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Thread: ***New York Rangers vs. LA Kings GDT 11/22/22 7:30pm on BSW***

  1. #131
    Team LGK DryKing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Statue4Deano View Post
    I'm not sure it's leadership that's missing as much as structure. The times they get in trouble are when they start chasing the play especially in their own zone. That's a symptom of a being out of position, making the wrong read/play, lack of options. That's not a leadership problem. That's a breakdown of fundamentals usually caused by pressure. That's the lack of a safety valve to release the pressure. Those safety valves used to be Doughty and Kopitar (by virtue of minutes played per game) but now those valves aren't capable of releasing as much pressure as years past so it's building up and causing failures at other pressure points.

    All these problems, to me, don't scream lack of leadership. They scream lack of personnel. If Blake wants this team to contend this year he needs to make a couple moves. And if he doesn't this squad is talented enough to still make the playoffs but another 1st round exit is probably in the cards.
    Great post and I agree with you with the exception of leadership. Leadership comes in the form of holding fellow players accountable to stick to the game plan and determined structure. Todd has made comments this season around having a gameplan but then the players going off and playing a different style that what was prescribed. Leadership is also leading by example, doing the little things like making a smart move and getting the puck deep, not over committing and getting lost deep in the zone and out of position, standing up for fellow players when they get hacked on the back of the leg after the whistle, things like that. Leadership also acts as the calming influence when a bad goal goes in, rookie makes a mistake and gets beat, or the game is close and on the line. I want to see a lot more on the bench coaching from the leaders to the rookies, leaders being more vocal (in a professional way - not just chirping or yelling) with the refs when the blow the whistle early, etc. So to me, all the things you mention really do come down to leadership.


    Quote Originally Posted by Statue4Deano View Post
    I look at the play of the 2nd and 3rd d-pairings and lines 1 & 4 as significant failure points. There just aren't enough smart decisions and plays being made with those units 5 on 5 to get this team over the hump. The D units are not getting enough good shifts from Roy, Durzi and Walker/whoever is paired with Edler. Edler is actually having a fantastic season from the standpoint of being that calming presence or safety valve. He's playing his role effectively but he's old as hell and it's easy to get him overexposed. Especially with the subpar partners he's been asked to babysit. To me, the makeup of the blueline is still a huge concern. It seems the plan was to go into the season and assess how everyone develops but we're seeing regression. Blake has to decide if he wants to keep either Durzi or Roy. You can't play them both. I lean Durzi because of upside but whatever the decision is has to come soon. Also since Blake decided to force Clarke onto the roster, you're going to see that 3rd pairing get eaten alive most nights. The key will be finding better matchups especially later in the game as Edler's tank runs dry. So trade either Druzi or Roy for a reliable left shot D who makes smart plays 5 on 5 and you'll immediately see improvement on the ice in regards to team structure/defense.
    Totally agree. The additional problem is, when we bring Clarke back will we continue to give him 8-10 minutes a night? The only problem is that we need to keep Doughty to 22 minutes or less and shorten his shifts as he visibly gasses out on the ice from time to time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Statue4Deano View Post
    About the 1st and 4th line. Kopitar and Kempe have been playing ineffective hockey for most of the season. These two need to be separated. Kopitar should not be playing anything remotely near 20 minutes per night and he shouldn't be asked to carry an offensive line 5 on 5. The faster the team can transition away from this the faster they become a real contender. And this is why the development of Byfield is so important. He is the heir to Kopitar's throne, not Danault. Danault is doing great things on his line but if he's the #1 Center on your team you very likely aren't winning a Cup. The Kings need a 1-2 punch up the middle and right now they've only got the 2. The team needs Kopitar to move into that Michal Handzus role. A big body who clogs up the middle of the ice in his own zone, defensively responsible, pain in the ass for your opponents top offensive lines because he makes them work for every inch of ice. A vitally important role for any playoff contender but Kopitar can't evolve into that role until there's another pivot on the team who can take the offensive weight off his shoulders. So again we're dealing with players being miscast. Maybe getting Iafallo back on his line will help jump start Kempe but we've always known Adrian is streaky.
    Agreed though Kopitar still has a bit too much left in the tank to move to the Handzus role but this will have to happen if the Kings are going to at some point truly contend for the Cup. Byfield's window to supersede Kopitar is two seasons and the timing appears to work should he be able to do so. I also agree that Kempe and Kopitar should be broken up, though Kempe fits well with Fiala and helps makes up for his defensive lapses. Fiala really looks like a superstar in the making, though - if we can get Byfield up to speed sooner rather than later he could really take off.

    Quote Originally Posted by Statue4Deano View Post
    And lastly is the 4th line. It's a straight up disaster 5 on 5. This unit gets worked every single game. They don't always get scored on but they give up Grade A chance in prime scoring areas on a regular basis. A lot of that comes down the play of Lizotte. He can't play defense in the NHL. Probably won't ever be all that effective in his end because he's small, relatively weak and he doesn't have the hockey IQ required to be an effective defender. Is he a worthless player, not at all. I think he's a great tool for the right team. The Kings as they are built today are not that team.
    Agreed and really hard to understand why we continue to play Lizotte at center when we have a better option in JAD. I know many on here are impressed with Grundstrom and I get it since he offers physical play which we dearly need, but I really think we need to upgrade this position in order to help drive future success. Lemiuex is great for scrapping and pestering the opponents so I accept his lapses to a larger degree, but we need him to show some of the offensive prowess he displayed for short periods last season and ensure he stays in position on defense.

