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03-08-2011, 09:13 AM
Inner Turbulence
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For starters, overall, I think Dean Lombardi has done a tremendous job as GM – so far. Not every move has been perfect, but you got to break some eggs if you want to make an omelette. Given the route he took (had to take) he has more or less done what he set out to do … build a franchise from the net out.

I am pretty much sick and tired of the constant talk of “the schedule”, being ahead or behind schedule etc. It’s just silly, there is no fixed schedule you can follow and automatically assume that following that schedule will lead to Stanley Cup Glory. The NHL has 30 teams actively trying to win the cup. To be on top of that pile is a huge task.

The goaltenders are there, with a tremendous set of contracts for the next 2 years. A combined salary under 3 mill is terrific. The defensive group is extremely solid in my book. Doughty and Johnson are stars in the making, though still prone to bone-headed mistakes. Behind a strong top-6 there’s a ton of depth, which will help us down the line I am sure. Either through trades or by emerging to play for the big club.

Now, the scoring lines are still a work in progress. Unlike some of the Cup Contenders from recent years we haven’t been able to draft/acquire enough dynamic scorers. In a nutshell, the Kings weren’t bad enough for long enough when we were bad. The Penguins have been able to build around Crosby/Malkin. The Hawks have Toews/Kane. DL is trying to piece it all together, with solid acquisitions like Penner and Williams. But in my opinion the Kings scoring lines isn’t quite the calibre it needs to be.

I am not sold on the concept that a coaching change would instantly make the Kings better. Do we really have the manpower to play a run-and-gun offensive game ? I doubt it. It’s interesting, I sort of feel the Kings have actually improved since last year. Last year we were talking about not enough 5-on-5 scoring and relying too much on the powerplay. Without looking up the stats - this year we have gotten much improved 5-on-5 play and a disappointing power play. If/when we improve on the power play we should be strong team. Goaltending – good. Defense – good. PK – Good. 5-on-5 – Good. Powerplay – dreadful.

Speaking of, I don’t get what it is Compon is trying to do … splitting up Doughty and JJ … right now we have two separate and equally inept PP groups. We were at our most dangerous a month ago when DD and JJ were manning the 1st unit and Loktionov was roaming around on the 2nd unit. Gave us two different types of looks and both were dangerous.

In order to become a serious contender, we have to get better offensively. Get additional firepower and have more scoring threats. I am not 100% sure that Lombardi is the one to do it (and I still consider myself a Lombardi-supporter). I recognize the value and importance of good “character” guys, but we are spending quite a bit of money on them too. Like Smyth, Handzus, Greene, Stoll. While we are doing that, we can’t really spend the same salary-cap dollars on a top-notch scoring forward. I don’t want to undervalue the importance of these players … they are solid on the ice and I bet they are good guys to “lead by example” for the younger players. But, having 10+ mill of cap-dollars tied up in Handzus and Smyth is an awful lot.

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