Likely lines

We’ll see for certain at tomorrow’s morning skate, but it looks like the lines could go as follows…


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  • LaBarbera SUCKS

    Switch Purcell & Brown around. Brown has been playing good with Calder & Stoll

  • Anonymous

    I hope you’re wrong about Boyle being used
    on the 4th line.

    What would be the point, exactly, of bringing
    him up from the AHL to put him there?

    Boyle is primarily an offensive-minded,
    FIRST-LINE-type player. His complimentary
    defensive game is adequate (for a scorer),
    but not up to par for a true “shut-down”-type,
    checking-line player.

    His use of size/strength is more to establish position,
    get off a shot or pass, in-close, and hopefully create a goal. He should punish people more often than he has before, but that is not the best use of his talents.

    He could be a type of mega-power FW,
    at least at times, for us.

    Boyle should be used/tried-out in
    the slightly-simplified role (instead of C)
    of being a LW, ON THE 1ST LINE, for best results.

    I suggest several combos of:

    Boyle(LW)/Kopi(C)/Frolov(RW) (WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

    Fans will be incredibly upset if Boyle
    is not given a generous
    chance to make it with US on
    a big scoring line, never gets going, and he is subsequently let go for cheap or nothing to another club, where he goes on to have 5 or 6 40-goal seasons.

    Don’t laugh.

    It could happen.

    It’s happened before.
    –Sergei Prozacutov

  • Anonymous

    Seriously, why is Zeiler still on this team? Does he have some value I don’t see?

  • anthony

    Whatever happened to Purcell being on the top line?

    Once again Boyle gets screwed over with the scrubs.
    I’d rather see him put up big numbers in Manchester than play 8 minutes with those two.


    Does anyone else notice that we’ve already tried this lineup?
    We switched to almost this exact lineup before going to Calgary around Thanksgiving and it was horrible.
    Somebody give this coach the DellaRovere treatment so he’ll wake up.

    Quisp, how would you feel if Shattenkirk had been Doughty? Or Moller.
    If a “look” from Labs gets you going I wonder how angry you’d get after that stuff.

  • On a quick sidenote, props to Barbs for allowing only 1 goal in his Canuck debut in Nashville, a 2-1 win.

  • Roger

    Placing Boyle on the fourth line means to me is, TL wants to bring him along slowly. Possibly TL wants to see Boyles game. If Boyle does well. He may probably have more ice time and perhaps play with a different line combination.


  • CUP4LA


  • sasKing

    Boyle on the fourth line? Grand. Like that’ll help him.

  • whatever dude

    Yeah Shakes…thats really great for Barbs. Seeing how the guy has cost us at least 10 point in the standings this season, nice to see he’s playing so well for Vancouver.

  • charlesinReno

    looks like lolbarbra might see his first shoot out with Vancouver it’s in ot right now, I’m curious to see if he chokes hard, or if he’s born again hard

  • JDM

    I don’t understand why everyone gets upset about players starting out on the 4th line. TM has proven constantly that all you have to do is show some hustle and fight for loose pucks and you’ll get more ice time on better lines. Is the 4th line the BEST place for Boyle? No, definately not. But it is up to him whether he stays there or not. Show some hustle Boyle, and probably within one game he will get bumped up and tried out in lieu of someone who isn’t having a great game.

    Roger seems to be the only sane one to post so far.

    Sergei, in the long run yes, but in both the short term and long term, you are neglecting Kopitar and O’Sullivan together.

    One day I hope to have O’Sullivan as a 2nd line center once we get a better winger for Kopi, but until then, considering our offensive woes, I would consider it a bad move to break up Kopi and Sully, certainly in favor of player being developed.

    They are trying to develop Boyle’s skill set by sending him down and bringing him back up and putting him on the 4th line, they are trying to develop his heart and hustle. If they succeed in teaching him to play his best regardless of the situation or the other players on the ice at the time, then that will only compliment his skill set in the long run and make him a better player.

