Williams, Drewiske in

Some updates from Pittsburgh…

Justin Williams has been activated and will play tonight. Davis Drewiske has been called up from Manchester and will play tonight.

Denis Gauthier has been sent back to Los Angeles and will be out 1-2 weeks with an “upper-body injury.”

Oscar Moller, Brad Richardson, Kevin Westgarth and John Zeiler are the expected scratches tonight.

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  • JazzyJT08

    Hopefully the spark can ignite a fire! I’m excited to see Williams with a Kings jersey on and watch Drewiske perform well like he did in his last call up! Go Kings GO! Pens are in for some trouble.

  • Irish Pat

    Excellent! I was looking forward to watching the Kings match up with the Pens and now we get to see Justin Williams play too. I hope the troops aren’t too tired from yesterday’s win. Adrenaline can only carry you so far. Go Kings!!

  • PaulCat1969

    I am not expecting a lot from him until next year but just having him in the line-up knowing he has the spotlight on him will be exciting to watch. He is now the mentor to our young forwards and he seems to be the type of guy that likes to have the weight on his shoulders.

  • Anonymous

    Gauthier blocked a shot and I think hit his hand.

  • Ciccarelli

    Looking forward to the new-look Kings tonight:

    Brown/Kopitar/Purcell
    Williams/Stoll/Frolov
    Simmonds/Handzus/Calder
    Ivanans/Armstrong/Harrold

    Doughty/O’Donnell
    Quincey/Johnson
    Greene/Drewiske

    Solid!

  • Anonymous

    Seems like the injury to Moller in the World Jrs set him back in his progress.

  • Jonny

    I like Drewiskie and all, but Harrold should be playing Defense. This is nonsense.

  • jim

    As I posted earlier I would have liked to see Tom p to given a chance. I think he’s got game and could help us down this strech. Couldn’t hurt have him finish the season throw him in on a trade so we don’t have to pay off that contract? Oh well at least we get to see JW. And while I’m complaining Moller should be playing ! Rich what’s the deal is he hurt or what this guy deserves to be in our lineup.

  • Jonny

    Why did they bother recalling Drewiske? Harrold is D-MAN!

  • Anonymous

    Keep Westgarth in, sit Ivan

  • Rich Hammond

    Moller remains a healthy scratch.

  • Borat Obama

    Hey, everybody get off Handzus’ and Harrold’s backs. If you watch the games closely, these guys do way more positive than negative on the ice. Handzus’ goal against the Bruins was gorgeous – not many others (except for maybe Kopitar) would have the hand-eye coordination to to switch to a quick backhand and flip the puck in the net. If you get rid of Handzus, you’d also lose a valuable penalty killer. This guy is a settling veteran influence on a team of mostly kids, and after waiting through last season’s struggles as he recuperated from a devastating injury, this year’s Handzus does things that don’t show up in the box score. And Harrold is fearless even though he’s small dude out there. At least he gives all he’s got and more – can’t say that about every player on this team!

  • Anonymous

    Hey Rich any idea what the lines will be? No chance we’ll get to see a Fro-Kopi-Williams line right?

    Fro-Kopi-Williams
    Brown-Stoll-Purcell
    Moller-Handzus-Simmonds

    Ya moller there is wishful thinking. But even with Calder i like those lines

  • CanadianKing

    I look forward to seeing what Williams can do.

    I would love to see a Williams-Stoll-Brown line next year. That would be one killer second line.

  • brianguy

    “I like Drewiskie and all, but Harrold should be playing Defense. This is nonsense.”

    yeah I agree. Harrold is never going to do much as a forward, I mean having him as a 4th line checker isn’t really going to help him long term is it? just let him play D which he’s better at, and can do even better on the PP.

    Drewiske has been pretty good when needed, but we don’t need him. play Williams AND Moller, with Harrold on D. Pittsburgh is a skill team and this would be adding 2 skill guys up front with additional skill on D (total of 3 by my reasoning). why is that 2 too many for Murray?

