Postgame notes (10/20)

A few notes from the Kings, as I attempt to finish my story tonight…

—–

Both Oscar Moller and Drew Doughty scored their first NHL goal tonight (both playing in their fifth NHL game).

Moller also earned an assist for his first career multi-point game (1-1=2).

Doughty played a season-high 25:07.

The Kings killed all four penalties tonight and are now a perfect 23-for-23 in penalty killing on the season. The only other teams that haven’t allowed a power-play goal are Buffalo and Minnesota (idle tonight).

Michal Handzus now has four points in the last three games (2-2=4). He leads the team with five points overall (2-3=5).

Kyle Quincey played a game-high 25:47.

The Kings outhit Colorado 28-19

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  • anthony

    Were Kopitar and Brown healthy scratches tonight?
    Oh, I’m sorry. I forgot. They were on the same line with the Magnificent Moulson.
    With the exception of one shift, Kopi and Brown were invisible. They even looked frustrated with their linemate. But what can you say, Terry Murray loves the magnificent Moulson. He loves Kyle Quincey. He loves Jason Labarbara.
    He doesn’t care much for Peter Harrold. He doesn’t care more for Brian Boyle. He doesn’t care much for Erik Ersberg.

    As far as Babs was concerned, he lost the game. Pure and simple. He is not capable of stealing a game away on his own. Last season, Ersberg was able to steal a few games on his own. It blows my mind away that ersberg hasn’t been given a sot yet. But what can you say, Murray loves Babs.

    And finally, Drew Doughty. For once I’m happy we lost the lottery and received the #2 pick. He’s so much better than Stamkos and Bogosian.

  • sande from finland

    Please,next time knock out Ryan”rubber face”Smyth first out of game, then start the playing.I hate that guy(since Edmonton).

  • Quisp

    My two cents: the Kings dominated a large portion of this game; imagine what that’s going to look like when it’s consistent (you know, like when Moller, DOughty, Simmonds and Quincey have played more than a couple of games in the NHL). Moller and Doughty are on the score sheet; get used to it. Goals not really LaBarbera’s fault. Funny that Handzus and Preissing coughed up the pucks leading to goals. Doughty got undressed by Smyth; fair enough; bet it doesn’t happen next time. The prospect of Doughty skating into the zone all by himself with more and more confidence is…mouth-watering. Kyle Quincey is not going to sit in favor of Peter Harrold. Ever. Did I see Quincey check two guys at once? Gauthier still checking people hard. Have to score 5 on 3. Kings slipped mentally in the second; but the offense is coming around. Give it another five games…

    All I want is, when the Kings play San Jose in December, they’re playing for first place. Is that too much to ask?

  • Anonymous

    Well we knew before the season that there were going to be a lot of rookie mistakes, and Preissing and Handzus didn’t let us down. It was also good to see the veterans like Moller and Doughty come through with clutch scoring.

    Seriously. Yeah, Doughty looked bad on Smyth’s goal, but he was a bit unlucky: he took a chance and stepped on Smyth and actually poke-checked the puck away. Unfortunately it hit Smyth’s leg, went forward, and Doughty was left lookin’ lost (that’s my Palin impersonation). But all in all Doughty looked very good. Hell, the team looked pretty good, but for the giveaways.

    While we did control so much of the play, I was concerned how non-physical we were. Stat-man credits the Kings with 29 hits, but it wasn’t until Simmonds’ hit @ 12:38 of the 3rd period that I noticed a good hit in the offensive zone. Brownie was only slightly more visible than Moulson, and that never bodes well.

    But as the British would say, the game’s result went against the run of play. Tough loss.

  • JonG

    Pretty entertaining third period. We had some good chances to tie the score, and lots of sustained pressure in the offensive zone.

    If we can hold teams to 16 shots while still generating some offense we’ll be in pretty good shape.

    I do think Labarbara should have had the third goal, however.

  • cristobal

    Quincey was terrific tonight. He did check 2 players at once. Gauthier as well, played strong, though Hejduk undressed him, but its Hejduk. I must not have noticed Quincey enough in the first game, because he frankly outplayed Greene and Priessing tonight.

    Harrold still deserved the reward of dressing after the Ducks game.