    It has already worked with O’Sullivan and Brown, I don’t understand why everyone thinks Boyle is an exception. We all see big things for Boyle, and hope for a bright future, but the reality is at the moment Boyle is not half the player we all want him to be.

  • JDM

    I should add, to soften some of the harsh criticism I am sure to be met with, that I actually think Boyle will play very well these next few games. I’m hoping for big games from him, and a point or two in the next 3 games. I want him to be here to stay, and I think that the lines will look very different next week.



    I don’t know why you think the King’s system has been so successful in developing it’s talent over the last 6 years. Maybe if we’d made the playoffs once, I’d get it. But if your 4th-line-nightmare becomes the manner in which you develop your skilled guys, is it so surprising the team is STILL out of the playoff picture? and can’t score?

    I think you should remember how Frolov and Kopitar worked their way into the lineup the way they did. They forced the Kings hand and threatened NOT to sign their entry contracts.

  • ian

    Agreed JDM, Boyle has to earn it. In reality doesn’t putting him with better players, to a degree just hide his weaknesses? Shouldn’t he or any player aspire to “be all he can be” despite the line he plays on?

  • Nick

    Kopitar still started on a low line in his first game IIRC. Brown spent 2 years in the bottom 6 before getting an opportunity last year to move up. O’Sullivan did the same, under a different coach. Just because the team didn’t have direction for a long time doesn’t mean this method of developing players is wrong (when it’s proved itself time and time over again to be a good way to develop players, not just with the Kings).

  • Telos

    Holy Crap! Those lines are almost coherent. Those are really amazing lines to come from Murray of all people.

  • Anonymous

    Roger and JDM got it right. TM just needs to see what he’s been hearing about Boyle’s play of late. I wouldn’t even be surprised if Boyle got some pp.


  • JDM


    I’m not so sure its the best system in the world, what the hell do I really know about developing prospects.

    But atleast I see a fairly consistent manner being employed with player and roster management.

    You get called up for a look, then you go back to work on your game.

    You earn your next call up and get another look. If you hustle your ass off you stay and get quality ice time. If not, enjoy the buses some more.

    I don’t remember anything about Frolov and Kopitar making threats about their ELC’s, but I also wasn’t as intent on following all the details of the Kings back then like I am now.

    Frolov worked his way into the lineup slowly.

    Kopitar was the wunderkind and blew everyone away during camp. As I remember, the Kings wanted him to have a spot on the team his first year in camp, but Kopitar elected to go back home and play another season there, or whatever league he came from.

    Purcell played with no real fire in general on the 1st line, even though his high end skill netted him a few points, and then he got demoted to the 4th line, and whats that? all of a sudden everyone is happen with his play and he is working his tail off, earning 2nd unit PP time and still scoring with his reduced ice time. Now he’s in a top 6 role again.

    We all know the tale of O’Sullivan.

    I think overall the Kings have been very successful at forward the last 6-10 years, but weak at developing D and goalies, which is why we haven’t been in the playoffs. I think the track record of Kopitar, Cammalleri, Brown, Frolov, O’Sullivan with Moller, Purcell, Simmonds and now Boyle coming on, every one of them impressing the coaches, management and the fans speaks for itself.

    Are the Kings as good at developing players as the Wings? God no. But they are trying, and if we are to strive to be like them, as you have pointed out before we should, you will notice they bring all their players along slowly, and their scorers emerge from their grinder lines. I don’t follow them closely, so I could be wrong here, they let their players ferment in the minors for several years, and then ease them into the line-up. That’s why they never had contenders for rookie of the year, but someone always have these incredible players who are tops in the league.

    I’m still trying to understand your last sentence tho. Are you insinuating that Frolov and Kopitar are in scoring roles and developed well because they threatened not to play for the team?

    We also have to remember, a lot of player development goes into assessing, cotnrolling, guiding and adapting every players individual attitude. So what, if Boyle snubs Murray for putting him on the 4th line in a contract year he should be handed 16-20 minutes a game?

    That sounds to me like the exact wrong way to develop your players… but then again, I don’t know anything about developing prospects.

