Meh. I like our second line and our third line is interesting and has speed and promise. This is all or nothing for Purcell. He has no where else to go after this. If he fails here he will have no place within the organization and will be moved. We'll see. Technically Simmonds wasn't injured, but I see the reasoning.
... We'll see if this translates into a true shot for Purcell and not another situation where he's playing eleven minutes and change and being shuttled to another line just as he's building chemistry with this one. The first line hasn't done much of anything in the last 20 games, so it's not like they're taking a huge risk here.
Simmonds looked terribly, painfully slow and ineffective. I love the guy, but if this is what's to be expected from him for the next several games, it's best to keep him on the 4th line until he at least resembles the player he was before he went down.
I disagree with sending Elkins down. Allow him to center the fourth line and get some experience out there; sure, the kid made a mistake yesterday but he's not the first nor the last to do so. To send him down is a ridiculously short-sighted and knee-jerk thing to do. I've never seen a player develop and get better by being jerked around every time he makes a mistake out there. All that will do is make most players tentative and afraid to make any kind of play.
I'd like to see Moller get a chance to play alongside Handzus and Frolov, and to see that line left alone for at least 8-10 games to allow Moller to find a niche with them. Moller's a puck mover; let him work alongside Frolov and see if they can't facilitate each other and create a few chances.
Richardson and Brown showed some nice chemistry; pair them up with someone like Parse and create an energy line to draw penalties and create chances off the rush and/or from forechecking.
Ivanans-Elkins or Cliche-Simmonds
It's obvious that the Kings could have had better luck this December, but if they can't withstand an injury to Justin Williams, of all people -- then perhaps they're not as good nor as deep as they think they are.
Elkins was missing assignments with poor defensive coverage in his own end. Mistakes that NHL centermen shouldn't make, so it is understandable as to why the Kings felt he needed to be returned to Manchester.
As for Purcell. He has not made the most of his opportunities, unlike someone like Parse who understood what he had to do to stick around as long as he did (and to earn yet another call up).
I can't think of any one specific skill that Purcell is exceptional in. He's not fast. He's not strong. His skills with the puck are pretty average at the NHL level. He's just a player who fills a roster spot as of now and really doesn't contribute much else to the team. Are the Kings missing anything when he is not in the lineup?