Grading out

It’s report card time. The Kings will play their 39th game of the season tomorrow and the Ducks will play their 41st, so in tomorrow’s paper we will do our “midseason report.” It’s close enough. As part of that, we will analyze/grade each part of the Kings. So here’s your chance to give some input.

Beyond the grades, who is your team MVP for the Kings at the (almost) midway point? Give me a name and a reason. I’m very curious to see what the consensus is…





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  • Quisp

    Kopitar – C
    POS – B-
    Brown – B-
    Frolov – B+
    Handzus – A-
    Simmonds – A-
    Moller – A-
    Stoll – B
    Calder – B-
    Purcell – B
    Lewis – B
    Boyle – C
    Moulson – C
    Zeiler – B-
    Ivanans – B-
    Richardson – I
    Armstrong – B-
    Quincey – A
    Doughty – A
    Greene – B+
    Johnson – I
    Preissing – D
    Gauthier – B
    Harrold – B
    SOD – B
    Ersberg – B+
    Quick – A
    JLB – C+

  • Capt Jam

    Overall: C+/B- for the Kings at this point, which seems pretty fair considering this is essentially a .500 team. While there are components of the team’s play that require more attention than others, 50/50 is an acceptable trend for the Kings in 08/09.

    It’ll be interesting to see what the numbers look like in the post-Labarbera portion of the season. I would expect a slight bump upward.

  • jimbo1007

    As for MVP, I think that because defense has been the team’s strong suit, you’d have to give the award to the best d-man, which IMO has been Quincey.

  • Mike from Nantuckit

    Kopitar – C-
    POS – B-
    Brown – B
    Frolov – B
    Handzus – B+
    Simmonds – B-
    Moller – C+
    Stoll – B-
    Calder – C-
    Purcell – B-
    Lewis – I
    Boyle – C
    Moulson – C-
    Zeiler – C+
    Ivanans – C
    Richardson – I
    Armstrong – C
    Quincey – A
    Doughty – A+
    Greene – B
    Johnson – I
    Preissing – F
    Gauthier – C+
    Harrold – B-
    OD – B+
    Ersberg – B
    Quick – A-
    JLB – B FOR BUH BYE

  • jack handy

    Doughty –

    he stepped into a hole on an NHL roster as an 18 year old but has played like a 25 year old.

    he plays top minutes against the oppositions best lines better than most veterans in the NHL.

    single-handedly, he has been a key to our defensive turnaround this season.

    i could say the same for the mighty Q, but all things considered [age, no pro experience, etc] i have to go with No-Doughty.

  • Irish Pat

    Dustin Brown. Leads the Kings in shots on goal, hits and is playing a solid all around game. I expected more goals from him, but frankly I expected more goals from everyone. Our first year captain is hustling and working on hard on the ice and setting a good example for the younger youngsters. I also think he will be the King’s representative at the All Star Game.

  • Buck

    With a team that is concentrating on Defense and with the improvement of said defense, I would have to give the Mid-season MVP award to Matt Greene. With Drew Doughty being a close second. I believe Matt has provided steady and consistent play throughout the season. He’s not the most flashy dude on the ice, but he shows up every game and works his tail off and shows leadership via his play. Plus, his acting cracked me up!

  • crownme

    Dustin Brown!!

  • mcpuck

    MVP – Handzus

    His work on third line has helped instill a “defense first” mentality. He has helped Simmonds with his game. He is on penalty kill and takes defensive zone faceoffs late in the game with Stoll.

    Brown, Kopitar, O Sullivan, Frolov, Greene, Doughty all deserve recognition. Handzus has been most consistent.

  • anthony

    Forwards – D
    -last few games, embarrassing
    D-Men – B
    -a bright spot
    Goalies – A
    -I love Quick and Ersberg and I have tremendous confidence in both of them
    Coach – D-
    -Murray is not a complete coach. All he knows is some defense and nothing else

  • BRS

    MVP = DREW DOUGHTY. Our defense is the best part of our team. And I believe he is the best defenseman we have. (Quincy has been a little off lately). Every time Doughty enters the game you can almost hear a sigh of relief in Staples Center.

  • Bob Bobson

    Seeing as how their D has drastically improved, I would have to say Doughty is their MVP (especially given his age).

  • JDizzle pka JDA

    Dustin Brown for MVP. He’s been the most consistent all around player thus far.

  • BluLine77

    Team overall gets a B- based mostly on record. That’s not to say that there hasn’t been some “A” ratings, especially the improved coaching, PK and defense in general. But the offense has disappointed and the goaltending was hit and miss the first half. If this team can get on a 7 to 10 game undefeated streak they can get into the playoffs. DL, goaltending looks good, time to get a scorer if you can!
    MVP is a tough one. Right now I think you have to say Dustin Brown. The guy just brings it EVERY night. He has no truly bad games. Just a wonderful player and a tremendous role model for the rest of the team, he’s true class. Brown is the one guy who seems to be able to put the team on his back and carry them emotionally through a game.
    Honorable mention goes to Doughty and Quincey as well as a nod to the huge difference Stoll, Greene and Handzus have made to the PK and overall team defense.

  • Anonymous

    Anthony I always enjoy reading your opinions. I don’t want to start an argument at all, there are enough of those on this board, but to give Murray a D? How can you argue with results? It’s tight in the West, and the Kings are right in the midst of it.

    I hate to say give the guy more time, because I’m as fed up with the line juggling as everyone else. I’m ok with letting the guy experiment with different combinations, but seriously it’s halfway through the season now. He came to LA knowing nobody but Calder (and Handzus?, I forget). Also, of course he’s probably putting too much emphasis on Calder and Ivanans, but given everything else that has been going good overall for the Kings, I’d say it’s a little nitpicky.