    The line combos are not the reason we aren’t scoring, its the defensive system. Kopi should be scoring regardless of who is with him, as should O’Sullivan and Frolov and Brown. They all have scored with scrubs on their lines in the past, and the only reason they aren’t now is because of an offensive malaise that has snake bitten every player because all season since rookie camp and training camp they have been instructed to play it safe and focus on the defensive side of the game. This won’t continue forever, but it needed to happen and may need to continue for a little while. Blowing up the defensive system that has worked so well, right as the players are settling into it, would be entirely pointless.

    We know the talent the players have, and there is more to getting the offense going than handing Boyle first line minutes. A lot more.

  • Quisp

    Eat –

    I don’t know why you’re asking me “what if Shattenkirk had been Doughty.” I didn’t say anything about it; I didn’t participate in the insane WJC argument at all. It should have been a penalty. What’s your point?

  • Anonymous

    Hey Rich,

    Any update on Richardson? I’ve read reports that he’s skating everyday and showing no signs of a re-opened cut.

  • RjB

    WTF? We are having the worst time putting the puke in the net so we do what? Re-call Boyle and put him on a line for 4-6 min a game with two of the worst players in Hockey. We send our prize project to the Jr Champ tourney to get hurt. We continue to play Caldar and Zues because they have a contracts. When will this madness end? Trevor, I thought played well. He has a potential nose for the goal which is good and what we need right now why is he back east? Are they showcasing Boyle for a trade? I dont know, but we are only a couple scorers away from doing some damage. Go get Heatly or Speeza or Russian from Atlanta. Make a deal for Le Cavelier or a sniper we can count on now. Brown and Kopi need to step up right now. We have now more time to waste missing great scoring opportunities and missing the net by 10 feet. Our Goalies are here and no more Lab distraction. Voynov is ready to step in for the goat and or Harrold and hopefully JJ will be back any day. Trubert and Hickey are for real so our D looks real good. Please go get a a couple scorers. Not a Parrish nor a Heize or even a Cliff Ronning. Someone Legit. We have the cap room and at 11.50 I mean 90.00 I am paying PER GAME I think I deserve it. Sorry for venting …

  • markisonfire

    I’m just gonna say that Labarbara got smoked in the shootout tonight against the Thrashers.

  • Al

    Hey guys, don’t look now but Thrashers 4 Canucks 3…. yep in the shootout….. yup it was he.

  • Rob

    How many times have we heard things like this….
    “The streaking winger unloaded a 51-foot slapshot that surprised goalie Jason LaBarbera low to the stick side nine minutes into the see-saw affair..” and
    “However, LaBarbera started giving up giant rebounds and it will now be interesting to see which way coach Alain Vigneault leans when the Canucks host Dallas on Sunday.”

    Quotes from the Canucks Nation blog

  • Bring Back the Shield Jersey

    What I want to know is what is the criterion for judging whether Boyle is doing ok, good, or excellent? Hustle? Points? Hustle & points? +/-? You want hustle? Then put Simmonds on the 4th line, cuz he’s not giving you any points. I think it’s a waste to put Boyle there. You want to make Boyle a 4th line checker? Doesn’t make sense. That’s not his game. I so dislike Ivanans & Zeiler that I sorta hope it doesn’t work out and that somehow, someway, TPTB see that they are the problem, and not Boyle. I think that putting any of the kids with Ivanans & Zeieler is setting the kid up for failure. What has is gotten Moulson, Purcel, or Lewis? Nada. It’s not opportunity, it’s the Dead Zone. The place where hockey dreams die 6 minutes a game. Our 4th line is put together so poorly, and it looks like TM just keeps making the same mistake over and over again.

  • Harry

    Great Lombardi Interview….


