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04-10-2011, 07:04 PM
Harold Snepsts
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I'm a relatively new Kings fan and this is the first season I've gotten to see most of their games, so I'm a little fuzzy on the history of the team but also maybe can offer an outside perspective.

If we're talking next season, I don't think it's that complicated. Obviously one of their biggest problems is scoring goals. There's no way around that they need to bring in more offensive talent. They let some go with guys like Frolov and Cammaleri, and have paid too much for the the guys they're bringing in to replace those points. Taking on Smyth for $6.25 mill is a killer. $4.25 for Penner when he'll probably always be a 40-50 point guy.

The Kings have young, solid and cheap goaltending in Quick and Bernier which is a HUGE asset. They have a strong defensive system. They have team toughness. They just need a sniper or two with some skill (and ideally speed) to take some of the heat off Kopitar and Brown. Their power play looked respectable last night against the Ducks with little Moller out there because he actually finds the soft spots on the ice and can make skill passes. Oh, and he actually moves around and doesn't pivot like he's a bubble hockey player.

And for chrissakes fire whoever is in charge of their power play. Yes the team doesn't have a ton of skill, but their power play shouldn't be as sad as it is. And their 5 on 3 strategy where they keep three guys back at the blueline has got to be the worst strategy I've seen.

If we're talking playoffs, then there's not a lot to be done. It's cliche, but big time players have to step up. Penner, Smyth, Brown, Williams (hopefully). They have to grind out low scoring games and play inspired underdog hockey where you stick to the system.

As an aside, I think Doughty needs to reel his game in a bit. He's a super talent, but when the Kings get behind he tries to do too much. His shifts get too long and he gets caught. Or he tries a Bobby Orr end to end rush that only leads to a shot to the goalies chest from 50 feet or into a Dman's shinpads.

Anyway, I don't think this team is far away. It seems like a couple players. I'm not completely sold on Murray but haven't seen enough of him in the past to feel strongly.

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