The new-look Kings

Big changes in store tonight. Here’s how the Kings are expected to line up:

O’Sullivan-Kopitar-Purcell
Calder-Stoll-Brown
Frolov-Handzus-Simmonds
Ivanans-Moller-Zeier

Quincey-Doughty
O’Donnell-Greene
Gauthier-Harrold

Armstrong (headache) and Richardson (foot) remain out.

After some driving and transcribing, I’ll have tons of quotes on all this stuff. A lot from Terry Murray about the need to shake up the offense and tweak the defense, and quite a bit from O’Sullivan about the changes. Plus, Purcell’s thoughts…

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  • Kevin Y

    Good to see O’Sullivan back up on that first line with Kopitar. But is Purcell really doing so well down in Manchester that he knocked Brown off that line?

    I don’t know, but with Brown on that line with Stoll, these lines actually look pretty balanced. We’ll see what happens against a Blues team we already beat 4-0, and a team that lost 4-2 to the Ducks just last night.

  • Kngcussion

    Any idea who will be in net tonight Rich?

  • Jayrew

    Purcell hasn’t played an NHL game this season, and he receives top-line minutes. Boyle is relegated to the 4th line and O’sullivan isn’t allowed on the top-line. I like the consistency Murray…i have a headache

  • EAT THE RICH

    I have to say I’m disappointed in this lineup.
    Again Murray has a weak 4th line and is neutralizing Moller.
    Does this mean Moller is playing “mean?”
    Oh well, nothing I can do about it but watch it unfold.
    Quincey and Doughty need to rebound with a solid performance, esp. Quincey.

    Murray better start making his GM look a little better than recently. If the NHL had a relegation system Murray would be competing in the “sack-race.”

  • JazzyJT08

    Something about this doesn’t seem right. Go line by line…

    Line 1: Purcell on one, doesn’t make sense because he hasn’t earned it. Kopi, Suli are fine.

    Line 2: I like actually. Calder can’t cut it on one, it’s obvious. Brown has a lot of shots but not many finishes. Stoll is perfect 2nd line Center as always.

    Line 3: Frolov way to skilled for a third line, but with those pairings, it’s not bad. Simmonds has impressed me time and time again.

    Line 4: Obviously this can’t be deemed a checking line with Moller in it. Moller needs to work with playmakers and this set up doesn’t have it. A misuse of his talents.

    Overall, I’m tired of this whole, “shaking things up”. It smells too much like Crawford and I don’t like it. Shaking things up doesn’t make sense to me. Labs had an awful last game. Bring Boyle back up also. Murray’s running out of excuses and doesn’t seem to get riled up enough for me. Put the fear in these guys. Hope they can pull it together tonight.

  • EAT THE RICH

    When will Murray shack-up in his own doghouse?
    The Blues are without Oshie, McDonald, Hinote, and Kariya.
    If Murray can’t get 2 points out of this we’re gonna need some Lombardi quotes.

  • m

    Finally Brown and Kopitar are split up. Maybe O’Sullivan can light a fire under Kopitar. Unfortunately, Calder’s still in the top 6.

    Jayrew,
    Purcell is projected to be a Top 6 player for the team, so he is getting a chance to prove that. Management has only projected Boyle to be a 3rd line center (which probably explains why he was never put on the top 6 since he wasn’t earning even a 3rd line role).

    If Purcell came in and was relegated to the 3rd or 4th lines, I’d be pissed because that’s not what his game is suited for.

  • hipcheck

    I like the lines….Purcell does deserve to be on the #1 unit because he is one of the few with skills enough to match Kopi. Kind of surprised the broke up the Kopi/Brown combo but not disappointing.

    Calder should be centering the 4th line. Im pretty sure moller is on the 4th via default in that there is no one else to center that line. Im sure he’ll still be getting PP time though.

  • http://hbshakes.blogspot.com Shakes

    the only combo that really bugs me is Gauthier and Harrold. I think it exposes a bit too much out there…but that’s just me. as far as Frolov being on the 3rd line, i think Murray has said before (and the proof is there) that the line number is not indicative of the number of minutes he’ll skate. Fro will still get his minutes and his puck possession game sets up nicely for bangers up front. Brownie will add some shooting to the second line along with a guy who will goto the net for rebounds off Stoll one-timers

    it can’t hurt.

  • Anonymous

    Oscar on the 4th line and Calder on the 2nd Terry really needs to stop using darts to make his lines this is getting really stupid.

