Postgame notes (3/20)

– The Kings’ only goal in their 4-1 loss to Pittsburgh, initially credited to Drew Doughty, was later given to Michal Handzus, with assists to Doughty and Kopitar. Handzus has now scored a goal in three consecutive games and has three goals and two assists in his last four games.

– Justin Williams made his Kings debut. He played 13 minutes, 36 seconds, was credited with one shot on goal and was charged with one giveaway, which led to a Penguins goal.

–With Justin Williams joining the lineup, Terry Murray took the opportunity to shake up the Kings’ lines. The first line of LW Teddy Purcell, C Anze Kopitar and RW Dustin Brown stayed intact, but Williams fit into the second line, alonside LW Kyle Calder and C Jarret Stoll. C Michal Handzus and RW Wayne Simmonds stayed on the third line and were joined by enforcer RW Raitis Ivanans. LW Alexander Frolov, the Kings’ leader goal scorer, and RW Peter Harrold were dropped from the second line to the fourth line, alongside C Derek Armstrong.

–Alexander Frolov, in his fourth-line role, played 17 minutes and recorded one shot on goal.

–The Kings had the odds against them before they even stepped on the ice. This was the 13th time this season that the Kings had played games on back-to-back nights. With Friday’s loss, their record dropped to 4-8 in the second game of those back-to-back situations.

– Drew Doughty had an assist, following up on his two-point game Thursday against Boston. Doughty had previously gone five games without a point and 15 games without a goal. Doughty led the Kings in ice time, at 26:56.

– Jonathan Quick was back in net, in the second of a back-to-back games scenario, and it didn’t go well. Quick stopped 22 of 26 shots to fall to 1-5 in his last six road games. Quick has allowed a total of 19 goals in his last five road games.

– Dustin Brown had a game-high six shots on goal.

– Anze Kopitar had an assist, one night after his seven-game point streak got snapped in an overtime victory over Boston. Kopitar now has six goals and five assists in his last 10 games. Kopitar led all Kings forwards in ice time at 21:09. (edit)

– Davis Drewiske, recalled Friday morning from the American Hockey League, played in place of injured Denis Gauthier. Drewiske played 15 minutes, 30 seconds, and was credited with one shot on goal.

– Denis Gauthier missed the game with an undisclosed upper-body injury and returned to Los Angeles. Gauthier is expected to be out until the second week of April.

– The Penguins outshot the Kings 26-25.

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  • Anonymous

    Text needs amending at the Anze Kopitar entry. The Kings won against Boston, not lost.

  • taz42

    One word for tonights game: Pathetic

  • khanon81

    PLAY WESTGARTH! Split the giants up (Westy on the 3rd line, Ivans on the fourth), scratch Harrold. Call up Bagnall to replace Gauthier until he heals up.

    J Williams looked pretty bad early on, but he did start to play better. Probably a combination of jitters and coming back from an injury. I’m sure he’ll be fine. Looks like we’ll have to wait another year to find the kings in the midst of the playoff pack.

  • Garrett

    The plan to not put Fro out on power plays sure did work great tonight.

    1 for 8.
    The only PP goal comes on a 5-on-3 in the 3rd with the team down four-zip.
    Maybe 30 seconds of puck possession on average per PP in the offensive zone.

    I understand Pittsburgh has a good PK but that was f@#^king ridiculous. Nobody could hold onto the puck, enter the zone, or get set up on the PP. But you know who’s usually pretty good at all of those things? Alex Frolov.

    Stupid Terry Murray.

    Not that I think that’s why the Kings lost or anything. But it was ridiculous. If the opposition is going to sit there an take stupid penalties all night long you should be trying to score with your best offensive players on the ice during the advantages!!

  • Rob

    O’sullivan had a shootout goal against chicago tonight….I can already hear Idiot Esq

  • Justin

    You’re right Rob, he did. He had a new move too.

  • Alley

    The lack of response to Malkin’s elbow on Simmonds is unexcusable.

    Our “captain” was the closest King, and he just skated away and pretended not to notice anything. He also has 1 G in the last 10 games, during this playoff homestretch. The leadership needs to be addressed before next season.

    Strip off that “C” and give it to somebody that actually will stick up for his teammates. Greene or O’Donnell even, perhaps? Do it over the off-season and let Brown keep the “A” or something.

  • Garrett

    Here’s an interesting little tidbit I just did some research into. I was thinking about #1 overall draft picks and wondering if the Kings had ever had one, or in fact if any #1 overall draft picks had ever played for the Kings.

