Team USA update

Team USA will play its final game in the qualifying round in just a few minutes, against Switzerland. The Americans have already qualified for the quarterfinals but can improve their standing with a victory.

In weekend games, Team USA beat France 6-2 on Friday but lost to Russia 4-1 on Saturday. The Kings’ contingent was held scoreless against Russia, but against France, Jack Johnson had a goal and Dustin Brown had an assist. Johnson is now tied for the team lead with four goals and is second on the team with six points. Brown is second on the team with five assists.

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  • AK47

    Rich,

    Do you think DL is watching all of USA’s IIHF games, and more precisely the way Jack Johnson is performing? Since he missed a big part of the season, does DL think that the IIHF is somewhat of a replacement for all those games missed due to injury.. The way he plays might dictate how much money he gets paid with the new contract..

    Or maybe all of this is irrelevant and DL doesn’t really care about how Jack’s playing? For all we know, he’s probably scouting and deciding what to do with his 5th overall pick..

    Either way Jack deserves to stay and a King and earn a new 6 year, 2.5 million dollar contract

  • Mark S.

    The Quarterfinal games will be televised on Universal Sports (not Universal HD network) starting Wednesday 5/06, btw.

    Maybe Jack Johnson should be moved up to a forward position. He’s got to be better statistically than, say Peter Harold. Any defensive shortcomings he may have won’t be as much of an issue, and actually, it may even be a better fit for him since he is so offensive-minded.

    Oh, and lastly, why can’t the Kings get defensemen like Tim Gleason or Joe Corvo???? They look great playing with the ‘Canes!

    Go Blackhawks!

  • Adam

    Mark S.

    Funny thing, and some one correct me if I’m wrong, the Kings had Gleason and traded him to the Canes for JMFJ.

  • TB

    Mark S….

    It makes no sense putting JJ up front with the forwards. He has spent his entire career developing his game as a defenceman and he is not in any way meant to be a forward. He has very few ‘shortcomings’ and his true potential has yet to be seen in the NHL with his untimely injury last season. He will never play forward, and shouldn’t by my opinion. BTW he is far better than both Corvo and Gleason.

    Corvo and Gleason were both former kings (not sure if you were aware)…Gleason was part of the deal that brought JJ to the Kings and Corvo left via free agency. Granted, they are great defencemen, but we have no need for them at this time. We have so many young defensive prospects that are going to be competing for a roster spot come training camp, that adding vets to the blue line at this time is not a priority. Also, with our need for scoring help up front, using the available cap space on any veteran defenceman would not a prudent move.

  • 4thlinechecker

    Adam,
    That is the irony…..We had Gleason and Corvo at one time….. Gleason has been a stud, but I still think Jack has more upside then the both of them, but he has not developed yet…… He will soon enough, DMen take time.

  • Quisp

    Gleason is great. The Gleason for Smolinski trade was one of Taylor’s good ones. Corvo, I can live without. Meanwhile, in Edmonton, did you guys see they’re dreaming Kings trades?

    http://kwisp.wordpress.com/2009/05/03/edmonton-journal-brain-farts-a-hemsky-for-dustin-brown-and-matt-greene-trade-har-de-har-har/

  • Quisp
  • Mark S.

    Yes, I did know about Gleason and Corvo. I was trying to be sarcastic… However, I have always liked Gleason’s game as he’s steady and can dish it out and he’s becoming more of a leader on defense.

    As far as JJ is concerned, I was only half-kidding. He’d be much better than Peter Harrold if push came to shove as a forward, I’m sure. And if the Kings or any other team that gave him an ultimatum, play in the NHL as a forward or don’t play at all, I think he would choose to play forward. Not saying it’s going to happen, but look at players like Harold, or Brian Boyle, Steve McKenna, or Scott Young or even Sergei Fedorov, etc. and it’s just a case of play where the coach tells you to or don’t play at all.

    Jack Johnson, I feel, does have defensive shortcomings. Has all the tools and he’s still relatively young, but I think he lacks discipline and some of his decision making could be better. He jumps into the play a lot, sometimes leaving his defensive partner shorthanded, and other times he’ll go for the hit when he might be better served to lay back a bit. I see him out of position a lot as well, and he’ll also be guilty of an occaisional bad penalty and I’ve seen a few more bad turnovers/giveaways than I’d like to.

    I’m not saying he’s not good. I’m saying he is still a little raw and needs to concentrate on giving more substance to his game rather than more flash. He was used to playing a little loose and carefree back at Michigan and with Team USA, but I don’t feel he can get away with that kind of play in the pros.

    He’ll be a fine defenseman once he focuses on his game more…

  • anonandonanon

    As long as most Kings fans have decided that a free pass is in order for injured players coming back at the end of a season I continued to wonder why JJ was suddenly a tradeable greedy wastrel?

    Let’s not off Jack for magic beans and a late second rounder. I sure don’t like the trend of shipping good players just before their prime because of a “budget”. Penny wise and pound foolish.

  • -J

    The US can’t improve their standing any with a win since all that will do is put them in a tie for second with sweden, who wins the tie breaker. A loss, though, drops them to fourth.