  • Marc Nathan

    St. Louis recalled Ben Bishop, as Legace got hurt last night… so, we’ll probably see Mason and a very depleted St. Louis lineup… marry that to 12-16 skaters in Kings uniforms who haven’t played together and it should be a comedic effort tonight.

  • anthony

    I have a headache too.
    #1 Its good to see POS on the top line with Kopi, but starting a minor leaguer who hasn’t played a single NHL game this season seems odd. I hoped Frolov would get a chance to plasy with Kopi.

    #2 Calder has no business playing with talented players.

    #3 I’m OK with.

    #4 I don’t think Moller will stay on the 4th line for long. It doesn’t make any sense. He must have pissed TM off.

    On defense:
    Harrold and Gauthier playing together is scarier than watching Brian Hayword naked.
    I don’t know what TM is thinking on that one.

  • Alen

    It’s official, Terry Murray is an idiot.

  • Josh

    how long before we call up one of our goalies from manchester?

  • Deelo

    I like it.

    Sticking Purcell on the 4th line benefits nobody. He is a scorer and playmaker and needs to play with similar players.

    If they needed a plugger 4th line type they could have called somebody else like Trevor Lewis or something.

  • tantrum4

    Are you guys serious? You’re blaming Murray now? ha,ha…This guy has done an AMAZING job with this team of young guys and scrubs…not ONE superstar amongst them. It is 2 months into the season and we are only 4 points out of a playoff spot. I’ll bet if someone gave you that scenario before the season started, you would have all taken that in a heartbeat and woudl be praising the coach. I think people are forgetting that this team is playing very good overall right now, but since we’ve won a few games this year, everyone expects them to be in first place or the coach is doing a bad job. Murray is obviously doing a great job getting this team to where they are now and if we lose a game here or there, don’t panic. I tell you a secret, we’re not going to win the Stanley Cup this year. Try to relax a little….

  • EAT THE RICH

    As long as this is just a joke (Murray has a good sense of humor) I think they should consider
    The Taylor line: Frolov – Kopitar – Brown
    The Lombardi line: Calder – Zus – Purcell
    The double L line: O’Sullivan – Stoll – Moller.
    The 5 minutemen line: Ivan – Simmonds – Zeiler.

  • anthony

    But I do agree with TM on one thing – it was time to break up Kopi and Brown. A new scenery might do them both good.
    But I do hope they both play together on the power play with Sully. Those three are due to explode any day now.

    Good luck tonight.

  • EAT THE RICH

    LOL @ tantrum. AEG payroll or Murray’s kin?

  • JonG

    I kinda like the forward combinations, except that Moller is out of place. You’ve got one line for offense, and two that can play two-way hockey.

    I’m interested to hear why Murry switched up two of the defensive pairs while leaving the third set intact. I get scared when Harrold and Gauthier are out there together, particularly because we often put them out with the fourth line.

  • Alen

    Hey Tantrum, a majority of our games at home, 4 points out of the playoffs and 2 points out of last place AGAIN. Horrible line combinations ALL year. Ouc coach apparently getting bj’s from Calder to keep him on top lines. Indecision with our goaltenders including 1st 10 starts going to Jason BARBIE. In reality we are 11 and 16. Its annoying seeing that this team can compete but our coach seems to have favorites. Seems to bench guys like Frolov, keep Calder on the 1st line when he is doing NOTHIGN, complain about Kopitar, keep Barbie in net for 6 goals when Ersberg gets the hook at 3. Yeah our coach seems to be LOST.

  • EAT THE RICH

    How do those “boyle needs to play meaner” and “doesn’t deserve top line minutes” people explain this?
    Don’t get me wrong, I want Purcell played in a role he can be effective in, but seriously, I wanted that for Boyle too.
    Boyle is the one who should have been recalled and played up top.
    More nonsense.

  • JS

    Obviously, consistency isn’t on the Kings “to do” list. Why is Moller on the 4th line just when he started to put some pucks in the net???? Why are Calder and Brown still on the same line when Brown can do everything Calder can do ten times better???

  • EAT THE RICH

    …scarier than watching Brian Hayword naked.

    Anthony, where are you spending your evenings? Do you own a black ski mask and binoculars?

  • stepa

    Frolov – Stoll – Brown beter

  • number 6

    Sorry guys. I’m sort of leaning towards EAT THE RICH. For the first few months I thought TM was doing an exceptional job – and in many ways still feel that way, especially regarding the shots against. But the constant juggling of lines hoping something will stick… not sure it helps anyone. Also, Moller playing on a line with two scappers? Sorry it just doesn’t make sense to me. Not sure I wanna read the blogs if they lose tonight. It might not be too pretty… and they have five very tough games coming up soon.

