Been just enjoying the ride I guess. Don't want to jinx it. Kings are winning, but it's not perfect, so waiting to see how it all plays out during this stretch. Curious to see if they keep winning, and what happens with returning players if they do. My guess is they weren't as bad as that first two weeks, but not as good as this 7 game stretch. Hoping they settle in still closer to a playoff team than not. Someone on NHL Network said he just didn't see any truly dominant teams right now, which I think is maybe fair. Hard to find any teams without some big flaws. Curious what you guys think.
I don't really give into the chats about "See! We're better without Doughty" talk. You can argue that he is overpaid, but you can't say he's not good. You can say he isn't as good as his contract, which is fine as an argument, but that he stinks or whatnot isn't true. I think this should be a humbling experience for Drew but you can't really convince me adding a player like that will make you worse in the long term. Power Play is still booty without him, so he probably wasn't the issue there either.
Been liking Cale Clague on the backend, even though his number is hulking. Always throws me off that he can actually move. He's got a McDermid number. Kempe and Iafallo stepping up is great. You sort of forget that Kempe is only 25, at least I do. Danault seems to be working out well. Goaltending competition is healthy for overall team. Gonna push each other more in practice and that will translate. Just a lot more to see as positive since that first two week stretch. Not sure where Arvidsson fits in. Byfield supposed to be available end of December with Doughty. I don't totally see a spot for him right now, so maybe he won't be coming up to the team. They keep saying the team is undefeated with Lemieux in the lineup, and there is some debate about all that. Obviously he's not a super star but it's not entirely coincidental either. We all felt they needed some grit and it's amazing how even one player who is in the role can change the complexion of a team. Would echo the Brown hit in OT was nice to see. You forget that side of hockey still exists sometimes because it's so much more of speed-speed-speed, especially in OT.
Also, anyone else watch NHL Network, specifically "On the Fly"? I swear their commercials are making it feel like only the elderly watch. It's commercials for discreet shipping of adult diapers, or one they keep playing is for how not to leave your family hanging with funeral costs. My wife works in major sports and she just laughs at the commercials. I thought hockey was getting more appeal with the youth but I could be way off base. I am 35 and I feel like maybe I am the youngest guy watching by maybe 30 years.
Same as Howdy though. Lot of life stuff going on too.
Agree with everything you mentioned. Doughty may not be an elite dman he was during the cup runs but he's still a top 10 dman in the league in my opinion. I think most people put too much weight on points and really Doughty was putting up the points before he got hurt. It's been a small sample size so far but he's looked better this year so far than he has for at least 6 or 7 years. All around game has been solid. Lastly if you think he's over paid look at what the Devils gave Dougie Hamilton. Hamilton has only 2 more goals and a whopping 2 more points than Doughty. All that with 5 more games played than Doughty. There are more examples like Alex Pietrangelo etc.
Clague is playing well and he's been pretty solid on both ends. This more important because they've won 4 straight road games where the other team has match up advantage. What surprises me more is the play Olli Maatta. He's doing anything outstanding but that's actually ok because you're not really noticing him all that much and that means he's just doing his job and nothing more. His bone head mistakes are way down and he's actually made some good plays in the defensive zone.
Iafallo has truly been a stud with his play. Just doing everything out there. I've never been on the bashing Kempe bandwagon. He's issue isn't skill or ability it's more about the space between this head. He lacks and confidence and once he's able to get that part of sorted out he's a good player. He's also the other player on the team with some bite. More on this later.
Danault has brought so much more to this team than you can measure with stats. If you've played any level of organized sports you'll understand what Danault means to the team. It's really hard to explain but he's just a team mate that makes others around him better.
Goaltending has been good but I'm still more confident with Quick than Peterson right now. It's just the body language of each. Quick is more dialed in and Peterson has some demons to overcome a bit like Kempe.
Arvidsson is doing what he was expected to do (by management, not fans.) If you though this guy was going to be a 30 or 35 goal scorer, he's not. He brings a threat and a shoot 1st mentality and will open the game for Kopitar. Notice that Kopitar's numbers have dropped since Arvidsson has been out?
I don't want to go up and down the roster and talk about each individual play but Kids are doing well. Like I said it's important that they're not getting taken advantage of especially on the road. Can't stress that enough.
So this brings me to your point about Lemieux. You can't underestimate what he brings to the team. The obvious is the grit the fighting that he can bring to "protect" his team mates but more important is he brings those things while still having the skating and skill to play a full game. You don't have to hide him in the last 10 minutes of a game. The goal he scored vs the Habs was one thing but what about the big block shot vs the Sens late in the game. Like you said he's far from a superstar but he's a more than serviceable 4th liner that can play up and down the line up because he can skate and has some skill if he's needed.
So finally I'm not overly excited about the current run just like I wasn't overly down during the losing streak. Again, like you said, they are not as good as this run or as bad as the losing streak. They are somewhere in between and I think they are actually NOW on pace to where we as fans want them to eventually be.
Feel free to disagree. I'm open to all opinions.
During the win streak I was all to close to getting excited. I held off and now here we are. What kills me more than anything is that the Dux are doing so well. I am still waiting for reality to kick in for them.Win 7 in a row
Lose 7 in a row
Going to be another tough year
Welcome back Puck. I have missed your $.02 around here lately.Happy New Year ya mooks, been reading the boards, super busy as always but decided to check in. Hope everyone had a great holiday season and NY. Great way to ring in 2022 with more Covid nonsense, eh? I swear since Feb 2019 when me and Mrs. Puck split it's been like one long run on year.
Jekyll and Hyde team for sure, you never know what you're going to get it seems. Nice to see Quick be dominant again, concerned about that contract they handed Petersen because he has not looked good and this dates back to the tail end of last season. It was a risk for Blake and I understand why he did it, but I would have waited a bit longer than to dish out a $15 million deal to a goalie who had something like a whopping 54 NHL games over 3 seasons to show for that. Hope this doesn't become another one of those albatross contracts.
They've been playing better of late, but we're almost halfway through the season and I don't see the POs in April. This team is simply not there yet and I'm concerned about the draft picks since 2015, especially under Blake's watch (2017). Glad to see Turcotte finally get a shot but the dude just keeps getting hurt whether by playing or C19 protocol. I liked what I saw his 2 games so far but need an extended look at him and of course there's Byfield who we are all waiting for.
NHL roster wise, I think Kempe has finally arrived which is good and bad - good because he has size, speed, some talent and snarl and could turn into an upper end M6 LW, bad because if so that'll be the only forward to have come through the system and developed in 10 years (Pearson, 2012). The Kings really need to hit on some of these picks the last 4-5 drafts.
Still not super impressed with Arvidsson or Danault. Arvdisson does work like a buzzsaw but the production is not there, you have to believe Nashville saw something when they made the trade. My biggest beef with Danault is the money, and he is on track to be what he is - a 3C who averages 40 points a season. His arrival was supposed lessen the load off Kopitar, but I don't see that happening yet. I do like the Edler signing, he really solidified that back end before breaking his ankle. Dude is solid and underrated.
Anyway, just checking in - thoughts?