    I have to say, the point about Moulsen is not being lost. You don’t have to send him down, but you’ve got to give Kopitar and Brown an adequate (great) linemate. I don’t care if its Boyle, they need someone a little better. Kopitar didn’t even bother to move the puck up to Moulsen late in the game, opting to try to skate through 3 at the Av’s blue line. Jim Fox said the Moulsen-Kopitar-Brown line had their best shift with 3 minutes left in the game. That’s much too late.

    I totally disagree with pulling Labarbara, even though Ersberg may be a quicker, better netminder. What do you do with Labs now? Does he take this as the end of the road, or as a challenge? He’s already had enough “challenge” games, hasn’t he?

    Did Richardson do anything to make you want to play him again, or not play him? Very under the radar game for him. Almost set up a goal from behind the Colo. net.

    O’Sullivan is just looking incredible. Double shifting on the 4th line? Why not on the 1st and 3rd? He has got to be out there with Brown and Kopi more.

  • Anonymous

    Come on guys. I do agree with most of you, Moulson looks out of place, but lets give TM a shot. It may seem foolish right now…BUT, if his plan works we will have a much better ream for it. If Moulson consistently looks out of place, he will eventually be moved. TM (so far) has looked to have all the players on the same page, the effort is there, the PK is fabulous, and this is the same young team that just a month ago we all said will be bottom dwellers all season long. TM’s obviously got some things right…lets let him make these decisions for now. If this time next month there is not improvement, well, then we can start bitching and moaning :)

  • tsaiguy

    Atleast this team seems to show up, something they failed to do all too often last year.

    What a sick goal by Doughty by the way!

  • kb

    get moulson off the TOP line. Play more physically! don’t wait until the third period to try to make magic happen when you had 2 other periods to get your shit started. better off putting sully, boyle, or especially moller on the first line. PERIOD! if we could have gotten a goal from our first line tonight it would have been a different outcome. brown or kopi. babs had some soft goals. that second smyth goal was studly tho. but fuck that guy! he wouldn’t be pulling that fancy shit if jmfj was in the game *wink wink nudge nudge* doughty is a stud and and moller too. i mean wow!!! these guys are fucking great!! grats to them on their first goals. brown green and gauthier. where was the physical play in the first two periods!?!?!? you lazy ass mofos! kings fans, need to show up to games and cheer loud for this team. support your team bitches. staples was empty, quiet, and embarrassing tonight. too many colorado fans cheering loud. come on? what is that?

  • Kevin

    Actually, Buffalo is 23-for-24 on the penalty kill. They have a 95.8%.

    Source: http://www.hockey-reference.com/leagues/NHL_2009.html

  • Bring back Rogie Vachon

    If LaBoobala’s confidence is shot because he got pulled from a game in which he gave up two soft goals, then so be it. This guy’s a professional after all who is being paid to play (and quite well at that) and he must put up with whatever the coach decides. If he’s that soft, then let’s dump him and bring up Bernier so that we can move on to the future. Yes, confidence is a key to any good goalie’s game, but the confidence that a team derives from playing in front of a goalie who can actually make a few key saves once in a while is much more important for this young group of guys. And I get the feeling nobody (players, coaches, fans) has any confidence left in JLB after his overwhelmingly weak performance on Monday night against the Avs. The guy is a backup at best. It’s time to give Ersberg and the others the same extended time in goal that JLB got.

  • nykingfan

    My take on the game last night:
    The Kings outplayed the Avs for the majority of the game and deserved to come away with the win. Two atrocious plays by Preissing and Handzus cost us 2 goals. They weren’t necessarily Barbs fault, but that’s the kind of save you need your goalie to make for you in order to win games. That’s why I can’t wait until a guy like Bernier is ready to take over. I had no problem with TM pulling Barbs to start the 3rd period. Ersberg will be starting one of the games this weekend so it made sense to get him some game action.

    I haven’t been impressed with Moulson on the top line, but TM is giving them a chance to try and gel…if not, eventually he’ll put Sully back with Kopitar and Brown. No matter who’s playing with them, Brown and Kopitar need to step up their game big time. They’ve been invisible for large portions of the games. They are too good for that to happen. You can’t just blame Moulson. These guys should be able to play with anyone and dominate.