  • Simon

    MVP = Erik Ersberg

    His first 10 games were crucial. When Labs wasn’t getting it done, he came in and got some wins for us. We would be last in the conference if Murray continued to start Labarbera. He’s one of the reasons why we’re in the, dare I say, playoff race. However, when the season is done, it could very well be J.Quick who gets the nod.

  • TorturedKingsFan

    Mike Gillis for taking JLB

  • Blake

    MVP – Matt Greene

    He’s been a rock in the defensive zone all season long. He’s one of the biggest reasons our PK is so vastly improved and our GAA is down. The guy clears the net, blocks shots like a maniac, is a leader on and off the ice, and most importantly, he’s been consistently good for the entire season. Our other top defensemen, Doughty and Quincey, have gone on cold streaks, while the majority of our forward corps still look a little lost, with brief flashes of brilliance.

    My vote goes to Greener. Our defense has far and away been our best area, and Greene has been leading the pack.

  • wavesinair

    Kings Midseason Report Card

    CO-MVP: The Iceberg and The Rabbit (Quick)
    Biggest Surprise: Doughty by a mile.
    Best Vet Addition: Greene
    Comback Player: Handzus!
    Biggest Disapointment: Kopitar
    Honorable Mention: The other rookies.

  • anonandonanon

    C for the Forwards- There is still some work to do in front of the other goaltender.

    B for the Defensemen. They have been doing a good job. There’s only one guy who I think is a liability, or they might get an “excellent” review. That guy ain’t “the goat” either.

    Goalies got a D. But that’s only because of the guy who was anointed at the beginning of the season by the GM as our No. 1 was in reality “number two”. Lately hope has returned to the scene. If the trend continues this grad will go way up.

    Coaches got a B. Good steady work. A team improving game by game. Makes one wonder about propping up Crawford for so long.

    MVP- Top 3 have been Quincy, Handzus and Brown.
    Quincy gets my nod.

  • Matt George

    Fascinating reading why each person chooses their MVP.

    Personally I gotta go with Doughty.

    The difference between having him on the ice versus Blake has been night and day.

    Doughty has been a huge force in turning around our defense which was our No 1 concern going into the season.

    Mission accomplished, Thank You DREW.

  • Ian

    MVP is Quincy- no one even comes close at this point. The guy works hard every shift. He is a great player on the pp and pk, great shot from the point. To get this guy off waviers is stunning. Might be the best thing the Red Wings have ever done!

  • Marty

    You forgot the grade for ownership——D- cheap b@stards.

  • nykingfan

    Real tough call on who to give the MVP to. Every name mentioned so far is deserving.
    I would say it would be between Handzus and Quincey.
    I think the job Zues has done is incredible. He kills penalties, plays PP and reg shift. His faceoffs have been great. His mentoring of Simmonds has been well worth the effort. The kid is showing he’s going to be a real nice player in this league for a long time.
    Brown has been terrific all year.

    Quincey on D is also well deserved. He came in and picked up the system quickly and has emerged as the best all around defenseman night in and night out. Doughty and Greene are also MVP’s in my book.

    This year is a lot harder than any other because we’re getting such good play out of so many guys. It hasn’t been one guy but a team effort every night.
    That’s a great thing for the future of this franchise.

  • Rob

    I think the poll is too vague. We need to be able to rate the offense/defense on both their offensive and defensive play. Offensively our offense and defense are both mediocre but defensively they are greatly improved. The goalies that we currently have get very high grades as does our current coaching staff

  • Steve Jensen

    MVP= Drew Doughty

  • Anonymous

    MVP = Drew Doughty. For an 18 (now 19) year old to come in day 1, and have the impact he’s had on the defense is just amazing. He plays in all situations, has great hockey sense, and the skills are off the charts!

    P.S. honorable mention goes to Quincey. I still can’t believe the Kings got him on waivers. Detroit made a HUGE mistake.

  • Brian

    Doughty, Quincey and Brown are tied for me…

    Brown: has energy every shirt and is making confident moves – unfortunately the supporting cast doesn’t want to help out much so his output is lacking.

    Doughty: the most confident player to me on the ice. Doughty makes memorable plays every night and he is solid – and did I mention he’s 19?! He is living up to his hype unlike JMFJ…

    Quincey: what a surprise this guy has been and a good one. Another solid defender on a blue line that has been hurting in that area for quite some time. He has a lot of energy too and is putting up points.

    Those three hands down stand out to me.

    Kopi has been a huge dissapointment as has Frolov (even though he has some goals – but remember there’s a reason he’s playing on the third line).

    Simmonds hasn’t impressed me that much and neither has Moller (but the latter is slightly better).

    O’Sullivan has been a bright spot but can’t bury the puck enough. He is one of the few that has consitent energy and a desire to win.

    Handzus is also making a great impression as he seems to be back to where he was a few years ago. I wish he had some snipers to give him more assists.

    Quick has been great (but not tested nearly enough if you ask me).

    Ivanans seems to love taking BAD penalties once again but is looking more stable in recent games.

  • Bring Back the Shield Jersey

    For MVP, here’s a name not even mentioned: Sulli. Consider: Has nearly as many points as anyone; Plays big minutes; plays PP & PK & 4-on-4; hits; hustles; has a good (public) demeanor about getting moved around the lines; and leads the team with a +5 rating.

    I can see Doughty as MVP, but not Green as he does not bring what Doughty does offensively. I do think that Sulli is the standard bearer: to me, he contributes both on offense & defense more than anyone else.

  • anonandonanon

    C for the Forwards- There is still some work to do in front of the other goaltender.

    B for the Defensemen. They have been doing a good job. There’s only one guy who I think is a liability, or they might get an “excellent” review. That guy ain’t “the goat” either.