    Bring Back the Shield Jersey said:
    What I want to know is what is the criterion for judging whether Boyle is doing ok, good, or excellent? Hustle? Points? Hustle & points? +/-? You want hustle? Then put Simmonds on the 4th line, cuz he’s not giving you any points. I think it’s a waste to put Boyle there. You want to make Boyle a 4th line checker? Doesn’t make sense. That’s not his game. I so dislike Ivanans & Zeiler that I sorta hope it doesn’t work out and that somehow, someway, TPTB see that they are the problem, and not Boyle. I think that putting any of the kids with Ivanans & Zeieler is setting the kid up for failure. What has is gotten Moulson, Purcel, or Lewis? Nada. It’s not opportunity, it’s the Dead Zone. The place where hockey dreams die 6 minutes a game. Our 4th line is put together so poorly, and it looks like TM just keeps making the same mistake over and over again.

    I swear to the allmighty that I did not sign in under this name and post this. But I had to post it again because I agree so much I’m beginning to believe I have another personality I don’t know about. Scary.
    Those cannuck fans have as little appreciation for 3 out of 4 points as we did.

  • JDM

    Aaaah…. this is really starting to irk me.

    Bring Back the Shield Jersey and EAT,

    Boyle earning his minutes on the 4th line to start his NHL career IS NOT EQUAL TO Boyle being groomed as a 4th line checker.

    Why is this so hard to understand?

    Essentially what I gather from your post Bring Back, is that since we can’t for sure define a player’s success by points, hustle or +/-, that you’d prefer to judge them by their linemates. As if it is Ivanans’ and Zeiler’s job to make Boyle look good.

    No, sorry. It’s Boyle’s job to make himself look good.

    This isn’t rocket science folks. It’s also like virtually every other job you could possibly ever get in life.

    You start at the bottom.

    There are very few anointed with the gift of shooting straight to the top. And the people that are just handed things they haven’t actually earned yet? The Paris Hilton’s of the world.

    I have absolutely nothing against Boyle, and want him to thrive as much as anyone else. You really think Lombardi would prefer that Boyle, a former first round pick who scored a ton of goals and is a monster in front of the net on the PP, to develop in to nothing more than a 4th line checker? He simply can not possibly be that dumb. Nor can Murray.

    Our 4th line needs work. Zeiler needs to get off the team at some point in the near future. Ivanans can’t handle a puck to save his life and doesn’t fight nearly enough. These are all true, and they have nothing to do with Brian Boyle’s current or future success at this point in time.

    Now, I will grant you, IF, and only IF, Boyle was playing as well as he possibly could for a prolonged period of time, say anywhere from 40 games to 80 games, while on a line with Ivanans and Zeiler, and over the same period of time, there was a top 9 forward seriously underperforming, particularly when compared directly to Boyle, and the coach refused to give Boyle extra time, or try him out in different situations, only then will I accept your argument that playing Boyle on the 4th line indicates wanting to turn him in to a 4th line checker and/or halting his development and dooming him to the Dead Zone.

    Did anyone actually watch Boyle for 12 and a half of the 14 games he played this season? He was there, but I sure didn’t notice him, and clearly the people whose job it is to pay attention to these exact things didn’t either.

    How do you quantify this? What are these criteria? It is never by one standard. Nothing in life is so one dimensional. It is an intangible bar each player sets for themselves and has little to do with +/-, apparent hustle or point scoring (though those things can be reasonable indicators towards a players strengths and deficiencies). It has to do with watching a player for a period of time and seeing them at some point play decidedly well. You then judge them based on how often when they play, they can play at the top level, or somewhere close to it, that you have already witnessed them play.

    We’ve seen Boyle play well.

    He did it last season for the better part of 8 games.

    He almost did it for a full 2 games this season.

    If his linemates were the only reason he did well last season, then he really doesn’t deserve any sort of accolades does he? His linemates do. But its never that black and white. Will Boyle’s linemates have a lot to do with how much he scores? Absolutely.


    I feel like I’ve said this a thousand times and not once has any one directly responded to it, so I’ll try once more. Maybe upper case letters will help.


    Once he starts playing that way, he will be given a better opportunity. The same as every player who isn’t of the ilk of Crosby or Ovechkin or Doughty had to. I don’t mean to compare Doughty to being as good as Ovechkin or Crosby, obviously, just to use them as examples of players who when they came in to the NHL were already better than everyone on their team. Such in not the case for Boyle.

