Kings coach Darryl Sutter stated the obvious Tuesday when he expressed concerned about the team’s lackluster play at left wing last season. Then he dropped a bit of a surprise on a gaggle of reporters when he said he would play left wing Dwight King on the Kings’ top line to start their regular-season opener Thursday at Minnesota.
“I thought Dwight King was arguably our best player in training camp, so he gets to play with Anze Kopitar, who’s our best player,” Sutter said of King, who spent most of last season on the third or fourth lines. “That’s what training camp is for. I know everyone outside follows the numbers and names, but it’s based on performance.
“Dwight King had our best training camp, so he gets to play with Kopitar. Matt Frattin we tried to move from right wing to the left. The only constant we had in training camp was Frattin, (Mike) Richards and (Jeff) Carter. … Clearly, that’s the situation. We gave guys a chance to play with (Jarret) Stoll and (Trevor) Lewis and they didn’t take it.”
King takes Dustin Brown’s spot on the top line. Brown, who had a hamstring injury that limited him to only one exhibition game during training camp, will shift to the third line. He’ll play with Stoll and Lewis against the Wild on Thursday.