    Goalies got a D. But that’s only because of the guy who was anointed at the beginning of the season by the GM as our No. 1 was in reality “number two”. Lately hope has returned to the scene. If the trend continues this grad will go way up.

    Coaches got a B. Good steady work. A team improving game by game. Makes one wonder about propping up Crawford for so long.

    MVP- Top 3 have been Quincy, Handzus and Brown.
    Quincy gets my nod.

  • Anonymous

    Anze Kopitar (38gp,10g,19a,29pts.-7)
    GRADE=B. He only has two power play goals and has gone long stretches without scoring. But his defense and performance in the faceoff circles have come a long way.

    Dustin Brown (38gp,13g,13a,26pts. -6)
    GRADE=B. He is hitting less and shooting more, but he only has 3 power play goals and he appears to still be adjusting to the new style of play in LA.

    Alexander Frolov (38gp,16g,9a,25pts. 0)
    GRADE=A-. His defense has improved and he is more consistent on offense. He has six goals on the power play and his off-ice work over the summer appears to have paid off as he has not missed a game yet to injury.

    Patrick O’Sullivan (37gp,9g,14a,23pts. 5)
    GRADE=A. He is on track to be a plus player for the first time in LA and he is scoring at a similar clip to last season, despite being shuffled from line to line. Would like to see him turn into more of a sniper than playmaker but that may take some time playing in the Kings new system.

    Kyle Quincey (35gp,2g,19a,21pts. 1)
    GRADE=A. He is starting to come back to Earth after a torrid start but it is hard to measure the contribution he has made to the team since being picked up off waivers. It will be interesting to see how he is used when Jack Johnson returns.

    Jarret Stoll (38gp, 9g,11a,20pts. 4)
    GRADE=B+. I was tempted to give him an A because of the effect he has had on our special teams play but his play at even strength has been..well…uneven. He has by all accounts been a good teammate and has been tearing it up in the faceoff circle.

    Michal Handzus(38gp,7g,10a,17pts. -3)
    GRADE=A-. He has done whatever has been asked of him and is the Kings real #2 center, if you look at ice time. His true value will come if the Kings actually make the playoffs because of his size, skill and grit. Would be excellent trade bait at the deadline if we are out of the Playoffs and Boyle proves to be NHL ready.

    Oscar Moller(30gp,6g,7a,13pts. -2)
    GRADE=A. The only reason he is not leading the team in power play goals is his departure for the WJC. Versatile enough to play any forward position and brings a great attitude to the ice every game. Still has a lot to work on but seems ready to do whatever it takes to be successful.

    Drew Doughty(38gp,3g,9a,12pts -4)
    GRADE=A. I can’t wait to see Jack Johnson back with the team so that there is less risk of wearing him out. Averages over 23 minutes per game as a rookie on a team in the hunt for the playoffs. His point totals don’t tell the story of what he brings to the game every night on offense. His offensive ceiling is high and his hockey sense is even higher. A potential franchise player.

    Kyle Calder – GRADE=B-
    He has scored 11 points and has averaged 13 minutes per game. He will likely leave at the deadline to a team looking for roster depth for a playoff run.

    Peter Harrold – GRADE=B
    It is time to acknowledge that he has been a versatile player who, while prone to more defensive lapses then Doughty, has a similar point total (2g,7a,9pts.)despite receiving half his ice time. That is not to say he is as talented, but rather to give him credit for having more talent than many give him credit for. A likely candidate to be traded when the Kings decide to go for an upgrade at forward.

    Wayne Simmonds – GRADE=B
    7pts in 38 games is not mind blowing but he is a serviceable energy player with improving skill and an infectious attitude. Along with Moller he brings enthusiasm and character to the rink everyday.

    Tom Preissing – GRADE = D
    Proof positive that statistics can be misleading, Preissing will have trouble getting into a game for awhile, barring injury and could see himself moved sooner rather than later. My guess is he will be moved after the all star break unless Harrold goes first, in which case he’ll likely be packaged with Calder at the deadline.

    Sean O’Donnell – GRADE=B
    He has been a good mentor for Doughty but he is beginning to slow down and I am not convinced (as I was earlier in the year) that he’ll stay for the whole season. If the Kings are out of the playoffs and Harrold stays then he may be moved for a 2nd round pick at the deadline.

    Matt Greene – Grade=B+
    The occassional brain freeze with the puck is the only thing keeping this gritty stay at home defender from earning an A. Good character guy and penalty killer.

    Gauthier – GRADE = C
    Purcell – GRADE = C+
    Ivanans – GRADE = C
    Quick – GRADE = incomplete
    Ersberg- GRADE = B-

  • lakingzfan

    BROWNIE for MVP! brings it everynight! I wouldnt totally disagree with Doughty either, but he is still learning perhaps the most difficult position in the NHL.

  • Moondoggie

    MVP – Brownie, although Doughty definitely gets consideration. Brownie has done it all, scorer, motivator, leader, hitter, offense, defense, backchecking, forechecking…the only thing he hasn’t done is play goalie and I’m certain TM considered him during a few of Lababs questionable outings….

    Doughty and Quincey have been excellent. The defense is hugely improved but with that the offense has suffered. It’s a totally different style the Kings are playing now, one that I prefer and will reap huge benefits in the long run, the playoffs. No doubt the Kings could use a sniper or two but with the young talent the Kings have assembled in the pipeline, the draft picks and another strong draft coming up in 2009, the future is definitely bright for LA.

  • dave fouser

    Bring Back the Shield Jersey,
    I have to disagree with you about O’Sullivan for MVP. Sure, he scores some points, and he does have his moments on the backcheck, but his game is, in my eyes, still very inconsistent. He uses his linemates very indifferently, with WAY too many blind passes to the front of the net and just as many shots from impossible angles. His defensive contributions have improved, but he still seems to me to be too ready to jump on his horse and get out of the zone, often well before the team has full possession. All that said, it’s a very interesting suggestion, and I think he certainly has been the MVP of individual games, demonstrating his clear potential, if he can maintain consistency.