  • Quisp

    Apropos of Williams, the results of the Anthony poll are in: http://kwisp.wordpress.com/2009/03/20/poll-results/

  • variable

    glad to see the king debut of jw tonight….
    maybe that line of stoll/fro/and him will be golden…

    however….

    i know this sounds crazy….and i’m def. not in favor of such a move, but wouldn’t it be just like t.m. to do something completely risky and controversial and SCRATCH frolov?

    i mean, they are holding him to a ridiculous standard at this point…

    yes….he did make a bad pass on the pp late in the second…but he was playing pretty well before that…he had some of the best kings chances earlier in the period…

    i don’t want it to happen…but i would give it a 5-10% chance that t.m. would do something like that…

    fro’s played on every line this season…and for the first 30+ games, he was anywhere but the top line…

    was it a coincidence that the kings started playing a better overall game when fro was moved up to the top line for about 20 games….? was it a coincidence that kopi’s offensive game came alive during that time…? was it a coincidence that the CBS line was hotter than h.e.double hockey stix…?

    if they want fro to put up 40+ goals and 80+ points, why put him on a line w/zus and simmonds or stoll and harrold…?

    no offense to those guys…but that’s just not going to happen….

    t.m. was playing him over 20+ t.o.i every night for about a 2 month stretch…ANYONE WHO PLAYS A LOT OF TIME IS GOING TO MAKE A MISTAKE…

    why does it get completely polarized and turned into a team catastrophe when fro makes a mistake…???

    look at the goal leaders in the nhl…and look at many of the “BIG NAME PLAYERS/SNIPERS” he’s currently ahead of…

    all those goals….and he hasn’t played more than a quarter of the season on the top line…

    the handling of fro is my biggest contention w/t.m….and maybe even d.l….if he’s contributing to the day to day decisions….

  • brianguy

    Ciccarelli, is there a reason you list all our LW’s as RW and vice versa? those lines make no sense at all unless you flip them.

  • Alen

    Now i’m excited about this game! I REALLY hope Harrold is on the 4th line now. I’m glad we only have 1 good on the ice even tho i think its the WRONG goon. Cause the one on the ice is utterly worthless.

  • JDM

    This should be fun. I just want a strong effort this game. It would be awesome to shut down Malkin as well, and I hope Brown makes Crosby cry.

    I’m sick of Moller getting scratched though. How exactly is Harrold, especially at forward, better in any way, shape or form than Moller? Moller is just as good a backchecker, plays with as much energy and fire, is in fact, more fearless than harrold and is undeniably more talented. I don’t get this at all.

    I understand TM saying Moller needs to bulk up and work on his explosiveness, but when Moller gets hit, he makes a play, when Harrold gets hit he coughs up the puck. Last night the onyl plays I saw Harrold make were desperation plays that he is lucky worked out because there were only after one or two completely goofed opportunities to make a play.

    Harrold does some good things and his work ethic some seem admirable, but he is a fringe NHLer and imo has little to no future on this team or any other. He’s a journeyman. Moller on the other hand, is someone who can be a huge boon to the team, both in character and skill. What gives?

  • OneTimer

    brianguy-

    He’s correct, but for some reason you seem to be standing on the wrong side of your PC monitor when reading the forward lines – but then somehow magically you are insta-flashing back to the correct side when reading the defensive pairings? Weird.

    As the commercial goes: “Wow man … you just blew my mind.”

    (just having some fun Cicc. all good.)

  • cristobal

    variable,

    I think your comments are very good.
    In my opinion, Fro is never guilty of “quit.”
    I don’t know why he’s now being scapegoated.

    PS – Notice Calder’s minutes Post-Tradedeadline.

  • Anonymous

    I disagree on the takes on Harrold. Dude has been almost as competitive as Simmonds and you people want to reward that effort with dimished duty and call him a ‘fringe’ NHLer. He’s a 5-6 Dman, he’s a 4th line forward. for someone who never played forward anywhere but in the NHL, he’s far from fringe. I’d take 2 or 3 Harrolds over Zeiler or Ivan or Preissing, etc. Give him the credit he deserves people.

    Don’t get me wrong, I want Oscar playing too. I gotta believe there is something else going on there we don’t know about. Maybe a slight re-injury? I don’t have an issue with Drewiskie coming back. I think it’s a long time coming after the way he played last time. No doubt, Davis has the opportunity to capture a spot if he plays well again. This is an opportunity for him to shine before training camp next year. With him and JW playing for the first time in a Kings uni, today’s game against a former King Dan Bylsma should be a really great game!

  • Anonymous

    I think a couple of you are both right, in that Williams fills a hole that will allow Kopitar and Frolov play together again.

    Ultimately however, I think Williams was picked up to play with Brown (to be centered by Stoll). I also think they “are not done yet” because they want another gritty (true) #1 winger, to play with Kopitar and Frolov. [Insert Heatly]

    Regardless, I think we will see Frolov and Kopitar playing together tonight because they will now have depth with both Brown and Williams.

    [Purcell effectively replaced O'Sullivan and Williams should fill a hole - I'm amped!]