  • Aloysius

    Damn, I am going to the Monarchs vs Bruins game this weekend and I was hoping to see Purcell. *shrugs*

  • number 6

    As long as this is just a joke (Murray has a good sense of humor) I think they should consider
    The Taylor line: Frolov – Kopitar – Brown
    The Lombardi line: Calder – Zus – Purcell
    The double L line: O’Sullivan – Stoll – Moller.
    The 5 minutemen line: Ivan – Simmonds – Zeiler.

    Hey EAT THE RICH…. that really is very creative on your part. I’m not joking. It really is… and the funny thing about it is that I rather like those lines.

  • number 6

    Alen said:
    It’s official, Terry Murray is an idiot.

    …. and speaking for myself, I think there are more subtle and kind ways of expressing a POV on this site, and I have to believe that Rich would feel the same… sorry but just wanted to comment on that. One doesn’t have to agree with him, but that’s just a bit harsh.

  • EAT THE RICH

    Thanks #6. I really don’t know why we haven’t seen Fro-ko-Bro get ANY time together.
    I would never really play that 4th line though, although I would take it over the one with Moller centering. I’m not a believer in playing Ivan and Zeils together. Look waht happened when Army got hurt last game. I know it was a lost cause, but all the other lines were screwed because we lost 1 player to injury.

  • ian

    Good one Eat the Rich (the dub-L line?!), and I concur with Tantrum4. The team is doing well overall and developing/progressing, it’s pointless to get all knee-jerk hysterical, Anthony style, after a bad loss.

    I think what the coach is looking for is “overall value” when it comes to line combos, I doubt he’s too much worried about Purcell having to “earn his spot” on the so-called # 1 line, he wants them all to click and add up to a strong on-ice performance. And perhaps he’s trying to get a few players attention with the sweeping changes. Regardless, I think he’s doing a good job and they’re at least usually a fun competitive team to watch most nights.

  • Cricket

    Eat the Rich:

    I like Boyle and I hear you, but Boyle’s assignment was to play mean, and he didn’t do it. If he had, we might be seeing him still in the locker room and getting his chance on other lines, but he couldn’t pull off what the coach wanted him to do and what he should do for such a big guy. He even admitted that. As with Purcell, why not put him on a scoring line since he is the top scorer for Manchester? He got sent down after training camp b/c his game was lacking, and so he did what he was asked to do in Manchester: work hard and score. Slow start, but it sounds like he came into his game down there. He proved himself enough at least for a shot.

  • Dan H.

    Well I like the first and third. I wonder what Moller did wrong. Purcell has to play with offensive playsers so I don’t see anything wrong with that.

    For those calling for Fro and Zus to be split up, why would you split the only consistent line you have? I like Moller on the wing better than Simmonds but Simmonds has played well there for the most part.

    Let see what happens. Hopefully Oscar can get off the fourth line. He doesn’t deserve to be a grinder.

  • Matt George

    um

    yeah

    i got nuthin

    not sure i wanna watch tonight. if they win, it’s against a depleted team so the changes will be explained away

    if they lose… wow

  • JEFFREY

    Why sweat? In less than a couple of games, TM will shake up the lines again. I bet he will try any possible combination he can get except 12-11-23.

  • Anonymous

    It’s really sad to see so many people complaining about TM. He has been in the NHL(player and coach) for more than 30 years and you peopl act like hes an idiot. He took young Florida and Washingtons teams and turned them around, stop complaining about his lines as you have no idea of whats going on. None of us are at practice every day, in the meetings or in the lockerroom. So give it a rest, there’s a reason why TM is behind the bench and you guys are sitting behind a computer.

  • TB

    I like the line combos. It goes right in line with what TM talked about after the last game. If the Kings need to win with 4 lines, then we need to spread out the goal scoring throught the lineup. On D, I like the top pairing, but who doesn’t? The rest…TBD.

    What I do like about TM is that he is very deliberate in his actions. When he recognizes an issue, its addressed. When he makes a statement, he follows through accordingly. PROFESSIONAL. I hope these lines work, but I’m sure it will at least raise the intensity tonight at the least.

  • Lososaurus

    Moller got shafted on this one, swap him and Calder and things look much better.

  • Quisp

    Well, the first line, POS/Kopitar/Purcell, is exactly what I hoped for. Message to the people who think Purcell hasn’t earned it: that’s what he’s been doing in the AHL for the last four months.

