Oscar Moller, NHL center

Oscar Moller not only is staying with the Kings, he has moved into a second-line center role between Alexander Frolov and Kyle Calder, an important role on a team looking for scoring depth. I talked to Moller today, before he got official word from the Kings that he was staying in the NHL…

—–

Question: You had to know the coaches and management were watching you pretty closely last night. Did you think you played well?

MOLLER: “Yeah, I thought I did OK. I was still minus-2 and I took a stupid penalty, but I had some good scoring chances. (Luongo) made a good save on the first one but I should have buried a couple other ones. But overall I thought I played OK.”

Question: What would it mean to you to be able to stay here?

MOLLER: “It would be huge for me. I would be really happy if they would keep me here. I would be working really hard, and I really want to stick around.”

Question: Have you reached the point where you’re comfortable playing with pretty much anyone on the team?

MOLLER: “Yeah. Right now it doesn’t really matter who I’m playing with. We talk out there and support each other, so everything works fine.”

Question: Is there anything in particular that you’ve learned about playing in the NHL

MOLLER: “Probably just being consistent every night, execution of things, the systems, passing, all of those kind of things. The speed is higher and the pace is higher, so it’s all of those things.”

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  • anthony

    I’m happy for Oscar.

    But back to these lineup changes.
    The magnificent Moulson plays on the top line for 5 games a does nothing. And after doing nothing he’s back on the top line.
    Sully plays on the top line for 1 game. 19 minutes, 3 shots on goal, Minus -0, drew a penalty (not bad not great) – and he gets dumped to the 3rd line. Stoll gets dumped to the 4th line.

    Does this seem logical to anybody?
    No wonder he’s only been an assistant for the last few years.

  • Harry

    Remember guys, Its only the 10th game. We have 5 more months to go… We should see more changes…

  • cristobal

    anthony, no it doesn’t make sense.

  • cristobal

    Rich – Do you know the attendance figures from last night? Maybe a thread based on Attendance, ice quality, and how the Kings players are affected or not by it.

  • Rich Hammond

    Attendance was announced at 13,652 but was considerably lower, probably 9-10,000. Ice has always been bad in L.A. (and Anaheim for that matter) and players just accept it.

  • cristobal
  • Barrett

    I agree with Anthony. Holding my nose of course.
    If Moulson gets 5 games on the top line, why not give POS the same chance. Changing things after only 1 game shows poor judgment.

  • MarkE

    What about a guy like Brendan Shanahan? He probably would never play for the Kings but talk about mentoring and leadership? I love the way he plays even at 40..

  • cristobal

    Thanks Rich. What about attendance affecting the players. Is there any sense they feel let down by the lack of support?

    Any chance AEG passes on tickets you could use as “prizes” for your readers?

  • cristobal

    Murray better hope for some consistency tomorrow. It’s a nationally televised game and there will be a lot more critics watching.
    If Cammo has 2 goals against us it will be like deja vu. Lappy, Conroy, now Cammo.
    UUgghh.

  • -J

    For you CBA buffs, his clock towards free agency begins at 40 games, not 10. Why, I don’t know.

  • Anonymous

    Come on guys, POS can always go back an play with Kopi & Brown. But TM is just trying to find some combos for the 2nd and 3rd lines that work. Or at least 3 full lines preferably 4 that all work together. It won’t make much sense if we just have one line that works. Then we will be in the same boat as last season.

  • Anonymous

    I would like to see the lines

    Brown – Kopitar – O’Sullivan
    Frolov – Stoll – Moller
    Calder – Handzus – Simmonds
    Armstrong – Boyle – Moulson

    Calder and Armstrong are interchangeable. Ivanans is useless. Armstrong, Calder and Simmonds are all willing to drop the gloves.
    As for defense I think that Doughty, O’Donnell, Quincy and Greene have been more than solid. Nice to see Greene not taking a ton of penalties like he did in Edmonton. I would like to get Preissing back in for another shot. Ersberg earned more than what he has gotten this year with his play last year. Give him a shot coach.

