Sunday practice

Interesting day… Frolov-Stoll-Moller skated as the top line, followed by Ivanans-Handzus-Simmonds, Calder-Kopitar-Brown and O’Sullivan -Boyle-Richardson. A good signal sent to the Stoll line…not so much to the others.

Some interesting stuff later to be posted on O’Sullivan. He’s frustrated but Terry Murray says he needs to play better.

Murray hinted that Erik Ersberg will get a start soon, and didn’t explicitly name a starting goalie for Tuesday.

More on all this stuff a bit later…

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  • cristobal

    Genius.

  • Buck

    Is it me, or does TM’s line changes make Crawford’s line combos look steadfast? I thought this type of mixing and matching was done in traing camp. My head is spinning trying to keep track!

  • Tompa

    Man he’s really mixing it up.. Here’s what I would try if I were to do something equally crazy:

    Frolov-Kopitar-Moller
    Moulson-O’Sullivan-Brown (O’Sullivan is a pretty good centerman)
    Calder-Handzus-Stoll
    Ivanans-Boyle/Richardson/Armstrong-Simmonds

    It’d seriously mess with the chemistry though… But who knows what would happen at this point.

  • cristobal

    Rich – Does the team watch game film together? What’s the attitude about the losses? Are the players avoiding Labs in a silent display of blame? Do they realize they keep giving the game away with mistakes? Is the poor attendance affecting them? Do they believe in Murray? Does Lombardi believe in Murray?

    The team has been great at competing. They never quit. Are they focusing on the positives despite a small losing streak? They are giving up less shots than I can ever remember – Is this because they are often chasing games or are they doing this through playing Murray’s system?

  • Zak

    What is Murray doing? My guess right now is DL wants that #1 pick. Put Patty back with Kopitar and Brown!

  • Marc Nathan

    It’s wearing thin, honestly. This daily game of mix and match… and really, it all doesn’t much matter because the team isn’t very good… certainly not as good as most of the teams they have played, regardless of line matchups, shots on goal, shots against, etc.

    The goaltender is a below average NHL netminder, who can’t handle the puck, period. The rebounds are juicy, his stick handling is absurdly pathetic, and honestly, if there wasn’t a Doughty, or an O’Donnell, or a Quincey back there to swoop away rebounds, he’d look every bit as exposed as he did when it was Stuart, Modry, Dallman and the like.

    This constant juggling of the forwards in some pseudo-reward system is just boring. I like Terry Murray, mainly because I loathed Marc Crawford, and had worn tired of Andy Murray and was embarrassed to say I was a season ticket holder for a team coached by John Torchetti. But this crap is goofy… all this “I never saw O’Sullivan play, so I don’t know what he can do…” or some of his other stock answers are just ridiculous. You don’t set people up to fail. That’s all I’ve seen him do with O’Sullivan at even strength all season. Boyle doesn’t hit… yeah, I get that. Boyle is 7 feet tall and weighs 630 pounds, yeah, I get that… so what is it about Boyle’s game that you DO like enough to put him on the team and not put him in Manchester? OK then, Coach… live with it, and work him in within that framework. Richardson has won 61% of his draws… That might seem boring and useless to you, but I’ve been watching a Kings team that hasn’t won 50% of their draws in a decade. He has value. Armstrong sucked when he was relied on for 16 minutes a game. You figured out a way to make him less offensive (in more ways than one) in 7 minutes a game, and then you bench him. Ivanans seems to have naked pictures of you, because he plays constantly, doesn’t fight, barely hits, and skates and stick handles like he belongs on the Food Network, not the NHL Network. Why do we need to see him constantly? Simmonds is way overmatched, game in and game out. He doesn’t win battles, shoots from the perimeter, and adds nothing to the “magic” that is the 3-6-1 LA Kings… Oh, he’s black… You and I both know that’s not why he’s here, so let him go play in Manchester and learn the pro game. Manchester is sucking worse than the Kings so it’s not like there’s much down there to ravage.

    And DO NOT get me started on Peter Harrold playing right wing. That was worst than last year when Crawford put Kevin Dallman at CENTER!!!!! Oh, and by the way, Dallman is the Mike Green of the KHL… 22 games, 12 goals, 8 assists… maybe not the litmus test for all NHL 7th defenseman rejects, but he’s doing it… and doing it as well as he could have done here if Crawford had not screwed with his head so much.

    I’d MUCH rather have Dallman than Harrold… I’d much rather have Maude, than Harrold.

    I’d much rather post this to MY blog than this one :) But then NO ONE would read it :)

    Don’t expect a win vs. the Ducks on Tuesday, so please start LaBarbera. I don’t want you to set Ersberg up to fail the way you so eloquently have done with Moulson, O’Sullivan, Calder, and just about every other forward over the first 10 games of the season (Moller being an exception.)

    Proof? Just go back and read this blog. Every friggin practice it’s something new, and some dumb comment attached to it that supposedly justifies this reward/punish system. You’re not God… you’re a hockey coach, coaching players that are just good enough to be bad enough to lose in the NHL. Get over it.

  • dmh012

    I agree that last night the Kings best line was Frolov – Stoll – Moller. But not by much I thought the “1st” line played well just could not capitalize.

  • Garrett

    I think it’s time to break up Brown and Kopitar. They have not had the same kind of chemistry they did last season and I don’t think it’s just the absence of O’Sullivan from their line. They are just not playing well, either of them. I would try Kopitar with Frolov and Moller and then put O’Sullivan, Brown, and Stoll on a grinding/scoring line together. Handzus, Simmonds, and Boyle could be another good unit for grinding and scoring.