    I think people are getting too hung up on the line numbers. Kopitar/Brown have been on the “first line” in name only. The de facto first line, in terms of production, is Frolov/Handzus/Moller.

    I don’t know what moving Moller off that line is about. It bugs me. Maybe trying to jump-start Simmonds. Yeah, now that I think about it, that’s probably it. I can’t imagine he’s going to reduce Moller’s ice-time (if so, that’s annoying). I guess we’ll have to see what happens when the lines actually hit the ice.

    Breaking up Kopitar and Brown: that’s great news, finally. As far as Calder/Stoll/Brown, I think I was hoping for Simmonds/Stoll/Brown, but okay. I like most of that line, as it is.

    Ivanans/Moller/Zeiler: okay, I will say first off that this line is annoying and probably sucks. But here’s what I think Murray is doing. I think Murray “sees something” in Ivanans that he’s hoping to bring out. He doesn’t want a fourth line that sits on the bench; he wants one he can use 12 minutes a game. He also knows that Moller can play a physical game bigger than his frame, and can be “pesky.” So maybe this is the last stop in the Ivanans experiment; maybe Moller isn’t being demoted and is instead being used to jump start those guys, Ivanans especially. We’ll see. If Murray gives them a regular shift. I’m irritated but mildly interested. If that’s possible.

    Eat, re Boyle: there’s no reason to bring back Boyle. He just went down; nothing has changed. Purcell has done his stint in the AHL. His presence here makes total sense. (also, forgetting everything else, Boyle can’t play wing; Purcell can.)

    Anthony, re POS v. Purcell on the first line: Purcell was sent to the AHL because of defensive concerns. POS was kept off the first line for the same reason. There are simply different remedies for players at different places in their careers. And with POS, you’re not sending him to the AHL. You can scratch him or reduce his icetime, or put him on another line. That’s it.

    Anyway, it’s not all about punishment and reward. It’s about putting the best combination of lines together. I think POS/Kopitar/Purcell is the right first combination to try. My annoyance has worn off some, so I’m eager to see how Frolov/Handzus/Simmonds does.

    I hope all the goals are scored by Purcell, Moller and Doughty.

    Eat, what about POS/Moller/Purcell, the no-teeth line?

  • EAT THE RICH

    Quisp – I like the no teeth line and would skate Brown out there too. Basically a 1-4 lineup.
    It’s looking more and more like a pick-up game anyway.
    I’ve got no problem with Purcell coming in on line 1, but don’t know why if Harrold can play wing Boyle couldn’t.
    It sounds like there’s across the board acceptance of Boyle not being used, I think it’s a shame his size is being used against him. Again, show me a tough game by fro, zus, kopi, or Richardson. I realize I brought it up, but I should just drop it bacause it’ll never make sense to me.
    The 4th line IS annoying and further indication that Murray is a dinosaur. Why is Ivan even playing tonight?

  • Quisp

    Eat, the main thing with Boyle (as opposed to Frolov, Handzus, Kopitar) is that he can go to the AHL. I think if you think of it as a tool rather than a blunt instrument, Boyle’s “demotion” will make more sense. He’s still learning. The AHL is an excellent place for him to do that. He’s not there permanently. The other guys you mentioned can’t go to Manchester without clearing waivers. Also, I DO think Handzus has played many “tough games” as you called them, gritty games, physical snarly games, whatever. Richardson is in a tough place because he would be nabbed off waivers right away and everyone knows it. Frolov, as we know, is an “enigma.”

    Boyle is in that up-and-down phase, which will last until he plays his 60th NHL game (he’s played 22 games so far) and he stops being waiver-exempt. The Kings would do well to take advantage of that fully until that day comes (sometime between this spring and next fall).

  • EAT THE RICH

    It’s becoming very Tukonen-like with Boyle, Quisp. That’s my greatest concern.
    Secondly, I think the guy could make a huge impact playing as a scorer with good linemates. It’s like your frustration with Moller going to the 4th line. It’s hamstringing talented players slotting them in the way he does.
    I hate to keep knocking on Murray, but it just shouts ineptitude to me. I don’t think he’s using his lineups the right way. Plus, we were having success even with Boyle on the 4th line. He was minus 1 over his 10 game stretch before the Calgary game (which I didn’t see). I get that he CAN go to Manchester, but there’s no reason Ivan, Zeils, Calder, Army, and even Moller or Simmonds can’t sit a game or two at least.
    This is the 3rd go-round with O’Sullivan as the top line left wing. He’s given it all of about 2 games worth of a chance to work. Why? There’s too many things that don’t make sense.
    I wasn’t trying to criticize those 3 others, just pointing out that there’s no reason to try and make a square peg fit through a round hole. Boyle has an abililty to learn quickly and adapt. There’s always the possibility he could be very Nash-like or Thornton-like. He’s a better player than Penner, so I don’t know why a struggling team doesn’t use this asset.