    It turns out that the Kings have had the chance to pick first overall only once in their history, way back in 1967. They took defenseman Rick Pagnutti. Doesn’t sound familiar? That is because he never played a single game in the NHL. That was actually the case with three of the first five #1 overall draft picks (’67 was the 5th NHL Entry Draft ever).

    But that still does not answer the ultimate question of whether any top picks have ever played for the Kings. My research shows that three have done so. They are Garry Monahan, the first ever #1 pick, chosen in 1963 by the Canadiens. He played with the Kings in 1969-70, picking up 3 assists in 51 games. The Bruins’ #1 pick in 1966, Barry Gibbs, played for the Kings in 1979-80, scoring 2 goals and adding 9 assists in 63 games. He never played in the NHL again after his brief tenure in LA. Finally, Billy Harris, who was picked first overall by the Islanders in 1972, spent parts of three seasons with the Kings from 1979-80 to 1981-82, and had the most success scoring 25 goals and adding 35 helpers in 107 games.

    And that is it. No #1 overall pick has skated for the LA Kings since 1982. The three who did play for the Kings combined for 27 goals and 37 assists in 221 games.

    Oh there is one other #1 overall pick the Kings had. Dale McCourt, the Wings’ 1977 top pick, was awarded to the Kings through arbitration after Detroit signed Rogie Vachon away from them. He refused to report to the Kings and remained in Detroit.

    So that led me to one final question- has any other team in the NHL had as little success with #1 overall draft picks as the Kings have? Turns out that three recent expansion teams have never had a top overall pick in their line-ups: Anaheim, Minnesota, and Nashville, but I think their relative newness to the NHL excludes them from consideration here. The Red Wings and Oilers have not had major success but enough to put these others to shame.

    Only the Hartford Whalers/Carolina Hurricanes franchise has had as little success as the Kings in this regard. Only one such player has ever suited up for them: Brian Lawton, picked first by Minnesota (the North Stars) in 1983, played 48 games for them over parts of two seasons from 1988 to 1990, registering all of 12 goals and 17 assists.

    I hope that was interesting to someone else. I thought it was.

  • Old Man

    The only time we needed Ivanas tonight was when the game ended.Again he did nothing.Malkin almost took Waynes head off.What a waste of a roster spot.

  • Garrett

    Alley, I completely agree with you that Brown should be stripped of the captaincy. I’ve thought since the start that it was a bad decision to give it to him because of his youth and lack of experience. When Rob Blake left and the team suddenly had no real veteran presence the ‘C’ should have rotated among some of the team’s young guys over the course of the season so they could each get a taste of what that is like.

    Maybe Brown should have had it first. But why not let Kopitar, Frolov, Johnson, O’Sullivan (when he was still on the team obviously- might even have given him some of that maturity he supposedly needed), O’Donnell, Stoll, Greene, and Handzus wear it for a month or so each as well?

    I think next season it should rotate around.

  • khanon81

    “Strip off that “C” and give it to somebody that actually will stick up for his teammates. Greene or O’Donnell even, perhaps? Do it over the off-season and let Brown keep the “A” or something.”

    I fully agree. The captain should be a player willing and ready to drop his gloves. Greene would be the ideal choice. I would give Brown the A, and Simmonds the other A.

  • Anonymous

    Rich, when you get the chance, please ask about the treatment of our best winger, and leading goal scorer, Alexander Frolov.

    This double standard that Murray has will affect Frolov’s confidence soon, maybe it’s happening already. It may become evident the player may feel he’s playing for the coaches rather than the crown on his chest. Whatever happens, it’s sad, the general feeling is he’s traded this offseason. He was drafted and homegrown, becoming our only legit 1st line winger, too bad management/coaching staff don’t seem to think the same thing. And this is why we’ll never win a damn thing. 40+ years and counting!

  • Rookie

    The tape of that cheap shot by Malkin should be sent to the league for review…however, I’m sure Malkin is “untouchable”.

    I agree with Alley…Malkin needed his ass kicked.

  • Alley

    I’m not even saying that Brown should’ve jumped him. I mean, I personally would’ve thought that was fair, but I understand that Malkin’s a star player and all that, and Brown, for all his big hits, seems to really get bullied on the ice sometimes.