    This is not to suggest the Kings were not good last night, because I think they were very good, and had it not been Kiprusoff in goal for Calgary, I think they would have won, but something still has to be done to get Kopitar and Brown going because neither is producing the way they should be.

  • Quisp

    Well, that’s not quite as “shaken up” as it looks on first blush.

    The
    Calder/Kopitar/Brown
    and
    Frolov/Stoll/Moller
    lines we’ve seen before.

    Handzus/Simmonds have been sewn together. Ivanans skating with them means, I think, that Murray wants to see if he can get a physically crushing stopper line going.

    O’Sullivan/Boyle/Richardson is the new, kooky line. But I have to say, at the risk of sounding like a shill for Terry Murray, I like it. Here’s why:

    O’Sullivan can dominate. He might have had an off-game last night — I don’t know, I didn’t see it — but he’s been making whoever he plays with better all year so far. Boyle has a huge untapped upside and we’ve all been wishing to see him play with some scorers. Our wish is granted. Richardson is getting a shot at producing here, not just being expected to play defense. That’s why Ivanans got moved to the other line, I think. That’s also why Richardson instead of Armstrong.

    Remember that Murray has been trying to get four lines into the game. He said as much. This makes sense in that light.

    And if you think of the lines in pairs, it makes more sense, and seems more stable:

    Kopitar/Brown
    Stoll/Moller
    Handzus/Simmonds
    O’Sullivan/Boyle

    The new pair there is POS with Boyle. I for one will be rooting for them; it would be great if POS awoke the sleeping giant.

    Now if only someone would wake up Kopitar and Brown. (Purcell, anybody?)

    I think it’s Ersberg on the 4th.

  • Anonymous

    Marc Nathan, the reason Ivanans doesn’t fight is because no one will go with him. I was at the game last night and he tried to drop them with atleast three different flames who each rejected because they didn’t want to get pounded on. Last nights game was exciting and fun. The one reason we lost was because of Mikka Kipprusoff, he played outstanding and that’s why he is an all-star in this league.

  • Marc Nathan

    Thank you Anonymous. Your perspective is certainly valid. I too was at the game. 13 rows off the ice, at the red line, and saw Ivanans ALMOST get into it with Vandemeer, Phaneuf and the like, but what I’m getting at is that he’s just pointless in all other areas of the game, and we’re not talking about HAVING to dress him to “protect” players… that’s an antequated scenario. The guy is big and strong and USELESS. We see three forwards scratched last night and he wasn’t one of them… Granted, he MIGHT have found a willing partner in a couple of the Calgary guys, but how about Detroit… no one… no need to dress him… in Nashville, it was doubtful there was anyone there to go with… MOST TEAMS don’t play it that way. Now, Tuesday… sure, dress him so that we can be driven to a frenzy when he goes for the 76343429th time with Parros, who has two goals already this season.

    Yes, Kipper was outstanding last night. Yes, the Kings “outplayed” the Flames. Yes, it was just another loss for the team that will spend almost all season in 15th place in the West, and will lose out on a great 1st or 2nd draft pick because no matter what, the Islanders are a MUCH bigger joke, and the Thrashers may not be far behind.

  • john

    this whole O’sullivan situation is completely rediculous, ludicrous, disguisting, otherwordly, and any other severely negative adjectives you want to throw in there.

    the fact that he’s not on the first line with his true linemates is a joke.

  • BringBackKingston

    the kings need an agitator. no one on the team right now has the personality or capability to take the other team off their game plan by messing with their heads. sure this team has its share of hitters and guys who play physical, but no one on this team can continuously get under the other teams skin shift after shift. the make up of the team from top to bottom is filled with team guys who are hard workers and play with energy, but i think a twist of color and personality on the ice would be beneficial.

  • Tim

    He is so quick to make line changes every game, but he won’t even give Ersberg a start?

    We can hate on Marc Crawford all we want but he got a hell of alot more out Boyle and O’sullivan then TM has. It seems TM just likes to make examples of players rather than let them learn from there mistakes, if Boyle does one thing wrong in a game he is in the press box for then next 4 or 5

  • Maverick

    I don’t care so much that the Kopitar line is punished a little and maybe pushed down to second line, but they really really need to keep Sully-Kopi-Brown together for a decent string of games… Moller’s line is doing well and it would be nice to see them in the limelight a little but this switching a a little on the ridiculous side. I love the idea of Ersberg getting a freakin start soon but this is long overdue. I don’t like that line changes are made all the time. I mean yeah sure they happen mildly often in the NHL, but c’mon… Every single game he is switching people around, they need to stick with line combos for more than one day before breaking them up and placing people wildly around.

  • Isaac

    To the idiot who said the only reason Simmonds is playing is because he is black:

    What could the Kings possibly gain by playing a player because he is black? You think its going to get more black people to come see the game? Do you think the Kings are trying to carry favor with Obama? Seriously, what the hell is wrong with you?

    Maybe it has a bit more to do with the fact the Kings are a sucky team. The talent pool is just not there. Who are they going to fill the roster with? Brady Murry? Until it is, they will continue to struggle and people will continue to bitch and moan about every little mistake. When you play on a team that is barely competitive, every little mistake is exasperated. That is why it always appears that ex Kings play better when they leave Los Angeles.

  • Duckhunter

    I second that idiot statement!!!!!!

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