  • Quisp

    I was actually going to mention that your response to the Boyle situation reminded me of your response to Tukonen. Boyle isn’t Tukonen. Boyle proved himself at the AHL level; Tukonen did not. Boyle has played excellent games at the NHL level; Tukonen has not. Boyle is still a big part of the Kings plans. Tukonen…well…

    If Boyle has the ability to learn quickly and adapt, then he will. He needs to show his Nash-like abilities now. Do it in Manchester. Come back, do it here.

    You keep going around and around on this Boyle thing, like he’s being prevented from shining because he hasn’t been put in the top six. He needs to learn to play both ways first. This isn’t some trivial detail or random punishment of a player who is above learning this particular lesson. It’s what he must do.

  • Anonymous

    When Richardson comes back I expect him to be centering that fourth line. Until then, Moller is taking one for the team. If Purcell is playing well when Richardson or Armstrong come back, I think that Simmonds might be the odd man out and get sent down to Manchester… even though it should really be Zeiler or Ivanans.

  • Eric K

    thanks Rich. any idea what the Power Play combos will look like? i don’t see Murray limiting Moller to 7-8 minutes a game, so i expect he’ll see PP time.

    glad to see things being changed up, and it’ll be good to see 12 on the top line again. also, glad to see a lot of people (including Anthony) making valid points about why they disagree instead of mindlessly bashing Murray (Marty? Alen?). the only thing i really disagree with is Moller on the 4th line; they could still use tweaking, but it’s better than it was.

    i figure i won’t assume i know more than the guy who’s at every practice… yet. Heh heh.

    (and i completely agree with Anon @ 2:35.)

  • 24diving

    “EAT THE RICH said:
    How do those “boyle needs to play meaner” and “doesn’t deserve top line minutes” people explain this?
    Don’t get me wrong, I want Purcell played in a role he can be effective in, but seriously, I wanted that for Boyle too.
    Boyle is the one who should have been recalled and played up top.
    More nonsense”

    Couldn’t agree more.

    “Cricket said:
    Eat the Rich:

    I like Boyle and I hear you, but Boyle’s assignment was to play mean, and he didn’t do it. If he had, we might be seeing him still in the locker room and getting his chance on other lines, but he couldn’t pull off what the coach wanted him to do and what he should do for such a big guy. He even admitted that. As with Purcell, why not put him on a scoring line since he is the top scorer for Manchester? He got sent down after training camp b/c his game was lacking, and so he did what he was asked to do in Manchester: work hard and score. Slow start, but it sounds like he came into his game down there. He proved himself enough at least for a shot.”

    As for “admitting” he wasn’t doing what Murray wanted him to do, why is he being asked to do what Purcell isn’t? Why should Boyle have to learn that mean role and Purcell doesn’t? Purcell isn’t a little guy, he’s listed at 6’3″ so he’d better be doing that job as well.

    Regarding being a top scorer in Manchester, who do you think one of the top scorers for the team was last year even though they experimented with trying to change him into a defenseman for half the season? Boyle wasn’t even given a shot on the top two lines this year, played almost no time, had less talented linemates and still managed to get a goal. Boyle proved himself last year when he got got four goals in eight games with the Kings and yet he gets treated like garbage this year.

    Overall, let’s just leave it that I don’t like the way that players are being used by Murray.

  • Duckhunter

    Ya baby, Brown and Kopitar separated. That’s all I need to read. I’m alright with whatever comes together now.

    O.K. I looked at the lines. It must be some defensive thing because offensively it’s hard to see the big picture on this one.

    Tantrum4, I’m on your side. I would much rather see this team play(although I didn’t see the last one) than teams in the last couple years. I also agree, they are farther ahead than I expected. Although TM confuses the crap out of me sometimes, he obviously has a plan he’s trying to accomplish, so I’ll give him a full year before I make any harsh judgments. I still got your back TM. I won’t jump ship when things get a little rough.

    ETR, good stuff on your humor lines
    Quisp, no teeth line was good too.

  • Micah

    I would switch Simmonds and Moller and be okay with those 4 lines.

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