Random Non-Binding August Line-up Musing

Frolov/Kopitar/Williams

Smyth/Stoll/Purcell

?/Moller/Brown

Lewis/Handzus/Simmonds

(press box: Harrold/Zeiler)

Scuderi/Doughty

Johnson/Greene

Hickey/SOD

Drewiske

Bernier/Quick

 
  • wavesinair

    hmm, where do you put Ivanans? He played 76 games so I figure he’s gonna be in the line up almost every night yet again. Or will we move him and keep Westgarth. Either way, an enforcer is likely to be in almost every game.

  • qwisp

    I put him nowhere, which I can do because it’s a random non-binding musing. If you prefer, you can remove Zeiler from the press-box and add Westgarth or someone else we sign between now and then. I hope that TM and DL recognize that the Ivanans experiment has been unsuccessful so we can just move on.

  • wavesinair

    I prefer to put him in goal.

  • qwisp

    At least that would cut down on his obstruction penalties.

    Looking at the line-up possibilities, I really don’t see a way to have a useless fourth line of Ivanans/Zeiler/Westgarth whoever, the six minutes a night guys, without depriving us of the presence of Moller, Purcell, Lewis, and whatever other talented kids one likes. In other words, if you DON’T make the Handzus/Simmonds line your fourth line and give them real minutes (which you would have to do because Handzus takes face-offs and they would get lots of time against the other team’s first two units), then the fourth line is just a write-off, like it was last season.

    And I’m certainly not going to sit around in August imagining a line-up which de facto has only three lines and from which my favorite players are absent.

    But I think the arrival of Smyth changes things. I hope it means Brown will land on the third line. Otherwise you’ve got Smyth/Stoll/Brown and Purcell, Moller and Lewis fighting it out for third line off-wing time opposite Handzus/Simmonds. For my money, Purcell is the guy for the RW on line two. Some play-making to go with Stoll’s shot and Smyth’s blue-paint-itude.

    Purcell on the second line means Brown on the third. Which means Simmonds on the fourth. Which means x/Handzus/Simmonds is the fourth line. And x/Moller/Brown is the third line. Lewis is the natural choice for either of those two x’s. If Cliche is finally ready, he could play with Handzus/Simmonds and Lewis can play with Moller/Brown. If Cliche is not ready, Lewis could play with Handzus/Simmonds. The ideal situation would be four a LW power forward to be ready to take that third line LW spot (i.e. King, Wudrick, Clifford). Then you’d have crafty Moller between two trees, Brown and whoever. Another option, which I hesitate to mention because it makes me giggle, is Mikus on the wing with Moller and Brown. if MEEKOOSH can rack up points feeding Palffy, he might be a good fit for Oscar’s other wing. But who knows if Mikus is ready or will ever be ready. If he is, that would be great, because then we’d have three legitimate scoring lines and one shut-down line. If Mikus doesn’t suck, that would be ideal.

    Frolov/Kopitar/Williams
    Smyth/Stoll/Purcell
    Mikus/Moller/Brown
    Lewis/Handzus/Simmonds
    (spare parts: Zeiler and Harrold)

    There are obviously a number of question marks there (Williams? Boom or bust…; Purcell, ready? Mikus, more than a funny name?) but if things break the right way, that’s a pretty powerful line-up.

  • jdmmmm

    I like em. Hadn’t really thought of Moller/Brown as the third line, but it works for me.

    Only thing I disagree with really is pairing Johnson and Greene, just because they were so awful together last season. Perhaps they can learn to read eachother better, as time always helps chemistry, but they just never seemed to be able to click, even though their respective styles seem to make them a good pairing.

  • qwisp

    Re Johnson and Greene –

    I agree. The problem is that Scuderi, Johnson, SOD, Hickey and Harrold are all left shots. Greene and Doughty are rights shots. Unless you’re willing to go with Johnson/Doughty as a #1 pairing (which might be great in a couple of years, but strikes me as a little vulnerable right now), you’re stuck with Johnson/Greene. Also, Johnson/Doughty forces you into Scuderi/Greene, which is a good shut-down pair, but I keep thinking you want to spread out those two guys. I guess you could go with Hickey/Greene and Johnson/SOD, but that doesn’t seem like it solves anything.

    The ideal is to have Johnson, Doughty and Hickey (Voynov, whoever) each on separate pairings, so that each pair will be able to add to the offense. I’m sure we’ll see Scuderi/Greene or other shut-down type pairings for PK, though.

    The real solution is for JJ to be healthy and older and wiser and better. Which I have no doubt he will be.

  • wavesinair

    very interesting.

  • qwisp

    I’m still waiting for someone to notice that I have Bernier and Quick as a tandem here.

  • jdmmmm

    Personally I would go with Johnson/SOD and Drewiske/Greene. And start Hickey off in Manchester. I think Johnson needs to spend half the season learning the same lessons Doughty got. I saw a noticeable difference in Johnson when he was paired with SOD at the end of the season compared to everyone else. But you make good points and I’ll admit I tend not to take right shot/left shot into consideration, though you are right that it is important.

    Nice on Bernier/Quick. Again, I’ll say the season ends that way, but that Erbserg starts the season and gets in 25-30 games.

  • qwisp

    Again, this is all random and non-binding. I can’t even tell you if I was making a roster of what I think will happen, what I wish will happen, or what. I agree that it’s unlikely Ersberg won’t be on the roster opening night. I really don’t know what they’ll do if Bernier has a stellar camp. They could move Ersberg quickly, I guess. As far as the defense, you’re suggesting

    Scuderi/Doughty
    Drewiske/Greene
    Johnson/SOD

    Who’s your #7? Harrold? Player to be named later? Hickey in Manchester is probably where the safe money is…however, Hickey has a lot of personal drive, and I think — from interviews I’ve seen — he sees his opening, vis-a-vis the power-play situation. That said, if he is sent down to Manchester, I don’t think that will be a problem for him at all. He’s not a pouter. He will go down and tear up the AHL, where he did a point a game during his short stay last season.

    Then, if the Kings power-play is less than adequate, I would expect to see Hickey called up. I won’t be disappointed if Hickey doesn’t make the team out of camp, but I will start to be disappointed every day after January 1 that he’s not with the big club.

  • jdmmmm

    In my fantasy world Harrold has been traded for a picture of Handzus’ old hair to hang in the locker room.

    But probably Harrold, though ideally Dean makes good and does another SOD type move before training camp to fill the #7 spot. I’ve heard Columbus needs a puck mover, and they are very deep at LW. I would love to try and add a pick to Harrold and trade for Chimera. But that’s probably more fantasy.

    I agree with you that by mid-season Hickey should be playing some games with the Kings, and depending on how the playoff race is going (playoffs look good, let Hickey lead Manchester… playoffs look bad, let Hickey develop with the Kings), he should be playing full time for 15-20 by February/March.

    Forget about everything else, I like the idea of Hickey leading again at the enxt level. He led at the junior level, let him lead at the pro level as a seqway to leading at the NHL level. I have high expectations for Hickey, not just as a PP specialist… which is what I fear he might end up being if he makes the big club out of camp.

  • Pingback: site