    As for my pick for MVP, I like the (conventional) choices of either Greene or Brown. Greene has given our defense toughness that it has sorely lacked, and Brown has continued his physical impact on games while also displaying a clear drive to lead his team, particularly late in games. Neither of those guys takes games off.

    As for the grades, mine were in line with others’, but I think the grade for goaltending must be a big fat Incomplete. I mean, aside from some transfer student the past few weeks, half the class has stopped showing up, and the other half has been at the school nurse!

  • Chris

    MVP: Kings defense, especially Doughthy, Greene, O’Donnell & Quincey.

    Dustin Brown, consistently the best player on the ice for the Kings.

  • John P

    Co-MVPS

    Doughty-Where would we be without him

    Brown-Brings it every game

  • Kings4K3

    I would give the team grade as a solid B, not basing it solely on their current standing in the West. Reason being is simpleFirst, to look at where theyve come from last year, particularly defensively speaking, thats a huge jump forward. After ranking nearly dead last in just about every defense-oriented stat last year, from their PK to shots allowed, its downright amazing. Secondly, many seem to forget the dismal forecast that was given to this team before the start of the season, and to see them still battling for a final playoff spot is a testament to both the players (young & old alike) and coaches (who I would give a B+), and all this of course despite the fact that the team suffered through some very mediocre to poor goaltending up until only two weeks ago. Had it not been for that, wed probably be sitting 6th or 7th seed in the West right now.

    I think overall, the coaching staff has done a very admirable job turning this team around. The only thing IMO, that brings the grade down from what I wouldve given (A-) is the handling of the goalies from the get-go. I said it then and Ill say it now, I believe TM made a mistake in naming JLB the outright #1 even though I know he had his reasons. I believe that #1 label is something he should have let the goaltenders decide with their play within say, the first 15 or so games, and then just going with the hot hand. Not coincidently, I believe this is what should be done now as well with Quick and Ersberg. Unless you have an outright #1 like Broduer, Luongo, Gigi, etc., I dont think you need to label one guy your #1 unless hes proven it consistently over at least a year or so, but just my opinion.

    MVP? I’d go with Brownie, even though he’s on the short end in terms of offensive production. He gives it his all every night and leads by example. Runner-up? POS…He’s becoming a really good two way player. Doughty would get the honorable mention.

  • Jonny

    Wow, I think my half season MVP, would be Ersberg. Basically because after the first ten games of the season (many 1 goal game losses) things turned around once Ersberg stepped in. He’s kept the Kings “IN” every game. Quick has done the same, but Ersberg did it since day 1, and he got the trade LaBarbera process in motion.

  • Quisp

    MVP is Doughty. Runner-up: Quincey. I actually think they are co-MVPs, but, since I’m supposed to pick one, I’ll go with Doughty. My reasoning is that I think he’s more inspiring, not because of his play, but because of the “whole package,” being 19, never having played an NHL game before (Quincey is the wily veteran with 26 games under his belt before this year), being last year’s #2 pick, a bunch of intangibles that maybe don’t mean anything, but affect the psychology of the team and the fans.

    Although maybe Quincey, the guy who dropped from the sky off the waiver wire to become the Kings’ MVP, is the better story.

    Like I said, they’re co-MVPs in my book. They’re the two guys, who, if they had not been there, the team would have been hit the hardest.

    In terms of impact, I don’t think any other player even comes close.

  • Kevin Y

    My co-MVPs are all the rookies: Doughty, Moller, Simmonds, and Quick. Doughty came as a highly-touted defenseman to a team who had arguably the worst defense in the league last year. Considering the fact that he is only 18 years old, and the fact that his point totals are about even with Stamkos, who was supposed to win the Calder Trophy this year, is even more impressive. I don’t care if Doughty gets the Calder this year, or even is a finalist. He has done so much for this team and is going to have plenty of great years with the Kings.

    Moller and Simmonds have both been very impressive, and have earned their spot in the lineup. And I don’t think anybody needs me to give my reason for Quick. He has only played a couple weeks, but the two weeks he has played exceptionally have caused DL to trade the goalie that we couldn’t risk being claimed off waivers a couple seasons ago. If the offense can start to pick it up once again, we’ll be in business with a duo of Quick and Ersberg.

  • EAT THE RICH

    MVP = Terry Murray, for being .500 while the offense looks like a virgin on promnight.
    Is he a bridge coach to teach us D?
    Or, Moses?

  • JB

    Brown for sure. Keeping up good work from last year and improving while taking on more leadership. This is becoming Brownie’s team…..

    Behind Brown would be Frolov. Leads in goals while taking on 3rd line role(and unlike a lot of the knuckle heads here not seeing playing against a teams top line as a demotion.)

    Lastly, Doughty has been stellar on defense given it’s his first year.

  • EAT THE RICH

    Oh yeah,
    Defense gets a C minus, because I think they’re the reason we can’t score.
    Forwards get a B minus, because they’re playing great defensively (did you think the D was doing it by themselves?) and they’re sacrificing their numbers to play the system.
    Lombardi gets a C because I thought we’d be anchoring the league again, but he’s still costing us progress with some of his bad contracts. Plus, he didn’t hire Igor Larionov, but went for a guy who’ll emulate the Ducks – we’ll see which system is the system of the future soon. I can also maybe add on a plus because he seems to have a lot of promising prospects in the system from his later (after the 1st) round picks. But he’s still being carried in large part by Taylor’s guys, too. Maybe just a hard C.

  • JDM

    My top MVP is, and has been nearly all season, Matt Greene.