    Great to see Moller get his first goal. I’ve been impressed with both he and Simmonds every game. Both deserve to stay up with the Kings.

    I thought that Richardson played a good game. He forchecked hard all night and used his speed effectively. I noticed a big difference on the 4th line tonight with pressure in the offensive zone. The forchecking was sorely lacking with Boyle. Also kudos to Army for his hustle all night.

    I’ll save the best for last. Doughty is going to be the next Brian Leetch. He can dominate a game from the blueline. His end to end rushes are amazing now. Wait until he gets a little more experience. He’s going to make mistakes. Heck, I’m sure Bobby Orr made a few his rookie year, but this kid has everything.
    The way he used the defensman as a screen on his goal was a thing of beauty.
    This team has a high skill level throughout the lineup. I think as the year goes on, they are going to continue to get better and better. Can anyone believe how great the PK has looked? I had a bad feeling on the last Avs PP, but they allowed them no chances for the 2 minutes. great system employed by TM and Hardy.

  • mrbrett7

    Well, I expected mistakes from this team, but not from the veterens like Preissing and Handzus. NEVER UP THE MIDDLE…you learn this when you like 2 years old guys!!

    Doughty, Moller and Simmonds just continue to impress me, and Quincy was magnificent last night. Just tells you how deep Detroit is that he was their 10th d-man…although, one of their 6 or 7 is Chelios as 92 years old…Detroit made a mistake re-signing him.

    Anyway…Hanah Barbara…LaBarbara was terrible, but it would be nice if he could make a big save now and again.

    The big problem is…he isn’t a #1 goaltender in the NHL. He’s too slow laterally. The other problem is…neither is Ersberg…so what do you do? At this point, I think we see either Bernier or Quick sooner than later.

  • Anonymous

    Labarbara has not played well this season so far his #s until last nights game were skewed cause of the games against SJ (1-0 loss + the 40 shot game) a majority of the goals he has given up have been questionable. IMHO we saw the real Labarbara against the AVs and thats why Ersberg needs to be given a fair chance now (5 games at least in a row).

    Terry please see the common sense and take Moulson off the 1st line and put Sully back at least for 1 game and you will see. Sully is the catalyst for that line he makes things happen he has shown it when you reunite the line for shifts.

  • Bill

    I know the defense was beat a few times last night, but you’re #1 goalie should stop at least one of those scoring opportunities when they happen and Jason didn’t.
    After watching Jason give up several goals on limited shots over the past few games, I would prefer Ersberg be given his chance to sink or swim.

  • Peter Harrold

    The one game that I played this year was not so good. I couldn’t pass, puck handle or check in that game. It seems that I can dominate at the AHL level, but not the NHL. Quincy seems to have pasted me by as if I was standing still (which is how I play the game!). He has one hell of a shot and is getting both power play and PK time. Now, if he can learn not to elbow a guy in the chops during the 3rd period it would be great.

  • CW

    Lombard is going to look like a genius for picking up Quincey.

  • mark4kings

    The Kings lost all their momentum and, to a certain extent, their heart(confidence?) in the 2nd after LaBarbara gave up his second softy. At that point the D had held the Av’s to 6 shots and our ace let in three of them.
    The positive was that they came back strong in the 3rd.

  • jet

    cristobal – I am glad you saw Quincy’s value. He does play a low key game, so you do need to watch him to notice his attributes. I agree with you in regards to Harold he played very well after he settled down. I credit TM with continuing to go back to him until he had a chance to gain his confidence.

    A small note on Richardson, I believe it was just prior to the first goal where he followed through on a check in the corner on a clear by the Avs right D. That check delayed the player from getting up ice and allowed for an easy reentry into the zone where we scored. It will not show up on the score sheet, but TM noticed.

    Finally, you make an excellent point with pulling Barbs. Confidence is critical. What do you do Friday?

  • JDM

    Quincey elbowing that guy in the face was pricelss! I laughed for a cool two minutes, especially as our awesome PK denied any and all chances on the PP. Ersberg in net and Sully on the first line and we win that gave… Even if Ersberg gives up two softies.

    I think Labs should have been pulled immediately after the 3rd goal. TM also should have used the time out at that point. Smyth never gains the blueline with speed like that if he does.

