You’re all a bunch of Jeremy Roenicks

Well, not all. Just the ones who didn’t play during the lock-out.

Played during lock-out: Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown, Trevor Lewis, Kyle Clifford, Jordan Nolan, Dwight King, Alec Martinez, Slava Voynov, Jake Muzzin, Jonathan Bernier.

Didn’t play: Dustin Penner, Justin Williams, Jeff Carter, Simon Gagne, Mike Richards, Jarret Stoll, Colin Fraser, Drew Doughty, Rob Scuderi, Willie Mitchell, Matt Greene, Davis Drewiske, Brad Richardson, Jonathan Quick.

The players on the first list have mostly been good. The players on the second list have mostly been bad. The players on the first list are mostly the younger ones. The players on the second list are mostly the older ones.

I think it’s arrogance. Arrogance that you can let your conditioning slide a bit and still turn it on like flipping a switch. Maybe arrogance that winning the cup signaled some kind of “arrival,” as in, finally we’re champions and so ever shall it be happily ever after amen roll credits. Arrogance that all of your player transactions have been validated because they led to winning the Stanley Cup. Certainly, most Kings fans would gladly accept the trade off of winning the cup last year in exchange for missing the playoffs this year. And probably Dean Lombardi has earned a coupon that would allow him to miss the playoffs this year and still keep his job.

But it’s Lombardi himself who has always preached the desire to build a team that’s great not just for one playoffs but for the long term, not just for last year, but for every year.

I said in my season preview this could happen. I also wondered which Jarret Stoll we would see (the playoff one or the regular season one), whether Simon Gagne would ever find a place on this team, whether the Kings would have problems scoring goals like they did all of last year until the magical playoff run, whether Quick would be able to return to form after surgery and what I’m guessing is the first seven month layoff he’s ever had in his life.

In the preview I wondered when the Kings would stop playing like the Kings of the playoffs, and who they would be when the spell wore off. The first part of that has been answered. As for the second part, they seem very much like the Kings at the beginning of last season, not the end.

 

  3 comments for “You’re all a bunch of Jeremy Roenicks

  1. February 8, 2013 at 5:51 AM

    I don’t think anyone on the Kings has been “mostly good”. Some have had a couple of good games here or there, such as Williams against Columbus, but that was Columbus. The Kings have played mostly terrible since the drop of the puck against Chicago and it seems like almost every game is worse than the last. That was HORRID defense last night!

    Let’s face it folks. The Kings overachieved last spring. They struggled all year. They barely made the playoffs. Then they got hot and somehow pulled off an almost impossible run to the cup. All it proved is that it can be done.

    They’re struggling even worse this year and they show no signs of even being able to make the playoffs.

    • February 9, 2013 at 8:48 PM

      I think you’re exaggerating in both directions, which is understandable considering the way the Kings have been playing lately. I actually don’t think the Kings “overachieved” in the playoffs, but they got the bounces, which you absolutely have to, if you’re going to win the cup.

      However, I do think that the Kings are suffering from an arrogance or over-confidence that is akin to having a four goal lead in a playoff game and then blowing it, or playing two great periods and then the wheels falling off. There has been, both in the fan base and in Lombardi’s moves (3 year deal for Jarret Stoll? Trading Loktionov…) an attitude of “what happened in the playoffs is the REAL Kings (finally having arrived) while the regular season Kings were just growing pains.

      Well, guess what? The only way for the Kings to play like they played in the playoffs is for them to play like they played in the playoffs. That did not involve, in any meaningful way, Simon Gagne. It did involve both Matt Greene and Willie Mitchell. And Quick played out of his mind.

      I said in the preview that I thought riding Quick in this shortened season was foolish. I also said Gagne was not a proven quantity. I never liked Stoll in that third line slot, as everyone who reads this blog knows. If Lombardi had the whatever to play Gagne or King with Loktionov and Toffoli, with Stoll Lewis and Clifford/Nolan on the fourth, would we be having these problems? At the very worst, we’d be scoring more goals. The defense really couldn’t be much worse.

      Now we’re really stuck with stoll at 3c, until Lombardi makes a move of some kind. which he probably will in the next couple of weeks, because frankly, the only way this team is going to win games is to batten down the hatches and win 2-1 or 1-0 like last year (remember both GF and GA went DOWN under Sutter), but that’s impossible without Mitchell and Greene. So instead we’re not scoring and we’re losing.

  2. USHA#17
    February 8, 2013 at 7:52 PM

    Start of 11-12 or 85-86? Can’t wait for Paul Fenton to take the ice!

    I hoped that the Kings might have continued their elite level of play but Doughty looks like he signed yesterday, Penner is a loaf (again), Carter is -3 in spite of 4 goals, Scuderi seems lost and Drewiske’s limitations have been exposed, worse he’s attempting plays well beyond his pay grade..

    I question that Bernier did not get the call in either Nashville game after having proved successful against Trotz. Quick does not appear ready, sharp only at times…and very lucky. The CBJs had several empty nets to shoot at and pulled a Stevie Wonder each time.

    The intensity level just isn’t there for all players at all times and Murray’s pride, the defense, is “HORRID”,. They get beat to the net over and over. Same mistakes game after game. It just ain’t there. Still time, but it ain’t there now.

    I was hoping for a modest 3 game win streak starting in Nashville, instead I got a vision of LA out of the playoffs. Through the Kings have several games in hand the thought that nearly 25% of the season has been played is not comforting. Ugh!

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