    But at least pretend like you care, Brown. Skate on over and just give him a cross-check. Give him a shove. Even a merely face-wash! Get in his face and just make a show of yelling at him. But just do SOMETHING to show the Penguins (and the rest of the league) that it just wasn’t acceptable.

  • KingKrazy

    I think everyone one the ice at the end owes Simmonds an apology. They should all be ashamed of themselves. There is not one other team in the league that would have ever let that SH*T go. At his defense,OLD MAN, the only player that stirred it up was Ivanans when they released the benches.

  • JT Snow

    Terry Murray is a moron. I am sorry. Yes, he has done well with our defence. Ran the team different than Crawford. But Putting our leading goal scored on the 4th line and actually allowing ivanans in the lineup tonight is grounds for a firing. What an IDIOT! Discipline goes out the window in this situation. He is a moron and I will never forgive him for tonihts coaching

  • cristobal

    Garret,

    I found your post very interesting, indeed. Thanks for posting it.
    It made me dislike the draft even more.
    I think it’s a shame that players cannot sign with whatever team they like when they come of age.
    I also think the NHL and it’s franchises spend a grip on developing players when there’s no need to.
    Besides, it’s a crazy idea, in a sense, that you have to hit rock bottom before you get an opportunity to sign a “Franchise Player.”
    Again, personally, I’d love to have promotion and relegation in Hockey.
    Now that would be incredible.

    We almost had No. 1 overall last year, but for a tie-breaker.
    But, No. 2′s not so shabby.

    Cheers

  • Quisp

    found the malkin hit, posted here: http://kwisp.wordpress.com/2009/03/20/youtube-evgeni-malkin-cheapshot/

    anybody able to post the aftermath? I would love to see the team’s reaction. Like I said, my tivo stopped with a minute left…

  • Big A

    Cool, thanks for posting the clip. I admit I turned off the game at 4-0.

    Malkin deserves some sort of punishment for that. But we all know “Gino” doesn’t have Gauthier’s reputation for these transgressions, plus he’s a marketable young superstar, so the league likely won’t do squat.

    Not surprised that Brown didn’t do anything. His “hit” statistics notwithstanding, he always makes a very conscious effort to avoid conflict. It’s good to be disciplined and try to draw power plays, but I’d love to see him emulate Iginla just a little bit.

  • metalmaster

    So much for carryining over momentum from Bruin game. It is what it is. Kings have been a pretty resilient team but are not good enough to put together enough strong games in a row to be a playoff team.

  • AK47

    Wayne Simmonds’ shot to the head was just reckless. The NHL needs to wake up and suspend players that do stupid things like this. Wasn’t the score like 3-0 when Malkin did this? Either way, it’s stupid..

    It’s also very unfortunate that no one even retaliated from the boys. Dustin, you’re a beast man, how are you going to let Evgeni Malkin take a shot at arguably the most consistent player of the year. Isn’t that what Ivanans is for? To enforce..? Jeez, he’s been a good enforcer of late..

    I’m angry

  • anonymous

    I think the closest the Kings have had to having their own #1 pick play in the NHL have been Doug Smith, C (drafted #2 after Dale Hawerchuck) who was mediocre at best, and two #3′s (Aki Berg and Olli Jokinen).

    The Kings had Americans Bobby Carpenter and Brian Lawton play briefly and I think they were #1′s, or close to it. I remember Bobby Carpenter was on the cover of Sports Illustrated during his draft year being tabbed as “The Can’t Miss Kid”. He was drafted by Washington and played pretty well, but didn’t live up to his #1 billing. He came to the Kings from the Rangers when I think they traded him for Marcel Dionne. Dionne, btw, was drafted #2 by Detroit after the Canadiens drafted Guy Lafleur 1st overall.

    So much for interesting but unimportant stats…

    Last night’s game seemed to be the breaking point for most Kings fans. It was becoming all to obvious that the playoffs were slipping out of the team’s grasp. I think with last night’s loss was the realization that it’s just too high a goal to acheive this year.

    And I agree that Malkin should have had to pay a price for the late and unnecessary cold shoulder on Simmonds late in the game. He did have the puck, but the game was over. The League won’t do anything about it, and if the shoe were on the other foot, Pens fans would have been pissed and Kings fans would have disregarded it. It’s called tough love for the Kings.

    Oh well. The season isn’t technically over, so let’s see if how the Kings respond to the remaining games this season.

    Fight on!

