Just some thoughts on the first line (where have they gone?)

STONE

My goal is to stop yours
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Apr 27, 2001
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Kempe OCT: 4
NOV: 9
DEC: 6
JAN: 8
FEB: 9
MAR: 0

7.2 on AVG, then when March comes around it drops to 6 based on a big donut so far.

AI OCT: 7
NOV: 7
DEC: 5
JAN: 7
FEB: 1
MAR: 1

5.4 on AVG, then when March comes around it drops to 4.6 based on 1 point so far this month.


KOPI OCT: 13
NOV: 10
DEC: 5
JAN: 13
FEB: 9
MAR: 1

10 on AVG, then when March comes around it drops to 8.5 based on 1 point so far this month.

This line collectively went from 23 points per/mo and is on-pace for 19 (rounded)

The biggest area of concern is Kopi with a 1.5 drop in production. It seems that his lack of production has a huge effect on everyone around him, and their ability to produce too? He is clearly frustrated, and it showed yesterday.
There have been a few games now where he does not look like the Kopitar we all know. Botching open net shots, more than once. Honestly, a few of those passes were not great, however, Kopitar has been a master of skate to stick in not-so-ideal passing situations?

We need this line more than ever, right now. I sure hope they can find it for tomorrow. AI needs to reappear and get back on-pace for his career year, Kopi needs to reemerge and look like the dominant Kopi that racked up 2, 13 point months, and Kempe needs to fing shoot the puck more, like he was doing in February.

Oy....
 
Not concerned every third month Kopi comes up huge so expect a big April to finish the season. And he follows those months with solid performances too which bodes well for first round of playoffs.
 
Break up this line. It's getting so frustrating, they are pissing each other off. You can see it on Kopi's and Juice's faces.

And I don't think the undead Iafallo can see his reflection in a mirror any longer.

Put Kempe back with Danault and Moore. Try Lias and Arty with Kopi. And then have Iafallo play with Lizotte so he remembers how to play hungry.
 
This is not Kopi’s first cold streak. Him tossing the water bottle last night though was something I don’t remember seeing before. Not typically the heart on the sleeve type. I too expect he will break out and go on a streak.
 
Vilardi – Kopitar – Kempe
Moore – Danault – Frk
Iafallo – Byfield – Kupari
Grundstrom – Lizotte – Kaliyev
 
I thought this was relevant to this conversation, essential even. From the Insider:

"Todd McLellan used the word sluggish last night to describe his top line, indicating that they would get some rest upcoming. Kopitar has logged the fourth-most minutes in the league this season amongst forwards, leading the Kings, with Iafallo and Kempe second and third on the team in that statistic.

While McLellan has indicated that their production needs to improve, managing minutes and rest will be a key to doing that over the coming games, important games for the Kings."

“We want to win games and we’ve got to find ways to do it. I’m not opposed to not having Al, Kopi and Kempe together on a line, I’m not and maybe I should clarify that. I feel that the two best players that we’ve had together are 24 and 12 and they’re catalysts right now, so if we were going to do anything, we would split those two players up and try to get other players going. I also believe that the three that we’re talking about are elite players, they are put in a position, through their own ascension throughout the lineup of experience, earning the opportunity and all of that type of stuff, they’ve been very consistent for a long time. I believe they will come out of it, I believe they need something good for them to happen.”

It’s what you’re talking about, so let’s share Todd McLellan’s take here.

When asked about the possibility of splitting up his top line, McLellan gave an extended response, detailing not only how that move would impact the Kopitar line, but how it impacts other lines as well. The first part of his answer is above. The three aforementioned players are veterans and players who have had bundles of success both this season and in past seasons. Right now, it’s not going their way to the level that everyone knows it can. Thus the questions.

So, the million-dollar question here is, can you make adjustments for production that benefit the entire lineup, giving the Kings the best chance to win games. And that’s what it’s about right? It’s not, what are the production levels of our first line, it’s what is the production level of the LA Kings as a whole, including the first line. If McLellan feels that keeping that trio together gives those players the best chance of breaking out, and thus the team the best chance to win, that’s what he’s going to do. If he feels that keeping them together gives the other three lines the best chance at success, then he’s going to see if they can come through it together.
 
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I am not opposed to breaking up the first line as 9 and 11 have been unproductive/absent from the scoresheet the past 10 games or so. I have never been a fan of Iafallo and this season sealed it for me. Perhaps a change of scenery will do him some good. With 8 regulars out, you need to rely more on your 1st line and disappointingly their not getting it done.