  • Quisp

    JDM –

    Well, as possibly the biggest Moller fan on earth not actually related to him, I also am upset by this healthy scratching. Murray has his point of view and he’s entitled to it; also, he’s incentivized (not a word, I know) to do whatever he can to make the playoffs. I have to believe that sitting Moller is about going with as much “experience” as possible; experience in quotes because obviously Harrold doesn’t have much more experience than Moller. Nevertheless, he’s rewarding Harrold at Moller’s expense. For now.

    I get rewarding Harrold. He’s been an asset for the Kings this year. And actually Moller and Harrold do one thing similarly: they are both willing to take a hit to make a play. Harrold, for one, kind of prides himself on it, the fact that he often gets crunched. He’s like a reverse Dustin Brown. And this is a good thing.

    But I also see Moller’s tenacity in much the same way. He’s not going to have a 20 year old’s body forever; but while he’s still a kid, he is nevertheless able (from what I’ve seen) to make the plays and get into the corners and into the crease. Sometimes he gets hit, sometimes he doesn’t. But I never got the sense it was throwing him off his game or costing us in terms of our overall game in any way.

    I’m willing to give Murray the benefit of the doubt on this one, though. Moller does need to be bigger. And Murray has shown a preference for big bodies over small ones, thus the presence of Westgarth, Ivanans, Gauthier, etc..

    Moller does like to hit, though. And he’s got a lot of guts. And he will only get bigger and stronger and faster. Maybe I’m being too impatient in wishing he were in the line-up every night. But I do have to fight the impulse to boycott games when he’s scratched.

  • PaulCat1969

    I love how everyone thinks that Moller is some offensive juggernaut that is going to sway the balance of the game. Don’t get me wrong, I like Moller a lot but he is completely undersized for this match-up and is as easily pushed off the puck as my 7 year old daughter would be. Harrold is not flashy but he is sound, very accurate with his breakout passes and less likely to turn the puck over. Moller needs his seasoning and this game is too important to let him play “just because”. With Williams in the line-up you are going to see a lot more goals from in deep and that is just not something Moller is able to do at this point.

  • Anonymous

    what is Williams’ contract anyways?

  • cristobal

    JDM,

    Harrold is an asset to his team.
    It’s this club and the poor player management that makes him appear to be a “fringe NHL’er.”
    I bet the same was being said of Stuart last season and he won a cup with a decent team.
    It’s not Harrold’s fault he’s been jerked around all season.

    cheers.

  • JDM

    Quisp,

    Perhaps I do give Harrold a little too much crap. I can agree that he has been an asset to the team… when he was on the 4th line. I think it’s Army syndrome, that seeing a player in a role to big for his skills gets my goat… pun intended.

    What bugs me the most about Harrold is how easily he is stick checked. For the most part, except against Nashville, Harrold is able to take physical abuse without it hurting the team, but lately I have been noticing, particularly when skating over the offensive blue line, that Harrold loses the puck very easily to a regular stick backcheck. All it takes is a tap and Harrold is still going forward, leaving the puck behidn him.

    About Moller, I agree that even when he does get hit, it doesn’t phase him much or lead to bad turnovers (as if there are good ones).

    PaulCat,

    Williams > Moller, definately. We aren’t upset Williams is in instead of Moller, we are upset Westgarth and Harrold are in over Moller. And no, he is not a juggernaught, but he does bring more offense to the table than Harrold, and I think, it just as sound of a player defensively.

    If Harrold was on the 4th line, I can see not putting Moller there. But when Harrold is playing with Fro and Stoll, I can’t help but be convinced that we will get more offense out of Fro and Stoll by playing them with Moller instead of Harrold.

  • variable

    cristobal…

    thanx…

    i just don’t get it…

    the only explanation i have at this point…and it drives me crazy and makes me upset and confused…is that frolov is just not in the kings future plans…and is not the type of player t.m./d.l. want to keep…

    soooo many of the kings players this year have made countless mistakes that have been much, much worse….rookies and vets alike…brown hasn’t been very good at all during the last week or two, despite of his gw last night…i’m sure mason is on his mind so their might be some legit reason there…

    but…enough is enough w/the frolov bashing and benching…

    he’s putting up very good numbers in spite of where they put him….for holy sakes, he had a seven game pt. streak going into last night playing primarily w/ peter freakin’ harrold…what the hell do they want….

    like i said before…

    look at all the big name snipers and goal scorers he’s currently ahead of in goals this season…
    a lot of those guys have been bandied and discussed in poss. trade/acquisitions for this team in the future…

    respect the fro….go kings go…!