  • Paul from Oxnard

    There really was no aftermath Quisp. After the game there was some chirping from guys like Ivanans but that was it. There was no penalty called. No retaliation from a King. Nothing. Since none of the Kings wanted to stick up for the kid, I hope the NHL does by suspending Malkin, but we all know they won’t.

    As for all the whiners on here begging for the Kings to strip the C off Brown’s sweater, please. Stop already. You’re embarrassing real Kings fans.

    Finally, regarding Frolov, his turnovers against Boston were brutal. If he can’t play smart, he shouldn’t play in those situations. I have no problem with what Terry Murray did with him last night. A message needed to be sent and it was.

  • tantrum4

    khanon81 said:

    “I fully agree. The captain should be a player willing and ready to drop his gloves. Greene would be the ideal choice. I would give Brown the A, and Simmonds the other A.”

    That’s ridiculous man. Let’s see, Elias, Crosby, Drury, Clark, Richards, Koivu, Brind’Amour, Kovalchuk, Lidstrom, Thornton, Toews, Nash, Arnott, Mikku Koivu, Niedermayer, Brewer and Sakic. How many times a year do you see these captains drop the gloves? Ya that’s right about as many times as we’ve seen Brown drop them. The only captains that will actually drop them once in a while are Chara (rarely), Rivet, Lecavalier, Iggy, Moreau, Morrow and Doan. A captain does not need to drop his gloves all the time to be a leader. He has to play hard every game and have the respect of his teammates, and we all know Brown does that on a nightly basis. Come on man, get with it…..

  • anthony

    Did Williams actually play last night.
    I didn’t notice him on the ice.
    Did notice Sully’s game winning shootout goal though.

  • Duckhunter

    Quisp,

    On the ice there was no reaction at all, you actually saw what happened without seeing it.

    Again, some are asking why Ivan didn’t do anything, which is beyond me, since he wasn’t on the ice when the incident happened and, as you know, there was only second left in the game. When the game ended Ivan skated toward and had a few words for Malkin, but him teammates ran interference as Malkin headed straight for the exit.

    On a side note, am I the only one who thinks Goats physical presence was missed yesterday?

    Well Quisp, I agree with others, that Fro is in his last few months with the Kings. What’s your feeling on this?

  • Anonymous

    Am I the only one looking at Brownie from a different light? Something is definitely wrong. Period. He’s not hitting hard, he’s not reaching for the puck and he’s not skating normally. Didn’t anyone else see him pull up in pain on a shift late in the third? It was almost as if he was having trouble with the right leg. He’s playing part of each shift in bursts and not 100% of the time. Maybe it’s me but I don’t see this guy at his best and I don’t think it’s for lack of effort or heart. I think he’s hurt. Time will tell.

  • JT Snow

    I agree that unfortunately Fro is in his last few months. This still doesn’t take away from the fact of Terry Murray’s Moronic coaching tactics yesterday.
    We needed to pull out all the stops and what did we do….Give Ivanans more ice time. And our top goal scorer less.
    At this point of the season you do anything to make the playoffs. I even would have had Moller in the lineup, Richardson…. Man Terry Murray has gone down so far in my books…How can ivanans even be on the ice in this game? He served no purpose. Who is advising Terry Murray? This really pissed me off last night.

  • John

    All you haters are complete jokers…do you really call yourself Kings fans??!!

  • cristobal

    Tantrum may not like it, but I agree with him about Brown and the Captain’s role.
    Besides, I believe hockey should be the 2nd or 3rd thing on his mind these days considering the situation with Mason Cole.

    Also, isn’t this the retaliatory type of fight the NHL should start weeding out of the game?
    Maybe they will FINALLY step up and punish the young stars of the league just like everybody else.
    If not, I feel it’s the duty of the organization to file complaints, and seek justice through proper channels.
    That type of a hit, by Malkin, should get at least a 10 game suspension, possibly more like 20 (And what’s with the Russian’s head-hunting the Kings – first Ovechkin on Brown and now Malkin on Simmonds?), because it’s essentially a premeditated crime.
    20 games would be far more punishment to Malkin and his teamates with only 10-12 games left in the season than one of our boys jumping him and giving him noogies.
    I’d love to see him miss the first 8 games of the playoffs.

    Also, nobody stood up for Brown when Ovechkin hunted him.
    Brown did that himself by scoring the winner and telling Ovie to go F himself for all to see.
    I love Brown whether he’s the Captain or not.

    PS – New coaches generally choose their own Captain, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see a new structure next season.

  • Alley

    Paul from Oxnard:

    You may disagree with my opinion – you’re more than welcome to do it.