    Anyways, bygones and such.

    Ersberg may not be a bona fide number 1 (yet) but it was just so nice for 20 minutes to watch a goalie move quickly and smoothly post to post. One quick step and slide, opposed to Labarbera’s languid shufflling.

    Love our team though! Agree with basically every sentiment here. Especially the one about Kopi and Brown stepping it up. Moulson shouldn’t be on the 1st line but that’s no excuse for their poor play. As good as our team is this year and all the talent we have with Sully, Moller, Doughty, Frolov and such, our season rises and falls based on Brown and Kopi’s consistency. Two goals between them after 5 games is unnacceptable. Frolov didn’t score either…but I noticed him and he forechecked hard and did his thing most of the night. Kopi and Brown are just gonna have to get used to be played really hard by other teams top D. That’s not gonna change for them, ever.

    I’m being a little harsh but they need to step it up and soon.

    Sully keeps making me think he might just have the most upside of anyone on this team. What a steal for 3 years at 3 million.

  • Marc Nathan

    Let’s wait until Bernier proves he can stop the puck at the AHL level before we subject him to the NHL… He’s off to a pretty unspectacular start in his first couple of games with Manchester, and although that team has an even younger more inexperienced defense than the Kings, he’s still got to stop at least 9 out of 10 shots before he can be considered in any kind of groove that would allow him to feel confident in his play at a higher level.

  • jkwondachef

    Kyle Quincey played great. Great pick up by Deano. I hadn’t seen him play until tonight but I was impressed by what I saw. Checking two guys at once? C’mon! Plus he drove to the net a couple of times with Sully. I know he’s a defensemen but, that says a ton about his confidence to go up like that. I guess coming from Detroits system does that to players. Doughty is a stud hands down. This kid reminds me a lot of Brian Campbell. Skates well. Shoots well. Moves the puck well. Isn’t afraid to hit. I liked how he scored his goal as well. He took upon himself to go into the zone and had the sense to shoot instead of looking for the pass like most rookies will do. Plus his spin move in the corner to shake the Avs player was great.

    The Kings were in it but again JLB blew it for them. I am sorry but, all the games (except against Carolina) he has let in some super soft goals. He isn’t giving the team a chance to win the Kings I believe have been down in 4 of 5 games thus far. That does not bode well for the team. Granted they have killed 23 of 23 Penalty’s but the goalie has to give you a chance to win and he hasn’t done this. His lateral movement is terrible. His rebound control is worse. I hate to rip on the guy but, what does Terry Murray see in him? I am glad Ersberg got a chance to come in. Hopefully he starts on Friday and the team doesn’t look back.

    Overall though I like this team better than last year. Much more exciting. Murray’s system is far better than Crawford’s.

    One last thing…Put POS up with Kopi and Brownie. POS is a stud. He needs better line mates to tear it up.

  • Anonymous

    This team needs to play with the same intensity whether they are up a goal or down a goal. What a huge let down after going up 3-2, they looked like they thought the game was supposed to be over once they had a one goal lead. This team needs to focus on working hard regardless of the score, and stop sitting back feeling good about themselves once they have a slim lead. Labs will bonce back, yes he let in a couple of bad goals but it was not all is fault the team must play better in front of him. As for Moulson, he didn’t do much last night but neither did Kopitar or Brown. Those two are the ones responibile for getting that line going, and they were invisible for most of the game.

  • petey

    Marc, Bernier is also seeing his first action since the prospects game. He was hurt, basically all through training camp. So right now, this is his training camp.

  • Duckhunter

    Agreed, the fist line needs to step it up a couple notches. Brown and Kopi are both -3, with Kopitar having only 8 shots on goal in 5 games. That’s not even 2 shots a game. Interesting stat. The good news though, we’ve looked o.k. so for, so when they do turn it up, we’ll be even better.

    Also agree on O’Sull. His presents is felt every time he’s on the ice. He continues to impress me. I’ve posted this before, but last year O’Sull improved more than anyone I’ve ever seen in any sport in such a short period of time. His skills do seem to be limitless at this point.