  2. #132
    MVP Ice24's Avatar
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    Up 2-0 go into the 1-3-1 trap.

  3. #133
    All Star Sevenhole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurisu View Post
    What's especially weird about Cal sucking is that we had like a decade of exemplary back-up goaltending. I can't even remember the list. Scrivens, Enroth, Jones, Campbell, Bishop, Kuemper, Budaj.

    Not to mention the Bernier vs Quick competition.

    All of them were serviceable and well coached. Then suddenly, at the twilight of Quickies tenure, we mysteriously went all in on Cal, and he looks perpetually like he's staring at the headlights of an oncoming semi.
    But have any of the above you mention gone on to be solid no1 goaltenders… no. They have all jumped around looking for the right opportunity. Have they some limited one season success.. yes in some cases. It just shows how rarefied Quick is and how we have grown accustomed to his level of greatness and frankly cannot fathom anyone taking his place. Btw Cal ain’t it either. That great pool dried up like many do, good goaltenders frankly come out of nowhere and are not typically developed out of a system.
    Last edited by Sevenhole; November 24th, 2022 at 12:54 AM.

  4. #134
    O Captain, My Captain! Kurisu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sevenhole View Post
    But have any of the above you mention gone on to be solid no1 goaltenders… no. They have all jumped around looking for the right opportunity. Have they some limited one season success.. yes in some cases. It just shows how rarefied Quick is and how we have grown accustomed to his level of greatness and frankly cannot fathom anyone taking his place. Btw Cal ain’t it either. That great pool dried up like many do, good goaltenders frankly come out of nowhere and are not typically developed out of a system.
    This is a great point. And it's important to consider in the broader conversation for how mysterious and generational goaltenders are. In the history of the Kings there's really been two, Rogie and Quick.

    All those others I mentioned were mostly good because of our smothering system. Which is the legacy that made Quick headline news. Cal is trying to take over the mantle when we've lost our identity as a defense first team and we're having second periods running and gunning with the likes of the Rangers.

    The inconsistency on this team is the inability to decide whether we're going to try to match their skating or clog them up. The frustrating part is that we're so close to both, but not yet great at either, that it's maddening.

  5. #135
    Team LGK DryKing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sevenhole View Post
    But have any of the above you mention gone on to be solid no1 goaltenders… no. They have all jumped around looking for the right opportunity. Have they some limited one season success.. yes in some cases. It just shows how rarefied Quick is and how we have grown accustomed to his level of greatness and frankly cannot fathom anyone taking his place. Btw Cal ain’t it either. That great pool dried up like many do, good goaltenders frankly come out of nowhere and are not typically developed out of a system.
    Jones, Campbell, Bernier, Legace, Huet, all Kuemper all went on to be solid starters elsewhere for more than a season and Campbell is on his way... I'll agree with your point that none of them were a Quick caliber goalie (or Vachon) but the point is valid that we have had solid backups over the years.

  6. #136
    1st Scoring Line Illegal_Stick's Avatar
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    I feel bad for Cal, I always want to come on and defend him, especially when he made some great saves in that game, but the GWG wasn't just stoppable, it was at such a critical time, the team just got life again and he let all the air out.

    He was thought to be a great prospect and remember like two years ago, Lehner called him one of the best goalies in the league (it seemed odd at the time) So I'm not with the "we've had way better backups" crowd necessarily. Jones - yes, but his timing was just bad, we had our number one. Petersen may fall into the Garon category of a backup who looks like he can be a great #1 , but can never quite do it. Those of you longing for Bernier can have him because he always seemed the same to me.

    It seems like Blake has meticulously built a good system here, with some major pieces still out to the jury - Byfield, Turcotte, even Kaliyev - but I believe in what he's done. Still, if there is one glaring mistake it's not trusting Cal, but giving him a deal that wouldn't have made sense even if he was playing great right now. It just seems like it could've been done cheaper and he should've done more to earn it because we are in a hell of a spot now with him now. No one's taking that contract and we don't have the cap space to do anything. I know there's always a way, but unless he gets lucky like DL and literally finds an elite goalie in the system, this year could be over.

  7. #137
    O Captain, My Captain! Kurisu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Illegal_Stick View Post
    I feel bad for Cal, I always want to come on and defend him, especially when he made some great saves in that game, but the GWG wasn't just stoppable, it was at such a critical time, the team just got life again and he let all the air out.
    I wish I had a screen grab of the close up on his face as they zoomed in on him after that goal. You could see the weight of the entire building and team in his eyes. No wonder goaltending is such dark magic.

  8. #138
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurisu View Post
    I wish I had a screen grab of the close up on his face as they zoomed in on him after that goal. You could see the weight of the entire building and team in his eyes. No wonder goaltending is such dark magic.
    It is and while Brodeur may have been the exception, the truly elite tend to have something in common... they're pricks. Cal is always called the nicest guy etc, Kelly was too. Not saying you have to be that way, but it seems to help. I didn't see Cal's face, but his body said it - just absolutely deflated. I'm a goalie, maybe it's why I feel for him so much - and hey, I'm going to use my theory and say I never made the NHL because I'm too damn nice.

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