    For the same reasons mentioned by those who chose him. He has been the most consistent player. Even in his ‘off’ games he is a force. He is the epitome of work ethic and focus. I think Doughty has been inspirational on D, but the D has truly been built around Greene’s play. He always wears an A and when you watch him play and listen to him speak, you know exactly why. He is a leader and tough as nails. He allows the forwards, his D partner and the goalie to worry a little less because of his ridiculously strong play along the boards and in front of the net. He is also extremely calm and steady at clearing the puck on the PK and making a good first pass at even strength.

    Handzus comes in a close second, since he has been consistently awesome on defense and the best King forechecker this season.

    Doughty, Stoll, Quincey and Brown all tie for 3rd. Each has been amazing in their own right, but not as consistent as the top 2. Except for Stoll who has been pretty damn consistent, and has the most energy of any player on the team, but he drops to third because he struggled at the start of the season, where Handzus was turning heads.

    As for grades, I gave everyone a B except for the defense, which I gave an A. If not for Labs, the goalies would have gotten an A as well.

    Individually:

    (I base these on what is expected of each game/what they are capable of)

    Kopitar: B-
    Brown: B+
    O’Sullivan: B
    Frolov: A-
    Handzus: A
    Stoll: A-
    Calder: B+
    Simmonds: A+
    Moller: B+
    Purcell: C+
    Ivanans: B
    Zeiler: C
    Armstrong: C-
    Boyle: C
    Lewis: C+
    Richardson: C in the games he has played
    Johnson: A- in his half game…
    Greene: A+
    Doughty: A
    OD: B+
    Quincey: A
    Gauthier: B-
    Harrold: B
    Preissing: D
    Quick: A
    Ersberg: A
    Labs: C-

  • jediknight329

    question to whomever knows… how many goals did the kings score after 38 games last season?

    mvp’s so far — doughty and handzus.

  • 4thlinechecker

    Defense – A
    Forwards – B -(playing great defensively, now need to add offense to it)
    Keepers – b+ (Now that Barbs is gone)
    Coaching – A- (Great improvement defensively, and you cant blame a coach for juggling lines when the team isnt scoring. The team battles hard, night in and night out, which is the sign of good coaches)

    MVP – Quincey, or Handzus (both consistently solid)………….. Brownie is up there to, but I think he can take it up a notch.

  • kb

    Quincey – Team MVP – Solid defense, creating opportunities, Consistent, Sometimes tries “too hard” but for the most part is Focused and Consistent. What a pick up by the kings. This guy could be a future all star.

  • Quisp

    jedi – 101 last year. 97 this year.

  • Starlight

    Overall MVP is a tough choice between Quincey and Doughty I’d say… if I have to choose, Doughty. He has been very very impressive for an 18-year-old and putting those massive minutes up night after night, still performing just as well. Brown and Handzus also deserve mention, and Quick an honorable mention – only honorable due to the amount of games he has played so far, hope he keeps this up :)

  • Anonymous

    Overall, I give the team as a whole, a C+.

    Goaltending is brought down due to LaBarbara’s performance, and I give the goaltender’s a B at this point. Outside of a few games, they have done their jobs. Give the team a chance to win. Goaltending get’s a C, with an incomplete also thrown in with a bit of wonder and question mark thrown in due to LaBarbara’s first 10 games.

    The defense outside of a handfull of games has been very good. I give the defense a B+. They do help on offense, and have been very good on defense. They do need to do a better job of cutting down on running around in their own zone, but frankly, so do all young defenses.

    Forwards, at this point get a C- from me. The only reason they aren’t getting anything lower is their fairly good defensive play. The lack of scoring punch should not be there with this team. Defense from forwards takes nothing more than effort and correct positioning. Some Crawford never understood. Murray has instilled this (Anthony), and offense should not be a problem. If I see POS play any more of that damn perimeter game where he just throws a wild shot from the half wall with no purpose behind it, I want to smack him myself. Get the puck to the net, and drive to the damn net. It’s not that hard.

  • Capt Jam

    Rich and Jill: A+
    (feel free to slip this in come salary time)

  • Quisp

    As far as the forwards go, you can look at it any way you want, but the fact is, the top unit is not scoring. The top unit is whoever plays with Kopitar. Kopitar is not scoring.

    If you look at the forwards as a group, there are only a small number of guys who you can reasonably say, “hey, this guy needs to do better.” You wouldn’t, for example, say that about Handzus. He’s exceeded everybody’s expectations this season. Frolov is our leading scorer. Moller, Simmonds, Lewis, Purcell, Boyle, these guys are playing in their first NHL games. I guess Boyle you can throw into the category of “this guy needs to do better,” but it’s an order of magnitude less than the “better” the others need to be doing.

    Kopitar, POS, Brown, Stoll. These guys need to do better. It’s not the defense’s fault (Eat). It’s not the line combinations. They just need to do better.

    Puck [arrow] net.

    At the beginning of the season, I said the Kings needed to lower their GAA to below 2.75 in order to make the playoffs. They’re at 2.71 now.

    The goaltending situation just got better.

    Our defense, most improved in the league, with a Calder candidate and another guy who would be a Calder candidate if he had played just one less game than the six he played last year, is about to get a boost from the return of its (previous) #1 defenseman, who has been hurt all season.

    It’s entirely possible that the Kings — The Kings — may have the stingiest defense playing in front of the (statistically) best goal-tending tandem in the league in the second half of the season.

    Therefore, it’s reasonable to assume the Kings will be better in the second half than in the first half (I know: road games. But: bonding, improvement of rookies, less pressure on road, no JLB [sorry, but...well, just sorry]).

    The missing piece is, we need a first line. We need the guys with the paychecks to earn their keep. Kopitar, Brown, POS, Stoll.