    This year so far, I think Fro has played as well as anybody. That’s good to see. I know he’s talented, but in my head I’ve always questioned Fro. I’ve always felt he could be a lot better, but could never figure out how to explain it. I think this year so far, he’s played the best I’ve seen him. I can’t give you specifics why, but he’s playing better in my view.

    If the kids can hold up, the first line plays like it capable of and the goal tending can just be ave/good we can have a better than expected year. One thing for sure, we will not be in the Tavares sweepstakes

  • The Little Lebowski

    The Little Lebowski said:

    I’m pleasently surprised to be agreeing with so many of you this season, normally I can’t say that I do. However, regarding POS, Doughty, Quincey, etc., I can’t believe that we are starting to see the outlines of what can become a competitive powerhouse in the West.

    Now we just need goaltending (and no, I have not forgotten Bernier). Watching Labarbara last night reminded me of so many games last season, and I see Colorado remembered his weakness as well. He has a serious glove side problem. The 2nd Ryan Smyth goal was a thing of beauty, no doubt, but watch the play again. He holds the puck until he has skated past Barbs to his glove side. Not only does Barbs have trouble with his movement, his glove side is aweful. if you go back and look at the two previous goals they were to the glove side from a mile away. F-ing dreadful and I think you saw the team react, poorly.

    The fact is that HE lost last night’s game. Sure the Kings had a horrible 2nd period, but the responsibility for the loss falls squarely on Barbs shoulders. Hopefully Murray doesn’t keep him in there too much longer. I’d like to see Ersberg get the #1 job this season. I’d rather we lose behind him than watch the one armed man flounder from side to side.

  • JonG

    Duckhunter,

    I agree that Frolov seems to be playing very well right now. It seems like he has a little more jump in his step.

    I think Frolov gets a little too much grief for being a streaky scorer. That’s probably how he will always be. I still think he’s a very valuable second line player.

    Hey, Luc Robitaille was as streaky as anyone and he seems to have had a pretty good career.

  • jim

    How soon everyone forgets. If not for Barbs we would have lost the Carolina game & maybe the ducks game. All goalies have a bad night now and then especialy when the D makes bad mistakes.

  • Quisp

    Anthony, you’re like that that 60s Star Trek creature they kept firing their phasers into, before they realized it fed off the energy; I gather you love the attention. But I can’t help myself: “Were Kopitar and Brown healthy scratches tonight? Oh, I’m sorry. I forgot. They were on the same line with the Magnificent Moulson. With the exception of one shift, Kopi and Brown were invisible. They even looked frustrated with their linemate. But what can you say, Terry Murray loves the magnificent Moulson.”

    “They even looked frustrated with their linemate.” That’s what you call projection. You were frustrated with Moulson, so you project your frustration onto everyone else. As others have pointed out, Kopitar and Brown are not entirely dependent on who their line-mate is, or else they are not nearly as good as, well, as they actually are. Let the Brown/Kopitar/Moulson line click. What’s the rush? Murray has clearly demonstrated his attitude about this: you have to give players time (LaBarbera and Moulson are prime examples of this, but also look at the ice-time for Quincey and Doughty). And you shouldn’t discount the effect of POS with Moller and Stoll.

    The main lesson I would try to drive home is that you can’t spot your opponent a two-goal lead and then expect to come back to win in the third every time. It doesn’t matter who made the mistakes. Handzus, even when he was sucking last season, was defensively solid; he’s not going to be making that mistake again any time soon. Preissing, whatever. That wasn’t good. In general, though, when you give up goals in bunches, it’s not the first mistake that’s killing you, but a series of compounded mistakes.

    In the end, though, the game in which Moller gets his first goal and multiple points, Doughty gets his first goal, and Quincey plays like that, has to be seen (if you’re me, anyway) as a net-positive. I’m tempted to say that 80% of that game was one of the most dominant performances I’ve seen from the Kings in many seasons. The fact that they were inconsistent is not surprising given their youth.

    And, Anthony, I don’t think you should write off Moulson just yet. He is a natural goal scorer. Murray knows it. Lombardi knows it. You’d rather we ditch him now so he can do it for some other team? Come on. This is the perfect time to let him get his legs.