    The U.S. should not be having as much trouble with SUI as they are. The goaltending has got to step it up.

  • darko25o

    another sub 85% outting for Esche, another OT loss. I hope Backes will be able to play against Finland, he completely destroyed them last year, but received a game miisconduct in the first period against the Swiss….
    Is it just me, or does team USA seem to lose every close game they’ve been in for the past 3 years…

  • khanon81

    Why isn’t J-Quick playing for US???

    I think DL is a great GM but why the hell did he trade a 2nd round pick for Richardson?? He could have packaged that pick along with JJ and Frolov for a really good player, maybe for Rick Nash??

  • anthonyy

    If Team USA loses in the finals, it will be because of their goalie.
    Robert Esche cannot make any big saves.
    BTW, the USA – Finland game is goona be a blood bath.
    Those to teams really hate each other.

  • khanon81

    Anthony,

    You mean “two.”

  • anthonyy

    Thank You

  • darko25o

    …but whats the word on Backes, is he going to be suspended? He singlehandedly spilled soooo much Finnish blood the last time.
    …I wish Esche were supsended….

  • 4thlinechecker

    Anthonyy,
    He is just trying to goat you into an argument…… ignore him.

  • JDM

    Its a shame that the 2008 2nd round pick could have been the difference maker in acquiring a superstar like Nash. I guess DL really screwed the pooch on that one!

    Maybe we can trade Heidi Androl for Nash. That’s definately an “attractive” offer eh?

    Sorry everyone, I couldn’t help myself.

  • 4thlinechecker

    That video of the slovakian defenceman slashing his own goalie in the head is nuts! I’ve heard of people chirpin their own goalie, but thats insane, you cant do that……. kinda funny tho, I can only imagine the brawl in the locker room after that game, you know someone will stick up for him if he doesnt do it himself.

  • 28 KINGS

    khanon81 said:

    Why isn’t J-Quick playing for US???

    I think DL is a great GM but why the hell did he trade a 2nd round pick for Richardson?? He could have packaged that pick along with JJ and Frolov for a really good player, maybe for Rick Nash??

    Yep, Lombardi blew it by trading the 61st pick in the 2008 draft. If only he would have waited a year, that pick could have been the difference maker in getting a guy like Nash.

    /sarcasm

  • AK47

    You guys wanna talk about ex-kings, let’s talk about david steckel, those are the types of guys you need on a team, and as much as i don’t agree with him being a first round pick, he’s one of the reasons for washington’s success in the playoffs

  • JDM

    I used to have high hopes for Boyle, but now I just hope he can atleast be for us what Steckel is for the Caps.

    Seems like a fit right? Former first round pick, considered mostly a bust his first few seasons, but now is a strong contributor even if he isn’t the scorer he was originally pegged to become.

    You look at Steckel and understand why management and coaching are so insistent on Boyle learning to play with some grit.

  • jet

    Don’t forget that DL signed Jones last summer, which ended up being equivalent to a 61st pick.

    Steckel took a long time to develop and the Caps had a lot of holes during that development period.

    Boyle will develop. It seems the college boys take a couple of extra years to come along.

  • JDM

    I hope Bettman just had a heart attack from the excitement he must have just felt from Crosby AND Ovechking getting hat tricks in the same game.

    Amazing.

    But he’s probably still pissed that the Pens are down 0-2.

    GO CAPS!

  • khanon81

    28 Kings,

    “Yep, Lombardi blew it by trading the 61st pick in the 2008 draft. If only he would have waited a year, that pick could have been the difference maker in getting a guy like Nash.”

    I didn’t say DL blew it by trading away the pick, I just think it would be nice to have just in case…

    Steckel is a decent player, but we have stoll and Handzus to fill that roll. Thats why DL needs to trade Handzus out of here- Can’t stand having two third line centers.

  • kingsince67

    J…I am always injured…J, wait for him to develope, he is going to be a stud, it was a good trade and Gleason is not really better, it is just an illusion from TV…yea thats it, him and Joe Corvo are not really in the playoffs and 2 of the top 4 for Carolina in the SECOND ROUND.
    Hey let’s let JMFJ play against less than NHL talent overall and see him dominate. Boy do I look good against teams made up of a few NHL regulars, a cast of AHL/ECHL possible prospects and who knows what other cast offs.
    Amazing so many of you are willing to give this guy a free pass and DL is held to the fire for the JW deal. There is not the same patience for a guy that comes in and works his butt off to get into shape to try to show the Kings fans he is worth it. At least he shoed me something in those last few games. Apples for apples folks, at least JW did not ask for anything other than to let him get into shape. JMFJ is the guy that DEMANED to play the last 10 games to get to free agency sooner. That is selfish if you are a team guy, maybe good business for JMFJ, but the kind of thing that gets you…dare I say traded. Unless this guy accepts a discount for being so injured I say let this selfish, excuse for a d-man go if he wants the huge payday. EARN YOUR KEEP JACK AND SHOW ME SOMETHING WHEN IT MEANS THE MOST TO ME….81 + at least 16 = Something worth paying you for….

