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09-23-2003, 11:25 PM
  #1
agentfouser
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some issues for discussion...

i was kicking around a few thoughts today (hence the lightbulb message icon), and i was wondering what this highly informed caucus of kings fans thought about these particular issues.

1. what impact will jared aulin's injury have on his career? he's sitting at a critical point, when he was poised to make the big club, and he's suffered an injury that can be deadly to hockey careers. is this injury going to hamper him the rest of his career, or is he durable enough to recover? i hate to be pessimist, but i am skeptical at someone's chances at recovering from a shoulder seperation enough to take the nightly abuse of the nhl. however, he is young, so hopefully he heals quickly.

2. every year, we seem to have a journeyman player who manages to put it together and earn himself a permanent nhl job. phillipe boucher, jaroslav modry, derek armstrong are all examples of these late bloomers. not necessarily all-stars, but guys who can contribute and are important to the team. who will it be this year? i don't want to include esda pirnes or martin strbak because they are both newcomers to north america (aren't they?). if i had to take a wild guess based upon my admittedly limited expertise and initial impressions at the onset of the season, i would say holland, rullier or tripp.

3. will esa pirnes and martin strbak be impact players? i'm very optimistic about both. strbak hasn't completely sold me yet, but i won't deny that he can play. as for pirnes, from the sound of things and the look of the scoresheet, he's doing very well right out of the gate.

4. and finally, the bottom line: without allison and/or deadmarsh, will the los angeles kings make the playoffs? personally, i think that the loss of one of those players for more than half the season can be absorbed, if the rest of the team, and especially the high end players, play 70 or more games. without both of them again, however, i think the prognosis is not good.

 
Old
09-24-2003, 02:16 AM
  #2
Frolov 6'3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agentfouser
1. what impact will jared aulin's injury have on his career? he's sitting at a critical point, when he was poised to make the big club, and he's suffered an injury that can be deadly to hockey careers. is this injury going to hamper him the rest of his career, or is he durable enough to recover? i hate to be pessimist, but i am skeptical at someone's chances at recovering from a shoulder seperation enough to take the nightly abuse of the nhl. however, he is young, so hopefully he heals quickly.
Time will tell. I agree shoulders, knees and head are vital injuries for a hockeyplayer and we can only hope that he will recover from that.

Quote:
2. every year, we seem to have a journeyman player who manages to put it together and earn himself a permanent nhl job. phillipe boucher, jaroslav modry, derek armstrong are all examples of these late bloomers. not necessarily all-stars, but guys who can contribute and are important to the team. who will it be this year? i don't want to include esda pirnes or martin strbak because they are both newcomers to north america (aren't they?). if i had to take a wild guess based upon my admittedly limited expertise and initial impressions at the onset of the season, i would say holland, rullier or tripp.
I'm not sure about Phillipe Boucher. He had his skills but he couldn't show them because he was always injuried apart form his first year. Because of an unfortunate coincidence he played great in last contract year and the Kings were in two minds if he was worth the money/long-term contract he was asking for. I'm sure we would still have him if he had two decent years in succession. I think John Tripp could surprise many people this season, he has size and speed and works very hard. He will grab his chance, when offered.

Quote:
3. will esa pirnes and martin strbak be impact players? i'm very optimistic about both. strbak hasn't completely sold me yet, but i won't deny that he can play. as for pirnes, from the sound of things and the look of the scoresheet, he's doing very well right out of the gate.
From what I've read is Strbak strong in front of his own goal but he looks a little bit uncertain with passing. The PP was definitely not his strongest point and he plays as if he don't want to make a mistake. I expect more initiative from him, probably he is trying to get used to the smaller rink because like you said he can play.

Pirnes and Strbak are wild cards. The Kings have had his share with older Euro's coming to LA. Examples are Karalahti, Lilja, Bednar, Tuomainen, Vlasak etc. and only Visnovsky has succeeded, so I'm a little bit sceptical if you don't mind.

Quote:
4. and finally, the bottom line: without allison and/or deadmarsh, will the los angeles kings make the playoffs? personally, i think that the loss of one of those players for more than half the season can be absorbed, if the rest of the team, and especially the high end players, play 70 or more games. without both of them again, however, i think the prognosis is not good.
I agree, NO Allison and Deadmarsh is Boston without Thornton and Rolston. Stumpel is again the 1st line center and we all know where that has lead to. Deadmarsh out for about 40 games isn't such a problem IMO we could handle that but Allison out for 40 games is deadly. He's one of the best centers in the league and unreplaceable, at least not for the Kings with their limited depth.

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09-24-2003, 02:33 AM
  #3
Raimo Sillanpää
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agentfouser
i was kicking around a few thoughts today (hence the lightbulb message icon), and i was wondering what this highly informed caucus of kings fans thought about these particular issues.


3. will esa pirnes and martin strbak be impact players? i'm very optimistic about both. strbak hasn't completely sold me yet, but i won't deny that he can play. as for pirnes, from the sound of things and the look of the scoresheet, he's doing very well right out of the gate.
How's Esa looked in camp?
He was on fire in Finland at the end of last season, really hope he makes it. IIRC he scored the winning goal in all 4 of the games of the SM-Liiga finals. True clutch player.

But erh, we'll be happy to have him back!

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09-24-2003, 06:58 AM
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Great post agent.