  • Kevin

    On the train home from the game last night, I overheard somebody suggesting that the Kings sign Shanahan to get some leadership and strength on one of the lower lines, as well as to get him in hockey-playing shape, and then trade him at the deadline to a contender for a 3rd round draft pick.

    I don’t know if this has any realistic chance of happening, but it sounds like it would be a pretty good idea.

  • Anonymous

    Hey Rich and anyone who wants to answer, what kind of reaction do you think Cammy will get tonight? I have a feeling there will be more boos than cheers.

  • Hat Trick

    Has anyone given any thought to this being Moulson’s last chance to stay up with the KINGS or be sent down? He may not be the only one. There a lot of players in Manchester that are chomping at the bit to get a chance up here. Be honest here, before the season, how many of you were expecting a playoff contending team? Most of these players, other than the “top” line
    have never played together, yet a lot of you are second guessing (which is so easy to do)Coach Murray(though it seems you never learned this,show a little respect, anthony)for trying to see who might have some chemistry. This season is going to go a long way in determining where a lot of the young players fit in as far as being
    NHL ready. It’s been only 9 games. We’ve seen the good, and the bad, yet we know the BEST is yet to come. anthony………………………..Alzner!!

  • Model 62

    Eh? So now Frolov’s off the checking line (allegedly a position of distinction and honor and icetime in Murray’s system) and back to being the main threat on the second scoring line?

    When his contract is up, I bet A Frolov signs with whomever promises to let him finally skate, on regular shifts, with equally capable linemates.

  • psycho

    we need to constantly remember a few things when analyzing this team. The first is that these are young players. This doesn’t just mean that they lack NHL experience but more importantly they have not yet defined who they are, what type of players they are, their style, etc. DL, Murray, Hextal, etc are professionals – they know what it takes to win in this league and they know that players must fit into a mold – i.e. Brown is a banger, Anze is a play maker, O’Sullivan is a sniper. This did not come about automatically. You need to watch these players in many different situations to see where they shine. Moller for example started as a center and showed great promise but was moved to the wing to see how he did – he did well at both. Now it is time to see him at center with other players. Some guys are easier to figure out – we know what type of player Simmonds is going to be especially when he gains a few pounds and learns the NHL game a little better. And we know what Calder, Zeus and Armstrong bring us. This is not just about this season folks – we need to stop thinking one-dimensionally. We need to figure out where guys like Boyle, Moulson, and Purcell fit into the grand scheme of things. If Moulson is sent down we want him to go down knowing exactly what it is that is expected of him and not just sulking because he wasn’t effective up here. Things like that ruin a young player. Second, it takes some time for a new system to jell with players and a team as a whole. It has only been 10 games and throw in the fact that many of these players have limited NHL experience. You must give it some time . I know that many of you are frustrated – anthony, christobal – but take a deep breath and remember that we are building something from the ground up and not just putting pieces together to win the cup this year. I for one am very excited about this team – about the unexpected play of Doughty, Moller, and the thought of what this core of players is going to be able to do in the next few years. So let’s enjoy the ride!

  • JDA22

    well said psycho

  • Deader2818

    I dont know if people realize this about Frolov or not but hes 3rd on the team for ice time for forwards behind only Kopitar and Brown. People need to realize that with the Kings, its more like, Line 1, Line2A and Line 2B. Plus, Frolov plays on the PP, PK, 5 on 5. He gets lots of ice time. It seems like the only ones who have a problem with this is the fans, as Frolov has been accepting of his roll and he will do what it takes to help this team get into the playoffs, even if it means his offense stats might stuffer.

  • Moondoggie

    Way to go Oscar! You did it, you earned it. Nice job!