    But to call anybody that disagrees with your own opinion, not a “real” Kings fan is ridiculous.

    Keep on toeing the AEG line. Terry Murray should put our leading goal scorer on the 4th line in a playoff race, after basically benching him for the 3rd period previously in a close game – that’s a wonderful game plan!

    Oh, but wait, I’m not a “real Kings fan” because I can find some sort of fault with the Kings. I would submit to you that a “real Kings fan” is somebody that loves the Kings and wants them to do well. That wants them to play for each other (what Brown didn’t do) and to play to win (not putting Frolov on the 4th).

    You are apparently incapable of attacking the post with facts, and resort to attacking the poster.

    You’re not a “real” Kings’ fan, you’re a fan of the mis-management and AEG. Keep on propagandizing for them and drinking their Kool-Aid. Thanks. They’ll keep on taking your money to the bank.

  • Quisp

    Duckhunter, re Frolov:

    I guess it makes sense for fans to be bracing themselves for a Frolov trade, since he bears many of the same hallmarks as either Cammy or POS (e.g. defensive issues, high trade value, contract [about to be] negotiated). However, I’m not convinced that Murray has soured on Frolov; I think it’s entirely possible that he’s trying to teach him. Unlike Cammy last year or POS this year, Frolov has actually been very effective for the Kings. And given the minutes Frolov got last night (17ish), you could look at the demotion as actually a promotion for Army.

    But it was of course a demotion for Frolov. Murray’s system is clearly to use the fourth line to get players to focus on defense. And I’m sure that his reasoning (or response to his detractors) would be that it’s better to have Frolov on the fourth line where he will be seeing lower quality opponents while he works on his defense. That would have been a more persuasive argument if Williams hadn’t caused the first PIT goal. But I can see the logic behind it.

    I wish he had used Frolov on the power play though.

    But I also wish Moller were in the line-up.

    To answer your trade question, if Frolov is traded, it’s going to have to be for a top-line sniper. It would have to be for Heatley, Kovalchuk, etc. (as part of a big package. Otherwise, it’s just a waste. And I don’t think DL will do it if he can get Hossa or Franzen.

    Frankly (warning: unpopular opinion alert), I would rather trade Kopitar than Frolov. But I understand that’s just me.

  • Quisp

    Also, the Kings are incredibly thin on the left side, so trading Frolov would have to bring a top-line left winger back, wouldn’t it? That’s Kovalchuk or Heatley. Otherwise, it’s Purcell, Ivanans, Moulson, Wudrick… See what I mean??

  • cristobal

    In my opinion it’s not possible to discuss trading Frolov in any rational sense.
    If it happens, I will no longer support this club in any fashion.
    I will begin some sort of campaign to have Lombardi and Murray shown the door as quickly as possible (even if I have to stand outside their homes with a megaphone and some DRI on the stereo – “you’re numbers up you’ve got to go, the system says I told you so…”).

    Same goes for Brown and Kopitar.

    Don’t even think about it.

    PS – the contention that Frolov doesn’t understand how to play defense is an opinion, and in my opinion, it is a wrong one.
    I also don’t understand hoping for top snipers named Hossa Franzen Kovalchuck or Heatly because unless this coach is gone we’re going to see the same games played with the next skilled players.
    I’d remind everyone that Heaty, Kovalchuk, and Hossa are still Cupless, just like the Kings.

  • Quisp

    I’m certainly not advocating trading anybody, much less Frolov or Kopitar. But neither Kopitar or Frolov are elite top-line snipers (yet?), whereas the players you mentioned are.

  • Duckhunter

    Quisp,

    I agree with you, I too think Fro has played his best hockey under TM. There is no doubt Fro has progressed and I’m quite impressed with his improved consistency. I don’t believe TM has given up on him either, but it’s not TM we have to worry about, it’s DL. My instincts tell me DL is not convinced Fro is the answer for this team. As much as I like Fro, it still concerns me that he disappears at the most inopportune times. He has tons of skill, but doesn’t seem to be able to reach that next level. I don’t think DL is going to pay him what he wants. I really feel he’s going to be the centerpiece for “The Deal”, whatever and whoever that is.

    Cristobal,

    How come I’m having a hard time believing you listen to DRI. I can’t quite picture you being interested in a 80′s punk band. If you do listen to DRI, I like it! Maybe we should play some of their songs at the game to get them motivated. If that doesn’t do it, nothing will.

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