  • JDM

    kingsince67,

    I get your frustration with JJ but I don’t recall him “DEMANDING” to play those 10 games. Unless I’m remembering incorrectly.

    All the info I read pointed to DL trying to get him some pro experience going into his first full season, knowing we’d be thin on D last year. Did you read something different than that or are you just assuming?

  • 28 KINGS

    “I didn’t say DL blew it by trading away the pick, I just think it would be nice to have just in case… ”

    In case of what? You mean we could use a 2008 draft pick in the 2009 draft?

  • Chris Bond

    ***PLUG RICH***
    I just got a email from the Kings for a survey, and it ask all kinds of questions. One was about improvements one the web site. You can type in what you think the site needs. With that said and us all knowing that the paper Rich works for is not exactly kicking butt lets get Rich a offer from the Kings to run the blog for the web site. I know I would go there a lot more if Rich was the Blogger. So lets show some love!!!!

  • Chris Bond

    if you need help cmbond007@msn.com

  • jet

    Chris – great idea
    This is one survey where they actually listen. They had a pop up survey about 18 months ago. I wrote a thesis on how to build a loyal fan base by providing continuous information on prospects/draftees. I am sure many fans suggested the same thing, likely many from here. They listened to us and we all won. There are great updates now.

    One thought, Rich needs to maintain his independence to be effective. As I say that I believe Cooke use to pay for a reporter to go one the road to ensure Kings coverage in the local paper. I believe it was the Times as the Herald only seemed to have a full story on home games, even though the guy at the Herald was one of the great hockey writers. Maybe Rich could go on the road?

  • Bring Back the Shield Jersey

    I wonder how the conversations are going over there in Switzerland between (current teammates) Frolov & Kovalchuk. They’ve got to know of the whispers that they might (however remotely) be traded for each other.

  • khanon81

    I wouldn’t mind Kovalchuk in a King jersey. Yeah, he’s European, but at least he’ll drop the gloves twice a year. Bring him, sign Clowe, and get Hartnell. Thats a team right there!

  • AK47

    Bring Back the Shield Jersey,

    Same goes for Doughty & Heatley.. JUST KIDDING.. I wouldn’t trade Doughty for Crosby, Ovechkin and Kovalchuk put together..

    But I see where you’re coming from on the whole awkwardness between Kovalchuk and Frolov and how they might get traded for one another..

    And Brian Boyle just might be the next David Steckel, it’s not saying much but it’s still being able to contribute to a team.. Boyle will never be better than a 3rd or 4th line center in the NHL, and that’s exactly why TM and co. want him to get more physical

  • khanon81

    AK47,

    “I wouldn’t trade Doughty for Crosby, Ovechkin and Kovalchuk put together..”

    Are you crazy?? I wouldn’t think twice about trading DD for crosby or ovechkin. I’m wouldn’t trade him for Kovi though. Have you been watching the playoffs?? Both of those guys scoring hatricks, averaging a goal a game in the playoffs is unheard of. I might have room for you in my classroom, let me know if you have time AK.

  • josh e.

    i would trade doughty for kovalchuk immediately assuming kovalchuk was signed for longer…

  • AK47

    khanon,

    I’m cool here, studying at the University of Ottawa and as a matter of fact, we might have room for you here too..

    All I’m saying is Doughty is a dime a dozen. He’s going to be an incredible defenseman one day and what do they always say “defense wins championships, offense wins games”. Doughty, in my opinion, is the next best thing and I can see him getting multiple Norris trophies (knock on wood)..

    I was somewhat exaggerating when I said I wouldn’t trade Doughty for Kovalchuk, Crosby and Ovechkin but it was just to make a point that Doughty is one of those guys that you’d never want to let go of, like a Lidstrom or a Ray Bourque

    josh..

    I don’t know about that.. Kovalchuk for Doughty? I’d expect something else from Atlanta, say Zach Bogosian or Kari Lethonen AND Kovalchuk for Doughty

    That’s how highly I think of Drew Doughty

  • mrbrett7

    And there it is…I’m guessing Khanon is about 18 or so…I think you should stick to those games in Quebec with teams full of guys like Link Gaetz…a little more your speed.

  • nykingfan

    I wouldn’t trade Doughty period.

    Look at how long it’s been since we developed a young defenseman like Doughty?
    Whenever I hear trade rumors around the league, it usually involves superstar forwards….Think about something:
    How often are superstar defensemen ever offered around the league or mentioned in rumors?
    There’as a reason for that.

  • Rich Hammond

    Khanon…this is the first, and last, request for more adult comments. Thank you.

  • deadcatbounce

    Thank you, Rich! Keep up the great work!

  • Christi

    Chris, is the survey online? Or how can I put in my input?

    Speaking of the Worlds, the US is about to play Finalnd (the team that knocked the US out of the past two World Championships:/) But this is our year, I feel it! I found this you tube video of highlights from last year’s bloody mess…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kun06OAbnxc&feature=channel_page

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