  • variable

    i agree on the moller talk…

    size is his biggest issue….

    …and the fact he hasn’t played for the freakin’ flyers or sharks….

  • JDM

    cristobal,

    I see Harrold like an Armstrong. Brings a lot to the team, but is at the low low end of NHL skills. As a 4th liner I like Harrold. As a bottom pairing dman I think he can be helpful. However I am growing frustrated over his ample PP time, and am incensed that he is on the 2nd line. I’d prefer Calder there over Harrold.

    As for Stuart, speaking for myself, I loved Stuart all of last season and wish we had retained him. I was really hoping he’d resign with us in the offseason. He’s like Gauthier +.

    Regarding poor player management, some players haven’t been handled the best, but I don’t think Harrold is one of them. In fact, if Harrold hadn’t been juggled around and thrown in to a forward role, he would probably have seen MUCH less ice time this season. Since, as Quisp pointed out, TM prefers his size and toughness, especially on D, I could see how Harrold would have been scratched most games had he not been able to fill in at forward.

    Harrold IS an asset, in that he is very versatile and could become a good role player, especially if he brings something extra to the locker room. However, I don’t see Harrold doing much more than Moller or Richardson on the ice.

  • Ersberg

    Cristo-

    I like Harrold on the ice as long as Bobby Ryan isn’t on it. Other then that, yeah, I think you have it right, in that he’s been thrown all over the place. We can add him to that Fro and Sully list, except he’s on the plus side of TM and DL’s list.

    Stuart wasn’t King material. He’s a better Preissing. Bad here, good elsewhere. I guess that’s how some would rate Sully.

  • cristobal

    JDM,

    I kindly disagree that Harrold shouldn’t be on the PP.
    I feel he should be playing D every night (where he was mostly during our Jan win streak) and using his offensive skills to help get the puck to net.
    Moving up and back is difficult for any NHL (or at any level) player.
    There are certain instincts that a player builds up over years playing a position, and it has appeared obvious, at times, that he drifts back into a “defenseman” role while playing wing.

    I hope Williams can spark this team into a playoff berth.
    I think our young players need that experience desperately.

  • cristobal

    Bergie,

    I think that’s a bit harsh on Harrold (bobby ryan thing).
    Much like saying you don’t want O’Donnel on when a Sedin is on.
    But, I don’t think you’re out of line saying it.
    It has it’s bit of truth.

    cheers.

  • Chris Bond

    Wow so we see what we got tonight I hope Williams makes DL look GM of the year. Could you imagine if he comes out and just kicks ass…..Wow

  • Quisp

    Harrold is, in a way, like Dan Bylsma with more speed and skill and less brawn. He works his *ss off and is an example to all. He makes himself useful. Literally. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him starting in goal at some point.

  • stepa

    Harrold should be playing Defense , for San Jose or Boston or … we want CUP GO KINGS !!!

  • Bring Back the Shield Jersey

    With only a litle bit of sarcasm do I wonder why people are confused as to why TM keeps Harrold as a forward; if TM could, he would put out 5 d-men. And still be mad at Frolov.

  • Ersberg

    Cristo-

    That was more for laughs than anything. I give Harrold a lot of credit for what he’s payed, what he plays, and contributes. He’s not top 6/4 anything, but he’s been there.

    Every player gets burned at some point, even the top dogs.

  • JDM

    cristo,

    I’ve seen what you are talking about with Harrold reverting back to defenseman instincts while playing wing. In fact, I think this is a large reason Murray likes him at forward. But this goes again to that Harrold would serve the team better playing an energy/defensive role on the 4th line, or hell, even the 3rd with Zus and Wayne.

    Again, I’m more upset that he is on Fro’s wing than I am with Harrold’s play or comepte level. I’ll reitterate, it’s Armstrong syndrome. Love him in the role he is suited for, get aggrivated when he’s in a scoring role.

    The reason I don’t like Harrold on the PP is that he isn’t very good at getting shots through to the net. Again, it’s more that I’d prefer Johnson on the PP than it is hating Harrold on the PP.

    Before Johnson came back, I liked the Gauthier-Harrold pairing. In fact, Johnson has been such trash on defense lately, I’d prefer Johnson play the wing and Harrold take his spot on D. The more I watch JJ the more he looks like someone who should be playing forward. Hopefully he rounds out his game and stops taking terrible angles at the puck.

  • Ciccarelli

    OneTimer & Brianguy:

    At least I got centers right, right?