    I think they’re work through it. They will come around. My own thought is that Kopitar needs to make his move. If he picks it up, everyone else will follow. He needs to be the guy we want to get the puck to. Watching games, right now I don’t really want him to have the puck. Who do I want to have the puck?

    Moller. Frolov. Doughty. I’m sure we each have our own favorites. Peter Harrold, ’cause of that one rush, and I want to see if he can do it again…

    Should be Kopitar. I think it will be. And it will light a fire under everyone else.

    Ideally, they’ll hit their stride just as our first round series against San Jose starts.

    But they need to do better.

  • kluka68

    It is harder to grage goalies, because Jason is gone now and he deserves C, Ersberg should get B and Quick is definetly A, that why i put A

  • Anonymous

    Team overall a very high C+

    Team MVP so far is a 7 way tie between

    Doughty
    Green
    Stoll
    Brown
    Frolov
    Quincey
    O’Sullivan

    …and if I had a “fan favorite” pick I’d go with Ivanans w/ two goals and two GWG’s! His Skating looks a little better as of late and it looks like hes been working on his shot more. He works hard every night and does some things others dont want to do.

    just my $.02

  • neil

    With all the A.s and B,s being given out you would think the Kings have won more than half of their games(with 16 wins out of 38 games played)The avg should be a C.

  • LB

    MVP:
    1) Brown ( brings it every game and the most consistent producer on the team)
    2) Handzus (am I the only one that has noticed how often he’s in front of the goalie blocking his view when the Kings score a goal? seems like it happens once every game)
    3 Quincey ( our best all-around defenseman so far this season)

  • psycho

    great analysis Quisp .. as usual. Not tied to emotion and very objective given each player’s past and present production. The only thing that I would add is that this coaching core (including DL) deserves more credit. Not only did they make a drastic change to the mentality of this team, but the did so with multiple individual players as well. I don’t know if many of you who have not either played on an organized team or coached one can appreciate just how difficult this is considering all the different talent levels, personalities, backgrounds, etc. What DL and Murray have done is no less than remarkable. Have they made mistakes? Sure. Will they continue to make mistakes? Of course, but the true test is whether they continue to make the same mistakes. Yes Kopi’s numbers are down but this is to be expected from the defencive mindset and the fact that opposing teams know exactly who to shut down to increase their odds. I think that they gave LaBarbara every opportunity to be the #1 and every opportunity to re-gain his confidence, but when it was time to act, they did. We should not ignore that. I think that the second half of the season, barring any injuries, etc (knock on wood), will be very exciting and telling of the road this YOUNG team is on.

  • Jimmy Crack Corn

    * Alexander Frolov *
    Leads Kings w/ 16 goals & 6 PP goals, 3rd in overall points w/ 25 all while playing mostly on the 3rd and 4th lines.

  • Quisp

    Neil, re Kings GPA

    I just averaged my grades, which come out to a GPA (grade point average) of 2.92 for the team. Or, B-. But this is unweighted. If the GPA was weighted, by icetime for example, the GPA would be pulled down into the C+ range, since Kopitar, Brown, POS, Stoll and LaBarbera (to pick some random names) did worse than the class average, but logged the most icetime, among the forwards anyway.

    Your assumption that a team with mostly As and Bs should have won more than half its games makes sense. But I would argue that we’re grading on a curve. The Kings at .500 at the mid-point and threatening to make the playoffs (or at least threatening not to self-eliminate from the playoffs) deserves a much higher grade than, say, Detroit, had they the same record as the Kings. For Detroit, that would be a failing grade. For the Kings, that’s at least a B.

    And don’t you have to weigh the grade against the expectation of the student’s potential performance?

    If you want to round off, I would say the defense gets an A-, the forwards a C+ and the goaltending a B. As a result, a solid B on average for the team. Do teams with a B average make the playoffs, usually?

    Why, yes, they do! Hmmm.

  • Anonymous

    My Mvp vote goes to Zeus.Playing his game now that hes healthy.Way to go Deano.

  • Quisp

    I should clarify, though: I’m not predicting the Kings make the playoffs. I’m hoping. I’m hoping for the first round against San Jose. What I’m predicting is, it’s going to be close. It’s going to be down to the last stretch of games. I’m predicting that, in March, we will be having one of those conversations about what has to happen, how many wins here, how many losses by so-and-so, for the Kings to make it. Will it happen? Too many variables. Impossible to say. I still think the Kings will finish in the 80s in points — you know, if I had to bet. I think that’s the rational bet.

    The last two weeks of the season has a stretch of DAL, NSH, DAL, PHX, PHX. That’s five four-point games in a row. I think that chunk of games will be the season right there.

    Also, we close against San Jose at home. Will it come down to one game, against the best team in the league?

  • wavesinair

    Quisp:

    They’re at 2.71 now.

    Wow. I remember this convo. We went around and around and I thought there was no way this young D or the goalie situation would be able to make this happen. Happily I was wrong. I hope it continues and I think it will because we are sticking to the D first system.

    Re: Kopitar, Watching games, right now I don’t really want him to have the puck.

    Im not the only one! Before the shootout I was thinking, Is this guy gonna make a move on the goalie this time? Sure enough, he blew it. I mean, he looked like he didnt even try. It was such a weak attempt. I see Brown making those fantastic open ice moves and I think, why isn’t Kopi doing that too?

    Its reasonable to assume the Kings will be better in the second half.

    I agree. However, their place in the standings may not reflect this. I think they will continue to be in many close games but the road will take a toll. But the way this team is playing the system, and the way Quick is playing and THINKING, theres do doubt they will be a better team.

    I just stress the importance of this team taking time to gel. I dont believe it can be rushed. Some teams gel faster than others but the Kings I dont think are one of those teams because DL is making a franchise overhaul. Forming an entire new identity is much more complex than a young team coming together in an already established system and well run organization.