    Again, if he was playing out of his mind, absorbing feedback on his game from coaching like a sponge, and implementing those adjustments regularly and well, and yet still not given a better opportunity, then by all means, say he is being ruined by the coaching staff.

    That hasn’t happened yet. He’s played 22 NHL games.

    Give it a rest already (though I guess I should too). He isn’t being groomed as a 4th line checker. There are simply 9 other guys in the lineup who have outperformed him. Plain and simple. As soon as he starts outperforming, on an individual level, one of those 9 guys, he will replace them. That’s how it works.

    Whew… ok, sorry for such a long rant. This really gets to me for whatever reason. I think mostly because I agree with about half of it, just not the logic behind it or the indictments made.

    I definately agree that our 4th line needs to be stronger. Right now it really is our try-out line, and that isn’t great. It is not a completely effective 4th line if we want to compete for the playoffs. I agree with this.

    But we are in a bit of a bind. So many new, young players. For one, there aren’t enough spots for all of them, and two, it is equally as risky to their development to throw them all out there at once and just see what happens.

    Generally, you do things more for the sake of the team than for the sake of the individual. But in a rebuild of youth, you have to pay extra attention to the individual, and the way in which Boyle has been brought along is exactly that.

    A player has to be remarkably good at their given strength for the holes in their game to be overlooked. Boyle has talent, but not that much talent. During his 14 games here, he was simply not able to properly read or adapt to the game on the ice. This has nothing to do with Zeiler or Ivanans, as evidenced by Lewis and Purcell showing strengths in these areas with the same linemates.

    Moulson I will say I thought was handled poorly. I actually think putting him on the 1st line set him up to fail because he wasn’t capable of rising to the challenge. That, I believe, was a case that is mostly used for goaltenders and defenseman, that he was not ready for the position he was given and ultimately fell further in his development because of it.

    Clearly Lombardi is not putting together a team of one-dimensional players. He wants well rounded players. He wants everyone to buy into the system devised and implemented by the man he hired because he agrees with and supports him. This means Boyle doesn’t get to just play to his strengths. He has to play to the TEAM’S strengths. And teaching him how to do that on the 4th line, along with Lewis and Purcell is exactly that. It’s where they don’t have immense responsibility on them so that they can focus purely on getting down what’s being taught to them.

    If you want to argue with the brand of hockey being preached to this team, that’s another story for another day, but given how surprisingly pleased everyone is with the teams overall performance this year, I can’t imagine too many who would rather go back to the Crawfish brand of hockey.

    I’ll end my pointless little novella with a series of simple questions that I think have obvious answers, that illustrate what I’m trying to say perhaps more clearly than my wordy ramblings do.

    Is Boyle’s strength 4th line checking? No.
    Is playing tough a weakness? Yes.
    Is playing strong along the boards a weakness? Yes.
    Is keeping up with the speed of the game and moving his feet a weakness? Yes.
    Can Boyle learn these things on the 1st or 2nd or 3rd line? Yes.
    Can Boyle learn them on the top 9 without his adjusting time hurting the team? NO.
    Is it better for Boyle to work out the kinks in his game on the 4th line where he doesn’t have to worry about Jeff Carter and Kimmo Timonen making him look stupid several times throughout the game? YES.
    Do we need a better role player than Zeiler if we want to contend? Yes.
    Do we need and want Boyle to become a 2nd or 3rd line offensive center? Yes.
    Are a few games on the 4th line going to make that utterly impossible? No.

    Is it going to help?

    Only time will tell.

  • Terry

    Can someone give me the status of Matt Moulson?

  • Anonymous

    Until I see Calder removed from a “scoring” line I don’t see this coach being serious about improving the offense. I constantly see him losing the pucks in the corners and in the neutral zone, never in a position to score hes like a pair of empty skates on any line he plays. He has the lowest point totals and shots of any of the top 6 players by far. Only full time forward with lots of TOI and less points is Simmonds. Meanwhile rookies are recalled and demoted inside 1-3 games. I scratch my head but then recall he proclaimed JLB #1 and wasted 10 games+ to find out something we all knew last season he wasn’t. Stoll and Brown need somebody to help them I would love to see Frolov given a chance.

