Simmonds steps up


Who led the Kings in preseason goal scoring? Wayne Simmonds, with five, and as of last night, that was tied for the NHL lead as well. If I had to come up with a top three of most impressive players from the preseason games, it would probably be (in no particular order), Simmonds, Jack Johnson and Ryan Smyth.

It’s hard to know what, exactly, to make of this Kings third line. There’s Michal Handzus, a 20-goal threat; Alexander Frolov, the Kings’ leading goal scorer last season; and Simmonds, who scored only nine goals last season but would seem to have 20-goal potential. It’s not a stretch to think that line could be a 75-goal line for the Kings, although things would have to break perfectly for them.

On the other hand, that line’s first responsibility is on the defensive end, and Frolov and Simmonds, in particular, handled that responsibility well last season. It should be interesting to see how this line develops, particularly if the Purcell-Stoll-Brown line struggles to put goals on the board.

Here’s what Terry Murray said about Simmonds’ preseason/camp:

MURRAY: “Simmonds played, right through the camp, very well. He was one of our better players at the end of (last) year, and he seemed to come in with that same attitude and played well in all situations. One of our top goal scorers at the end of the training camp, and he’s going to be an important player for us.”

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