    But I do believe the one thing to accelerate this is the goaltender. Quick, I believe, is really something special. I place a lot of emphasis in how well a player communicates. In just the few interviews I’ve heard, this kid Quick has the mental makings of being a great player.

    JDM, maybe it has been Quick who has been “fermenting into greatness” this whole time.

  • EAT THE RICH

    READ AS A JOKE.

    Quisp, you should change your screen-name to SPOCK you’re so logical.

    I think you make a good point about rating the Kings B-, but I’ll stick with my C. I did think about changing though. I do think you’re overrating the defense, but that’s your right. I just think they’re only doing a little over half the job and that our scoring woes ARE partly do to the lack of skill on our blue line. Not general hockey skill, but Skill.

  • dirt-mover

    I have to go with o’sullivan for MVP – his talent is off the charts – the way he has been moved around and yet with only a few sloppy games he shines BOTH off and def- his ability in the off end gives teams nightmares as either a setup man or finisher – and def his pk is outstanding – to be bounced around as much as he has and still perform is fantastic – also the people he plays with always end up getting more chances despite limited time together- We stole him from Minn- with the goalie change I feel even more confident of our playoff chance- we are at least 2 yrs ahead of schd – I have not felt this giddy about our squad in a good long time- Murray is fresh air after the screamer -

  • Anonymous

    I have to agree with everything you said waves.

    I love that you remember ‘fermenting into greatness’. I’m so hesitant to say that Quick is THE guy, but man does he look like it. I haven’t seen a real glaring flaw in his game. He’s got the glove, the blocker, legs, position, athleticism, calmness, competiveness… geez.

    Maybe Bernier is being force fermented, and with his apparently not-so-great attitude is shifting to festering instead, while Quick has just been fermenting beneath the top soil.

    Can you imagine if Bernier were to get called up and play as good as Quick though? Man, what a problem!

    I wish I could look into a crystal ball and see what these guys are going to be like when they are 26-27 years old.

  • Quisp

    Eat, first of all, “READ AS A JOKE” is excellent and should be adopted by everyone as proper form on message boards, when appropriate. Second, I don’t disagree with your observation that defense (specifically, the mobility of defense) affects offense. I only differ with you on the degree. That little move Purcell made a few games ago, right before he dished off to [Stoll?] is the thing that everyone on this team has been forgetting all season. The Kings will get a mobility infusion in three weeks when JJ returns. And I do think we’ll see a little of Voyoinov at some point. Maybe Voinov should change his first name to Voynov. Voynov Voinov.

    I did notice something kind of interesting on ESPN’s power rankings. The Kings are at 21. The 10th team, Vancouver, has fifteen losses; the Kings have sixteen. There are a handful of teams that are playing much better than everyone else (including Philly, who we just beat). Then there’s about a dozen teams all with around 15 losses.

  • JDM

    oh man, didn’t realize I was signed out, once again… you’ll just have to wait a bit for my ‘anonymous’ response waves ;)

  • Anonymous

    C, B-, C+ (with LaBarbera), B+.

    MVP is a tough one, but i have to go with Brown, who does it all and is captain to boot. going to Saturday’s game and watching two vintage Brown hits also helped…

    runners-up: Doughty, Handzus, Quincey.

  • JDM

    I think EAT has a valid point about the defense being partially responsible for the lack of offense. Doughty needs to start one timing the puck and utilize his slap shot, not just his wrister. Quincey needs to pass down low once in a while instead of shooting from near the boards at the blue line. Harrold is learning, but has a ways to go before being a real offensive factor. Certainly the defense is not fully to blame by any stretch, but they do play a factor, and their low output doesn’t exactly help the forwards. I still hate Doughty/Harrold as a pair on the PP. It should be Doughty/Stoll and Harrold/Quincey, or Doughty/Quincey as the first unit.

    Hmm… maybe have Kopi try playing the point on the PP? Maybe that would open his eyes up to whats going on down low and what needs to happen.

    Doughty/Kopi
    Quincey/Stoll

    ??? Maybe?

  • jediknight329

    first off, quisp thank you for the goals number. much appreciated.

    which leads me to my second point about grading this team year to date…

    after 38 games last season the kings had scored a total of 101 goals. this year after 38 games the kings have scored 97. that is only a difference of 4 goals. the way some of you comment and panic about not scoring, you’d think we’ve scored half as many as last year. 4 goals people. that’s all. that is 4% less. not much when you consider we’ve given up 30 less goals than last year at this time. that is a huge improvement. i’d grade our coaching at a b+ minimum, possibly an a-.

    some of you won’t agree. that’s fine. but when you think about how awful we were last year and how much improved we are, you have to give (a lot) of the credit to our coaching staff. period.

    not to mention, we also have 12 more points than last year at this time as well. yes, two-thirds of our remaining games are on the road. yes, we could fall apart and be worse then last year (highly unlikely). and yes, a lot could happen over the next 44 games. but right now, grading after 38 games, overall, i think this team is a solid b — defense a-, offense b-, goaltending b+ and coaching b+/a-.

  • Irish Pat

    You know, I’ve been reading some excellent analysis from my fellow bloggers under this post today and a thought occured to me: The Kings may not make the playoffs this season, but if you look at the steady improvement the team and the commitment to team defense that this team is showing plus the lack of ego (thank God there aren’t any poo-poo heads on the Kings) this team is going to break through sooner than some (me) expected. It’s hard not to be thrilled by the depth this team has attained through the draft and the patience management has shown in the development of these pups. I genuinely hope that Lombardi gets to see this thing through.