  • cristobal

    Colorado didn’t pull Budaj after he gave up a weak goal from a horrible angle by Moller. Handzus and Preissing didn’t get pulled after passing to Colo. right in the middle of the ice. Doughty didn’t get pulled after he let Smyth by for a one-on-goalie.
    Expecting Kopitar and Brown to dominate with Moulsen on their line is almost like expecting them to dominate on a penalty-kill. Remember, the defense has a lot to do with offense, and unless Doughty is out there with them, the rest of the defense is going to be hanging back only taking shots from the blue line. It’s not like they have a whole lot of help behind them, either, offensively speaking. When will we see Purcell or Boyle or Simmonds or Moller given an opportunity with them if O’Sullivan’s not going to be there?
    This is still a rebuilding year. I don’t think Labs has been given enough opportunity this season to prove he’s not a starter. Have the Kings goaltending coaches tried to change him into the type of keeper he isn’t? Put back on the weight and let him use his size to his advantage. He’s much to big to be as quick as Ersberg. If he perfects the butterfly, the team knows what it has to do – keep everything outside and play near-perfect defense. That hasn’t happened.

  • sparky

    I know this is an unpopular take on things, but I agree with TM. I like to see some depth on all of the lines. Keeping POS on the second gives us some very needed scoring power on that line. If we stack too heavily on the first line we have little to no threat after that. Besides, Moulson needs the time to grow and mature and what better environment for him to do that? It’s time for our captain and alternate to step up and make things happen, regardless of who they are playing with!

  • Quisp

    Jim’s right. JLB stood on his head at times in the two Kings wins. He has always been and still is prone to the soft goal. However, the team did not play well enough in front of JLB in terms of those goals against. They weren’t soft in the “unscreened wrist shot from the boards above the hash marks” sense.

    That said, JLB is not going to be the Kings goalie next year. Bernier will have had his year in the AHL, and it will be time to “use it or lose it.” JLB will by then, I’m guessing, have been traded to someone who needs a back-up.

    Meanwhile, Doughty/Greene/Johnson/Quincey/Preissing/O’Donnell/Gauthier is a solid enough defense to be ready for Bernier as soon as he’s ready, so maybe that will happen by Xmas, kind of like a present.

  • Quisp

    Sparky –

    I don’t think that’s necessarily an unpopular take. I agree with you. People just want to have their cake and eat it too. I just think it’s short-sighted. POS wasn’t POS until last year. Moulson, Purcell and Moller (and Simmonds) need their incubation period, too. I think of it like a microcosm of the rebuilding process. Just like it would be easier to throw money at a bunch of free agents and trade away your prospects in order to have a shot at winning now, it would be easier to throw that one line together in order to score now. But then Moulson would not have that opportunity. And Moller wouldn’t be playing with POS. Etc., etc.. What Murray is doing is patient and smart.

    And let’s not forget that four goals against is too many. That’s what cost us the game. We’re getting enough goals and the heavy hitters haven’t even started filling the net yet.

    One last thing: when you’re learning — whether it’s just a kid in school or a team learning a system and getting used to each other — what you see is growing, fits, starts, pains, flashes of brilliance, setbacks (repeat, repeat) and then…click.

    I think you will see the “click” before Xmas. Of course, I am optimistic to a fault. Why not?

  • nykingfan

    Cristobal..I have to disagree with a few of your points:
    Pulling your goalie is not always about the poor play of the goalie, but also to give the team a little spark. I don’t pretend to know what TM was thinking in between periods..whether it was the poor play of Barbs or to give the team a spark, or to give Ersberg a little game action to prepare for his start this weekend. I suspect it was a combination of all 3.
    Goalies are all accustomed to being pulled during a game. It has happened to all of them..including the great ones like Brodeur, Roy, etc…If Barbs confidence is that fragile that he can’t handle being pulled, then we have a huge problem in goal with him there. I don’t believe that’s the case at all.

    You can’t compare players making a poor play during the game and the goalie giving up a bad goal. The goalie is known as the last line of defense for a reason…A defensemen can make a bad play and get away with it because the goalie is there. If the goalie gives up a bad goal…its a goal! There’s nobody behind him to stop the puck.