    I guess I didn’t “visualize” the lines correctly. :)

    Good thing I’m not coach. I’d be like that guy on NHL network…”there are no I’s in hockey. Period. There are periods in hockey…”

  • Anonymous

    Per TM, Williams needs to prove himself. 4th line for now, centering Ivanans and Westgarth.

  • dan

    Someone on the message board of which we will not mention, compared Harrold to Chartrand. I think he’s more like Jeff Guiliano. He plays twice his size and never quits. That’s why he’s getting the ice time he does.

    I respect and appreciate that, but that doesn’t mean I trust him to be the best choice on the first unit PP, or anytime in OT, or in the last minutes of a tied game. Sue me.

  • Quattro

    I am so sick of the whole “upper/lower body injury” thing. The NHL should force teams to reveal injuries just like the NFL does.

  • Duckhunter

    JDM, very nice observation on JJ looking more like a forward, than a defenseman. I’ve had that same exact thought.

  • LBlocal

    Really looking forward to watching Williams 1st game as a King tonight and hope he gets some quality minutes on a top-2 line. Drewiske is more than a competent replacement for Gautier. And, Harrold is getting knocked around more in this blog than on the ice.
    GO KINGS… CRASH THE NET WITH ILL WILL!

  • BakoCACondorsKingsFan

    Quisp–

    Do you work for Rassmussen or Zogby?

  • Whochuk Shuchuk

    Dan — I think Harrold would be offended by your comparison. Giuliano fell under a classic Woodenism, don’t mistake activity for achievement. I admired his heart but he was worthless on the ice.

    Harrold is better than that, I think he is very functional as the 6th D and on the PP.

  • Brett

    They called up Drewiske to play instead of moving Harrold back to D because Gauthier is a defensive D and Drewiske is a defensive D, while Harrold is an offensive D. It’s really very simple. If an injury occurs to Doughty, Johnson or Quincey (even mid-game, which is the nicest thing about such versatility), then Harrold will move back to D.

    With the way that I see it, Harrold isn’t exactly taking Moller’s spot at forward. You need to accept that, barring such injury to Doughty, Johnson or Quincey), Harrold will be played at forward, regardless. I see it as Westgarth taking Moller’s spot (because Murray wants that size). Without Westgarth in the lineup, Harrold could play on the 4th line and Moller could be re-injected into the top-9. So, it’s really Westgarth and Murray’s current fixation on size that is in Moller’s way.

    At this rate, the kid may just have to wait until next year, when some spots re-open. It makes me wonder, though, why they didn’t just send him back to the WHL. At least he’d be playing (and big minutes), not to mention in the WHL and AHL playoffs. It sure looks like Murray didn’t communicate to Lombardi that he’d just be scratching Moller for the rest of the season when management was deciding what to do with the kid last month.

  • Anonymous

    It will be nice when the “Harrold at forward” experiment ends in 12 game. For what he brings, I feel like I’m watching Brad Chartran part 2.

  • Eric K

    i don’t usually agree with Cristobal this much…

  • BakoCACondorsKingsFan

    You know, the funny thing is that Duckhunter and JDM are right–JMFJ should learn to be a forward next year… Flip back and forth, like Harrold.

    As soon as you said that, I found myself liking it in my mind’s eye… Wonder how often that happens?

  • http://www.viewfrommyseats.com Cheap Seats

    “Per TM, Williams needs to prove himself. 4th line for now, centering Ivanans and Westgarth.”

    You literally had me LOLing. Classic stuff.

  • dan

    Woochuck,

    I think both had a work ethic very similar to one another, and that’s all I was trying to say.

    Neither one of them have achieved anything in the NHL. While I may undervalue Harrold by the comparison to Giuliano, there is no way he should be on the PP.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t see at all why you guys are griping so much about Harrold as a forward. The fact of the matter is that with the forechecking style the Kings are playing, Harrold works very well as a forward, he’s the one staying high near the circles. He knows the spots to get to on the ice and is playing well positionally.

    We’re all excited about Oscar Moller, I love the guy too, I dig his firey play, his focus out there on the ice and his potential, but the hard truth of the matter is that Moller has been getting pushed around on the ice more than Harrold.

    Whatever playoff push the Kings can muster, Terry Murray has to call on the players who are best able to put the Kings in a position to win. It’s not about putting Moller on the ice to give him developmental time, not until the Kings are officially out of the playoff picture.

    Harrold has been doing a quietly solid job as a defensive forward, get used to it I say.

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