast some duck tonight!

  • wavesinair

    LOL, that was funny Quisp. Remember, only one side is talking to the media.

    Quisp is Dean Lombardis mouthpiece:

    Quisp says:

    Patrick O’Sullivan is being an idiot.
    Sully is not being very smart right now.
    Its reasonable to assume its Sullys fault.
    Sully is looking for a short term deal.
    Because DL said, “Oh Boy,” means they are apart by more than a million dollars.
    They are not close on money.
    DL is looking for a long term deal.
    DL is offering more than 2.5 million
    DL is offering close to 3 million
    DL is offering more 3 million
    DL wants to sign Sully for 3 years at 10 million
    DL wants to sign Sully for 4 years at 14 million

    Im sorry, whod you say was making stuff up? Get real.