    As I mentioned before, I haven’t been thrilled with the play of Moulson on the top line, but this whole year is about experimentation. If the lack of chemistry continues, I’m sure TM will remove him from the line. It’s only been 5 games. The play of Kopitar and Brown has not been awe-inspiring..not in the least. They haven’t played close to what their ability is. I haven’t seen Brown have consistant shifts of taking the body and cycling down low…Same with Kopitar. He hasn’t been controlling the puck that way he normally does. I’m not worried about either one. They are too good, and again it’s only 5 games! I’ve seen Kopitar control the play with Ivanans on his wing. You can’t tell me Moulson is less skilled than Ivanans.

    Also..I’m getting frustrated reading about how people wants Boyle on the first line. HELLO? The guy has not earned playing time on the 4th line…how has he earned playing time on the 1st line? I saw Richardson do good things last night on the 4th line. He forechecked well…He used his speed..all things that Boyle didn’t do in his last game. If Boyle plays with the grit and consistency that the coaching staff is looking for, then we can all wonder if putting him on the top line is a worthwhile experiment. There is more to playing in the NHL than just having size and skill. The talent level for many players in the NHL is similar…it comes down to work ethic…night in and night out. That’s what separates guys like Laperriere from Boyle. Does anyone think Lappy has the same skills as Boyle? Hell no, but he plays hard every shift, every night. When Boyle learns this, he will be the great player we all expect.

  • JonG

    Quisp, you bring up a great point. If our defense keeps playing this well, we might see one of the Jonathans sooner rather than later.

  • cristobal

    Quisp, NYkingsfan – Moulson is 25. He’s not a 1st line NHL winger. AHL yes, NHL no. Put him on the Moller, Stoll line, then we can talk about how they should be generating offense wether O’Sullivan is on the line or not.
    Kopitar and Brown have nothing to work with when Moulsen is out there. Kopitar looks like he doesn’t even want to pass to him because it leads to nothing, or a turnover.

  • Duckhunter

    nykingfan, I agree with everything you’ve said in both you’re posts. I feel the exact same way.

    Quisp you’ve pretty much been right-on so far in you’re pre-season predictions, so there’s no reason why I shouldn’t believe in you’re assessment of things to come until the all-star break. I really want to see the kids hold on and gel with the vets.

    JonG, you’re right about Luc. I’m just glad Fro is playing to his potential, over and beyond scoring goals.

  • cristobal

    NYKINGSFAN – In regards to Labarbara.

    I wanted Erberg to be the No. 1 before the season started. But if the coaches pick Labarbara to be THE guy, leave him in until he really makes some mistakes. You pull him if Colo. gets a 5th, but not between periods when its a 2 goal game. Winning the game is not the most important issue right now. The goal is rebuilding the team. So if Bernier isn’t ready and won’t be the No. 1 this year, pick a guy and stick with him. 3 goals against after 2 passes to the opposition in the slot and, basically, a one on none don’t warrant getting pulled even if it is to “spark” the team. The team has responded well in every game when they’ve been down. And I don’t think the players could seriously look at Labs in blame last night. There are going to be rough nights. We just need to live with it and through it.

  • nykingfan

    Cristobal

    Read TM’s comments on pulling Barbs…it’s exactly like I said…He was looking to give the team a spark…He’s also not going to come out and say Barbs played poorly. I shouldn’t even say he played poorly. He had very little action in front of him. 2 goals were due to ugly turnovers. In order to win, you need the goalie to make those saves..he didn’t make the saves and we lost…they weren’t bad goals per say..just goals you hope he stops.

  • cristobal

    NYKINGSFAN – I understand what you said, and what Murray is saying about sparking the team. I just disagree with doing it.
    For me, Murray has 3 red flags. Not playing Harrold, dropping Boyle, and pulling Labs. I just don’t think it fits in with the rebuild ethic that is supposed to be the focus.

  • DellaNooch

    Pulling Labs was a good move, sorry to say Cristo, goal #2 and #3 were weak. The fact that he had only 6 shots on him through half the game was a sign of how great our team was playing. Labs needs to be on his toes more. Putting Ersberg in will only help motivate Labs more…don’t forget the “compete” that every player on this team goes through for their spot. We can’t let one guy slide by because he had a previous game where he was strong or his feelings might get hurt. Labs will be back, but he needs to step it up.

  • cristobal

    DellaNooch – So are Preissing, Handzus and Doughty sitting next game?