  • Crash Davis

    Re: D. Really impressed with Doughty, Quincey and Greene. Harrold has been a pleasant surprise. Preissing has been non-existent as he lives in the Press Box. Gauthier is noticed mostly when he does something WRONG like an errant pass rather than GOOD. O’Donnell has been quietly steady. Part of good defense is when you don’t notice people. They are like firemen who do their job without drawing attention to themselves. JMFJ coming back should help too.

    Re: Forwards. Everyone has weighed an opinion. But I do echo a few who have expressed it’s time to go get a veteran sniper. Don’t know what this costs in salary or picks/prospects, who’s available, what the dynamics are to land one. But we need someone who can rev up the octane. A “bridge” sniper is okay in my book. We need to be scoring at least 2-3 goals if Quick/Ersberg are averaging 1-2 goals per game. Someone needs to help light this offense and get pucks into the net.

    Re: Goalies. Well, we have 2 good ones. Not great. But good. This will sort itself out soon.

  • EAT THE RICH
  • Anonymous

    MVP for me is a tie between Quincey, Greene and Doughty based solely on their defensive play. Quincey gets the edge out of the three due to his ability to get the puck to the net from the point on a routine basis. All three are very calming in the defensive zone even under pressure – unlike last season where too often our veterans were consistently making the bone-head pass that would ultimately find its way into the back of our net. These three are reading the play, and their calmness makes the forwards and goalie just that much more relaxed and able to play their positions.

    Overall, I think the team should rate a B-/C+.

  • ziggy33

    MVP = Eric Ersberg: Obviously you can make a legitimate case for Brown, Quincey, Doughty, or Greene, but lets be honest if Ersberg played as bad as LaBarbera did in certain games we wouldnt even be near the playoffs.

    Biggest Disappointment = Tom Preissing: What is the deal with this guy? He was supposed to be one of our team leaders and point man on the power play this season, yet he cant crack the lineup even with JJ hurt!

  • Eat The Poor

    Doughty – MVP

  • Garrett

    I’m not gonna grade everyone on the team but I will say I think Handzus is the most improved player, Frolov has been the best forward though sadly relegated to the 3rd line, and Quincey is both the best newcomer and the best player on the team so far.

  • number 6

    So interesting to read all the comments. Normally I would have said Doughty without hesitation. He is just unbelievable at his age to play with such poise. But in reading the comments I’ve come to nominate Brown. Because without his spirit, hits and leadership it would probably render Doughty’s contributions far more negligible. Brownie is scoring less, but he truly does come to play every game…. the Flyers had Bobby Clarke, and now Mike Richards, but we have Dustin Brown!

  • Roland

    My MVP is Frolov. leads the team in goals while playing on 3rd line. Some nights thats the ONLY scoring line.

    Close behind are Doughty, Brown, and Ersberg.

  • JP Kelly

    Handzus. His strong, effective, *consistent* 2-way play. His quiet leadership, by example, and by mentoring Simmonds. His perseverance coming off a bad year/recovering from injury. He is exceeding all expectations, excelling at his role on the team, and as much as anyone else, is going above and beyond to get the wins. He’s the role model for what everyone on this team — star or 4th line grinder — needs to aspire to. Great team player for a team that needs such a player at this stage of its development.

  • 4thlinechecker

    I didnt either, but it is amazing how out of 79 comments posted, nobody mentioned Frolov……. I dont know what it is, he is a great player, he just doesnt seem like a King to me.

    Quispy, I dont always agree with you, but I can always see your point. You always make a good case, and your opinion is always objective. I never scroll thru your posts.

    Are you an attorney by chance?

  • jet

    Frolov, no question. He is on pace for 35 goals on a team that requires 2-way play. He is on the checking line often paired against the opponents top line, yet carries a 0 +/-. He plays on the PP and PK. He scores on one out of every 5 shots. And, he is doing this while playing with a 19 year old and player thought to be washed up last year. He appears to be a team player. If any thing, he may try to pass to often when a shot is available. I love Brown’s leadership, I love Doughty’s skills, I love Kopitar’s passing, I love Quincey’s mix of skill and toughness and 8 weeks from now I hope to say Quick. But, for overall value to the team at this point of the season, I can not see anyone else making the contributions that Frolov has.

    Forwards – B
    Defense – B
    GK – A (based on the G on the roster)
    Coach – A
    GM – A+

  • Ziggy

    MVP – Mark Hardy.

    The man turned this D unit into a PK killing force. I think Kompon is still learning a lot on the job but Hardy brings it. Best move DL has made. I am a TM fan.

    I really dont understand the Kopi bashing considering he leads the Kings in points, is playing great defensively, is winning more facoffs, and is 21. Dude the kid is not a superhero. Talk about a team player with a team mentality. Kopi plays on more of the ice than any other player on this team. He is always back deep in the defensive zone and hustles his ass up the ice to become a playmaker. This Kopi bashing makes me sick because this player is going to be a key reason the Kings have long term playoff success both on and off the ice.

    People like Brown because he hits (me too but not an MVP). People like Doughty because he is hope, and the kid can seriously see the ice, but he is not the best defensive dman. Watch some games and you will see him make some mistakes around the net. Why is it after goals he is always right on top of the goalie not doing anything??? Quincey…cmon folks, he puts pucks to the net and plays solid D but he does not have an extraordinarily hard or accurate shot. Fro is a beast but there is a reason he gets third line minutes. The only guy to be and remain on the top line is Kopi and he deserves that number one spot!

  • Quisp

    4thlinechecker –

    No, not an attorney. Though my wife has asked me the same question on several occasions.

  • JSauls82

    MVP – Drew Doughty

    but… Quick is quickly (haha) making a “Valuable” impact.

    Quincey has made a huge positive impact on the team as well, especially on the PP. Zus has completely turned it around this season. Dustin Brown, enough said. Fro has quietly been doing his thing.

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