Thread: Line Combos: Your 2010 LA KINGS!
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05-18-2009, 02:15 AM
Josh Deitell
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Originally Posted by DapperDan View Post
Looked at this for a second, and thought "What's different here that I haven't seen in almost every other line-up mock-up?" Then I saw Yelle. Big whoop dee doo. Sorry, but Yelle on the 4th line doesn't really make a splash with me. I'd rather Armstrong come back or Boyle take that spot.
I'm a believer that our lineup is pretty close to complete, as far as talent goes at least. Our problems this year mainly lied in consistency and offensive depth. With the poise that Moller, Purcell, Simmonds showed in the offensive zone last year as rookies, as well as the play of Lewis and Boyle in the minors, I think the offense problem will solve itself soon enough. A guy like Gaborik or Hossa would be the piece that adds a dynamic side to our offensive game, but I don't think depth will be a problem once these guys mature, so there's no point in going out and signing or trading for guys to clog up the top nine other than that one big-name scorer.

I think the money should be spent elsewhere.

Primarily on locking up Alexander Frolov, but also on Kyle Quincey and Jon Quick, who are already key members of the team and will command pay raises if they can maintain their level of play. You have to value the chemistry these guys have built with their fellow players.

The other place I would put money is in the bottom part of the lineup. At one point, we had guys like Robitaille and Norstrom providing leadership and experience from depth roles, but that hasn't been the case lately (see: Roenick, Blake, etc.). Rather than try to throw our young team entirely to the wolves in the later part of the season and playoffs, we need more Sean O'Donnell's: veteran players capable of playing a consistent game in a minor role who provide a good example without being a liability. The many young players who cluttered our lineup last year showed plenty of creativity offensively, but most don't have the defensive prowess to match up against other team's top players. While our top players have become better defensively, we shouldn't have to depend on them for that.

That's where a guy like Yelle comes in. Yelle won two cups with the Avs and has been to the finals four times. In total he's played in 154 playoff games. Neither Armstrong or Boyle have ever played in an NHL playoff game. Although he's a step slower these days, he's still one of the most intelligent players in the league defensively. Put him on a line with Trevor Lewis and Wayne Simmonds and let them watch, learn, and develop into a stopper unit which can maintain itself after Yelle's departure. At the same time, having four defensively capable lines gives the coach more flexibility, rather than having to dread giving a line like Ivanans - Armstrong - Richardson shifts against another team's gifted players.

The last place I'd put money is Matthias Ohlund, but I don't think we'll have room for him financially, and I though Drewiske should be capable of at least bottom-four minutes.

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