  • Blake

    I would like to see our top nine shake out like this:


  • Bring Back the Shield Jersey

    There’s no problem with working your way up or improving your overall game, but the way TM is doing it with his “bubble” players hasn’t seemed to work so far, and he’s doing it again. That’s the point, here. Either he put’s em on the first line (which really counters your arguments about Murray wanting them to improve their game w/o having to face top players AND working your way up the ladder) which hasn’t worked with at least three players. Or he puts em on the fourth line, which, for the Kings, seems to exist to A) let the other lines rest, or B) run around and hit people. That’s all Ivanans and Zeiler do. So what exactly are Boyle, Moulson, Lewis, Purcel supposed to do on the fourth line? While playing on the 4th line, players have produced what, 5 goals at most? Murray says we need 4 lines producing, but never demotes Ivanans or Zeiler when it doesn’t, so clearly the “bubble” players are taking the blame.

    I think the counter-examples of Simmonds and Moller are instructive. He’s put them with two stable, more well-rounded line-mates all season. Linemates who can make them look better; who can catch a pass, who can cover up for your mistakes; who are positionally sounder, which does help you find your position and focus just on it. Simmonds is apparently under no pressure whatsoever to score. And Moller’s points come on the PP. Boyle, or whoever else is stuck on the 4th line, is afforded none of these advantages. Quite to the contrary. They seem to have the pressure to score, have no real defined role, and play with players who are slow, out of position, take too many penalties, and can’t finish or set you up. How can anyone succeed under these circumstance? What, finally, is the criterion of “success”.

    (sorry if this double-posts)

  • dmh012

    On Boyle being on the 4th line:

    This is Brian’s chance to work his way into the line-up everyday. If he plays well then he will get his chances to move up the “foodchain”.

    For example:
    Purcel was given his chance to play on the first line when he arrived in LA. He clearly looked out of place, and way outta his league. Murray did the right thing in putting him down to the fourth line to work on what he was doing. He was able to take advantage of this by getting Ivanans to score twice, which earned him some powerplay time. From here he was able to score a goal of his own and assist on a few more. What happened next? Oh look he is back on the first line. Teddy has taken advantage of the opportunity given to him. Now it is his job to keep himself up on that line.

    Brian will be given the same opportunity, it is his job to take advantage and a job in the top nine.

  • Kevin Y

    I’m still not sure how I feel about O’Sullivan, Kopitar, and Brown all on the same line. I think they need to disperse those three for the better of the team. But I won’t complain until it doesn’t work.

    As for Marian Gaborik.. now it’s impossible to trade for him. He’ll be out 10 weeks because of surgery. Even if he returns before the playoffs, it’ll almost certainly be after the trade deadline. Also, when he’s a free agent in the offseason, his market value will likely be down GREATLY because of this injury, as well as his past history. I think the Kings should go after him. They have enough room under the salary cap, and they need another offensive presence. Not only that, but he’s a RW, which the Kings need more of.

  • mrbrett7


    Why do you insist on comparing the current coaching staff to the one(s) that failed to get the job done over the past 6 years? Just makes no sense whatsoever. They have been coaching these guys for 30 games!

    For those who want to put Boyle on the wing, he simply does not have the skating ability to play there, period. He is a center, please stop putting him on the wing, it’s just plain dumb. He is great in the faceoff circle, he is LEARNING HOW TO PLAY DEFENSIVELY.

    In his entire career, he has never had to play physical. He was not allowed to, so asking him to flip the switch and do that overnight simply is not going to happen. It’s something that needs to be grown, taught, and will eventually get better. THAT is why he is on the 4th line.

    He is NOT here to score, he is here to provide energy, period. Purcell is here to score.