Go Kings!!
 
The expectation going into this season was that Danault would allow Kopitar to play less minutes. That hasn't worked out as we expected, although Kopitar has probably played some easier minutes than in the past several seasons. The big issue has been the 3rd line, which has basically become the 4th line. Without production and strong play there, the burden comes back to the top 6. And without the PP getting goals, it puts added pressure on the top 6 to be out there hunting for goals rather than getting an extra break here and there. Kopitar is a workhorse, but he's also getting old. If they cant find ways to lesson the load, this is going to remain a problem.

In this case, it's not about one guy. It's about three guys playing more minutes than they should.
 
The big issue has been the 3rd line, which has basically become the 4th line. Without production and strong play there, the burden comes back to the top 6.

I was wondering if this quote was talking about Brown and his impact on trying to get that third line going:

"McLellan went on to talk about the line of Byfield, Vilardi and Kupari as being one that has seen those three players thrive when playing together. It’s different elements coming together and each is playing well on a line with each other. The second part of his answer to the question is below.

“There are situations you have to consider the situations with other players and where they have excelled or not excelled,” he said. “I call it the kid line right now, is balanced when it comes to stress, they’re all in the same ballpark, they don’t feel like they have to honor a veteran or anything like that and sometimes that’s really healthy. I’ve seen a lot of communication out of those guys that maybe wasn’t there before, they’re starting to talk and communicate, have faceoff plans, it’s a really good sign.”"
 
Iafallo looks dead in the water right now and needs some sort of motivation. Maybe for the time being switch him with Kupari.
 
Not only do these guys need to find their games again now, but should the Kings make the playoffs, they need to find yet another gear next month to adequately compete in the first round. I'd very much like to see that, but if they can't find it now, how will they find it come playoff time???
 
What I don't quite understand is that Danault and his line have been facing opponent's top 2 lines, but he and his linemates are still producing. Even when they're not, they're denying opponents and holding onto the puck. Kopitar is supposed to be "fresher", but he's been coasting. I wish he could just turn on a switch and play like he wants to "take over the game." Too much board play and deferring to linemates.
 
I was wondering if this quote was talking about Brown and his impact on trying to get that third line going:

"McLellan went on to talk about the line of Byfield, Vilardi and Kupari as being one that has seen those three players thrive when playing together. It?s different elements coming together and each is playing well on a line with each other. The second part of his answer to the question is below.

?There are situations you have to consider the situations with other players and where they have excelled or not excelled,? he said. ?I call it the kid line right now, is balanced when it comes to stress, they?re all in the same ballpark, they don?t feel like they have to honor a veteran or anything like that and sometimes that?s really healthy. I?ve seen a lot of communication out of those guys that maybe wasn?t there before, they?re starting to talk and communicate, have faceoff plans, it?s a really good sign.?"

it would be HUGE if that line can get going, and I hope this opportunity is one they all take advantage of. Given the different comments McClellan has made seemingly about specific players, while keeping things vague, i have to agree with you're sentiment that perhaps Brown was having an impact, both positive and negative on the development. And im not talking about simply the play on the ice.
 
Cheaper than gasoline

...and if it's not organic, smells like gasoline. Allegedly.[My hard-partying friends laugh when I say this but cocaine is, um, ...not the direction i want to go. ick.]
 
...and if it's not organic, smells like gasoline. Allegedly.[My hard-partying friends laugh when I say this but cocaine is, um, ...not the direction i want to go. ick.]
Snorting?? No, I was just smelling​ it. I swear!!
 
Snorting?? No, I was just smelling​ it. I swear!!

giphy.gif
 
it would be HUGE if that line can get going, and I hope this opportunity is one they all take advantage of. Given the different comments McClellan has made seemingly about specific players, while keeping things vague, i have to agree with you're sentiment that perhaps Brown was having an impact, both positive and negative on the development. And im not talking about simply the play on the ice.

I read it more along the lines that without a vet on the line (Brown or Iafallo) Byfield now slides into more of a leadership position and has taken big steps forward towards taking charge. Likewise, both Kupari and Vilardi held more of a leadership role in the AHL which was good for them, and has carried forward to their return to the NHL lineup. None of the three need to defer to a vet which has made the line for collaborative.

I don't think it's a comment on the vet per say, but more so towards players the organization potentially envisions in future leadership roles with the Kings now having a chance to build those skills.
 
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