    On to tonight. We’re in major recovery mode everyone. The Canuck game was a disaster. The Kings need to dig deep right now and discover who they really are. I don’t buy into the Shanahan signing, it just doesn’t make any sense what with all the Kings youth clammoring to get to the NHL. Nope, I’d perfer to see our kids who are beginning to blossom to make the jump and give them a try. Also, I don’t think its fair to expect Moulson, Boyle or any of the kids to be instant all-stars upon making the Kings roster. That’s asking a lot and they’re still learning the game. Yes, once in a while you get exceptional youth like Oscar or JMFJ, Brownie, Kopi that can take that step. Remember Brownie, he was decent at best when he first came up, now he’s the team captain and one of LA’s best players. Player developement takes time and patience in all sports but its especially critical in hockey where timing is everything and because the game is so fast. That is the first thing youth tells you when they make the NHL, it’s the learning curve, learning the speed of the faster paced NHL. Once they get that timing, learing the game, the speed, if they have the ability, they’re in. Again, just look at our best players, Brownie, Kopi, Sully, shoot even Cammi (we get to see him tonight, probably a 2-3 goal game for him against his old mates), all of them took time to develop at this level. Watch for Moulson, Boyle, Oscar, Purcell, Simmonds, et al next year. Yep, they’ll probably have John Tavares playing right beside them but they’ll be fun and they’ll be vastly improved. It takes time everyone and, even tho we’re not playing real well right now, things are greatly improved from last season. Patience everybody, patience.

    Nykingsfan, I’d love to hear your take on all of this.

    Cristobal – Minus the advertising, I like it. Kinda reminds me of the English crusaders, maybe just a tad too religious but it looks good, kinda Kingly I’d say. You sort of expect Sean Connery to come out in that jersey….*LOL*

  • cristobal

    Moondoggie – Cheers. I think it’d be awesome too. The RedCross on the jersey is very reminiscent of the England Flag but not straight rip off. I’d love to see this jersey. I’d even take the sponsor if it helped cut the price of tickets, parking, and concessions in half. I agree that the “religious’ bias against the design might be a problem, though. But there was that idea of the divine right of KINGS.

  • cristobal

    psycho – I’ve actually been the one trying to talk people off ledges lately. For me, the kings have been better than I thought and I respect their effort – even when the game was dismal, they didn’t quit.
    I’m starting to think LA might have the wrong coach (I was a big proponent of going after Larionov), but it’s way too early and there have been things I’ve liked, like the spirit of the team.
    My greatest concern before the season was destroying sure-fire talent by not supporting them with adequate help. I still think it’s a problem but the bus is already on the highway. Too late to change now.
    The people raging about Labs should keep in mind, in the next 15 games this course will be decided. After 25 games, we’ll know where Jason Labarbara will be in terms of his LA Kings career.

  • psycho

    Cristobal – without giving away too much, I think that you would be surprised about how the players feel about Murray. Many of those that have been here for the past few years like his consistency and the fact that for the first time in a long time, both coach and GM are on the same page and share similar philosophies. Murray is a hockey purist – he is not a flashy guy but more of a rudder – steady, consistent, sturdy. His coaching style is very much similar to the way he played and under the systems of which he played – structured, stable and defencive-minded. This is difficult to instill in some of the younger players who have seen the game change in the last few years from a more structured style that favored bigger players to a game today that seems more suited for players like Moller or O’Sullivan – smaller, quicker, better skaters. I liked the hiring of Murray and I think that you will see the benefit more towards the end of the season when these players – especially the younger ones – will have had some time to get used to it, the different style of play and once they begin to see where they fit individually in the grander scheme of things.

  • Micah

    I personally would like to see Frolov and Kopitar with their puck-handling skills on the same line that would be slick!

  • Quisp

    CRISTobal, re religious bias of the red cross:

    Yes, but of course AEG is owned by a fundamentalist, so maybe the cross would be a feature, not a flaw.

  • cristobal

    What do you think, Quisp? Would that be a good 3rd?
    Quisp, where do you stand on the goaltending? What’s your opinion on my Al Montoya interest? Should Bernier come up if Labs and Ersberg don’t look like No. 1′s by mid-season?

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