  • uknojata

    are you guys for real? anyone who’s post exceeds 250 words is an ego maniac. get over yourselves. sully and kopi need to continue to play together, Calder should be released, zieler shouldn’t be playing if he’s not running someone every shift, and Boyle will hopefully take over for zues on third line next year. fro, simmonds and Boyle could be one of the best third lines in hockey.

  • rlp11

    i don’t know why pos. and kopi aren’t held accountable for their actions.its obvious that they want the line of pos, kopi, and brown together. they won’t play with anyone else on their line. they would rather give the puck away then pass to someone else on that line. it has cost moulson, purcell, and now lewis. coach should hold the top contracts accountable and quit blameing the young guys

  • JDM

    Oh man, Boyle on the 4th line will ruin his career, and now, to my surprise, post length is directly proportional to ego size. My whole world is being turned upside down.

    I don’t know which way is up anymore.


    JDM – I think I can speak for BBTSJ and myself.
    We want the Kings to start scoring more now.
    We want the Kings excellent 4th line guys (simmonds and calder) on the 4th line so the rest of the lines are balanced out.
    We want a 4th line that can contribute.
    Murray talks about skating with the puck for Boyle, but what’s the point of skating withthe puck with nobody there to help you? Ivan’s 2 goals are rebound stuffs.
    We’d like the team to have a chance to win, then make the playoffs.
    Murray sets up the team to fail.
    That highlights his ineptitude while Quenville is preparing for a run in the post-season.
    We can’t bloody score.

  • Nick

    Ivan’s 2 goals are rebound stuffs.

    No they’re not… First one was, second one was a shot coming down the wing.

    At some point you have to hold the players accountable. The blame you’re putting on Murray for the players not scoring is ridiculous. He’s tried different line combos that haven’t worked. He’s loaded 3 lines to try and get them to score, and they don’t. 4 balanced lines only works if you have a deep team. If Boyle can come up and be more effective with the puck (it seems like you’re seriously missing the point with players on the 4th line), maybe it would make more sense. But ultimately, we don’t have better options to play on a 4th line. As much as you hate Zeiler and Ivanans, they serve a purpose at the moment. Putting 3 kids on the 4th line might work, but it probably wouldn’t and would just lead to turnovers, bad defense, and little progress. At least with the bad defense and poor progress from Ivanans/Zeiler, you get energy and physicality. That’s something this team has desperately missed in the past.

    The Chicago Blackhawks are a MUCH better team than we are. The skill level isn’t that close. Toews is better than Kopitar, Kane and Sharp are better than Brown and O’Sullivan, Havlat is better than Frolov, etc etc. They are a much more talented team than us right now, that’s why they’re playoff bound. It has very little to do with coaching. In a year, we’ll probably be where the Hawks are now. The Hawks were similar to us a year ago.

  • JDM

    If it wasn’t a rebuilding year I would totally agree with you EAT.

    But it is, and while winning is a priority and the playoffs are a big bonus that surprisingly is not out of reach for this team, the main perogative is to develop the individuals on the team. Ultimately Boyle needs to learn to fight every shift. So does everyone else. Hell, even Kopitar needs to learn some of this.

    Simmonds has been too effective a stopped to put him on the fourth line.

    Calder has outhustled other guys, and is definately given some seniority nod.

    And again, we can’t score because Kopitar isn’t getting it done often enough. What’s our record, 2-13 when Kopi doesn’t score? Something awful like that.

    I also find it a bit funny that you agreed with Bring Backs post about points, +/- and hustle not being barometers for success, since when you harp on Zeiler you always bring up his few points in several NHL games. We need to score enough where our 4th line scoring isn’t critical to winning, but rather when their scoring is a bonus.

    So I don’t totally disagree with you.

    Bring Back made a good point about the way in which Simmonds and Moller have been paired effectively. A lot of this has to do with finding a player a mentor. Simmonds has Zus, Moller was paired mostly with Stoll for a long time. Murray does need to find someone better to be Boyle’s mentor. That is really what he is lacking, and Ivanans and Zeiler definately are not that guy, but then who is? I’d like it to be Frolov, but then again he is playing so well in his stopper role. It’s a delicate balance. Switch up your #1 stopped unit and you may score some more goals, but you may see more go in.

    Hopefully Ersberg and Quick can continue to play strongly and make our emphasis on team D ever so slightly less important.

    I just can’t agree that the 4th line has anything to do with our lack of scoring. I see it totally as our top players adjusting to the system which doesn’t allow for as much creativity as they are capable of, as well as frustrating them for a bit while they learn. They need to figure out how to break through. Kopitar and Brown need to score more. Handzus needs to pick it up again. Frolov has always been streaky.

    Eventually I would like to see Boyle center Frolov and Brown… that could be a monster line.

  • Quisp

    Eat, re “but what’s the point of skating withthe puck with nobody there to help you? Ivan’s 2 goals are rebound stuffs.

    (1) One of Ivanans’ goals was a shot.
    (2) Rebound stuffs, as you call them, count as goals. I would think that would count as “helping.”
    (3) The point of Boyle skating with the puck is that if he doesn’t learn how to do it he’s going back to the AHL. His job is not to do it when he thinks (or you think) something might come of it; his job is to do it.
    (4) the lack of scoring has little if anything to do with the fourth line. You could make the argument that the fourth line playing well helps balance the lines, gives more freedom to the top-six players, etc.; but fourth line scoring is not going to solve our scoring woes. The lack of scoring is due to the other three lines not scoring enough. Period. Primarily, I would put the blame at the feet of Kopitar, O’Sullivan, Brown and Stoll.


    but fourth line scoring is not going to solve our scoring woes.

    I just thought this sentence so funny I had to embolden it. Remember the last 2 games we’ve won?
    Great argument.
    I don’t know how I didn’t understand til now that scoring doesn’t solve your scoring woes.

  • JDM

    Our last two wins were also shutout wins.

    You like to use the Detroit example a lot, as do I. You mention how strong their 4th line scoring is, which is true, and that we should emulate that, which we should. Sadly we are not nearly that deep of a team yet, nor is our system so well established that we can make not-so-great players look great.

    However, if you want to say that 4th line scoring is the source of our woes, I kind of construe that with saying that if Datsyuk and Zetterberg and Hossa were slumping the way Kopitar, Brown, Frolov and O’Sullivan are slumping, then the Wings would be fine, because they have 4th line scoring.

    Their 4th line does help them win some games. That would mean nothing to that team if their top guys weren’t producing. I guarantee you that if Datsyuk was having a season like Kopitar in terms of point production, the Wings would not win as many games.

    Every team relies on their top guys to score the majority of their goals. Our top guys aren’t getting it done. No team RELIES on 4th line scoring to win games, they RELY on their top guys. When the top guys aren’t getting the job done, such as our top guys are not, then you have scoring trouble, regardless of the strength of the 4th line. I’m going to compare each line to part of an ice cream cone.

    1st line = majority of goals (the cone)
    2nd line = secondary scoring (scoop of ice cream)
    3rd line = goals here and there (extra scoop)
    4th line = bonus when they score (whipped cream)

    The 4th line is the whipped cream on top. But right now we don’t even have a cone to put ice cream in, so some whipped cream isn’t really going to help you.

    It’s like saying we need better shingles when we don’t have a roof.



    I have to wonder why the Kings are, according to your assessment, trying to get a guy who you say has never been and “energy” guy to BE and “energy” guy.
    You don’t try to set a chess game up to guard your Pawns, and you don’t sacrafice your Bishops, Rooks, or Knights early in the game.
    Murray is doing great with the defense, but he has a hard time figuring out how to move forward with these players. I’m hoping he figures out how to be better offensively.
    Going into the Flyers/Redwings Cup finals 13 years ago, the Flyers were well expected to dominate and got swept. Murray lost the tactical matchup with a herd of great horses (Desjardins, Leclair, Lindros). It’s not his players, it’s his tactics.
    It’s frustrating as hell, but I’m not trying to oust him.
    I’m on board…
    I just think I can see things the Captain sometimes cannot.

  • Excellent job.