I would also say that where Phillipe was concerned that he was touted as the next Bobby Orr when he was drafted. No BS. That is how the disaster sold him to us when one of the worst trades in NHL history happened and we ended up with him on our team. So, Phillipe, a former first round pick, was always thought of to be a special player if he could ever stay healthy. I also think that up until recently you wouldn't see too many Dmen in the league until they were around 25 years old. It used to be the average "rookie" age for D men was exactly that, 25 and now that we are seeing 18 year old D in the league it is making it seem like some of our solid D prospects are washed up at the age of 24 when if we go by hockey history they are just starting to enter their prime. I know that doesn't really adress the question but I just wanted to blather on about it.

Aulin's injury is only part of why I am worried for his future in the NHL. I was at HS the day he first came to work out for us and at prospect camp for his first shift and my biggest impression of him was that he was the ultimate future captain. (remember how we all used to talk about his solid leadership?) He was the first guy on the ice and the last guy off. He was a tireless worker who stayed after practice and waited until the furor would die down most of the time to work on his stick handling and wrist shot. (he and a couple of other kids) After watching him this past camp and during the past season I can say that it sure looks like some of the fire is gone. He still is a great young player with gobs of talent, I just have to wonder how stoked he is with his situation (when healthy) right now. He was ALMOST (not yelling, I just am to stupid to learn how to underline) on the Stanley Cup Champion Avs and would have been if we didn't send them Rhino. I would expect that he came here and was excited about being able to step onto our team and that when he didn't, like any young man it pissed him off a bit and now that he is getting ice time in the bigs with the number of injuries he has already had that it would have to effect his spirit somewhat. I think that guys like Aulin are heart and soul type of players. If they like where they are they will give you every last drop of what they have every night. They feed on their spirit to help them compete. I too wonder if these injuries will take away his ability to make it in the NHL but only for what they are doing to his drive, not so much his skills.

Strbak is the best Euro D man besides Vis (I also like Maantyalaaa sp allot) that we have had come over. He is is step above the rest and I think that with his great skating that if he can get his head into our game that he can be a solid 5 6 7 D man for us and log some good minutes on the blue line. I think that if we started with him as our 6 7 guy and worked him in over the first 20 games or so that he can be as effective on D as any other back three guys around the league.

Esa has had a great camp. I thought that we had another Bednar (I still laugh at that name, it reminds me of some sort of japanese horror robot. "LOOK OUT FOR BEDNAR!!!") on our hands in that we had a guy who was a very good skater who passed really well but just couldn't make his game adapt to the NA style. (in our system that is)
Pirness plays an NA style of game and has really solid D instincts. In fact, I would say that his best attribute so far has been the fact that he is looking to not get caught up ice and that he is missing even more O chances because of it. I would much rather see a guy with his skills trying to make the team by playing solid defensively then always trying to show he can score. If you are good the goals will come. D is another story. Just ask Lehoux, a player with all of the O skill you could ever want who is taking a long time to learn how to play both ends of the rink. If that kid could just focus as hard without the puck as he does with it he would be on the team already.

Pirness isn't the next Sundin or anything close, I think he makes the team though and is a very good third line guy who CAN play on our second line if needs be and not hurt us at all. I would call him this years Armstrong as far as playing better than he was expected to. A good pick up for a late round pick by us.


Finally, I think that we are much deeper than last year and that our goaltending is that much better as well. I think that IF (god please not again) we are without Ally and Deader again this season that we will make the playoffs because of,
Luc Frolov Stumple Ebell Army Pirness Cammo Klatt PALFFY Tripp Aulin and after the NCAA is over we will have a chance to sign if they are ready Tambs and Hogeboom as well. I think that we have some good O depth and our D fowards are we are even better. Our team has one of the best third/fourth line groups in the game and we have several kids down on the farm who can step in and play the system well enough to keep us competitive. I like our D but with Milsy out I do think that now is the time to pick up one more player. Klee wants two years at $2 mill per. He is a rent a player for us but he would be 1 billion percent better than Hienze ever was for us and at worst he would be a 4 5 d guy after the CBA. It would be smart to pick up one more guy so that players like Gleason and Grebs could develope slowly.

Matty Miller (needs to be healthy) Corvo Modry Vis are good and add Greb Norton Zizka and Strabk and we aren't that bad on D. I just think that if we had a player like Klee (stay at home D guy who is a solid guy) to add to the mix that it would make us significantly better.

Klee Vis

Miller Modry

Matty Corvo

Rotate Grebs in and use Zizka, Strabk and Holland as call ups and we look pretty damn good.

Huett so far has been every bit as good as Check has and I wouldn't be suprised if by the end of the season that we all weren't saying that he should be our true number one. Not a knock on Check, more a vote of confidence on Huett.

So I think that without Ally and Deader that we will make the playoffs. I don't think we will do any better than 7th or 8th and just sneak in but I think we will be better than allot of teams and make the playoffs. I also think that we have to consider our team D system as part of the reason that we will do well. Last year we really did have a bunch of AHL players up here for most of the season and we were pretty competitive forthe most part. Remember how many games we lost due to poor goaltending too. I am not talking about games where the Cat would let in ONE softy or JS would have an "off period". I am talking about the several games where they both just sucked. With our better goaltending and over all talent I think we will be a much better team.

That being said, please god, please let us have a season where our top players aren't injured. We went through purgatory last year, do we have to suffer again this one? Please god, please give us shot at the cup.

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09-24-2003, 08:21 AM
  #5
agentfouser
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Originally Posted by Raimo Sillanpää
How's Esa looked in camp?
He was on fire in Finland at the end of last season, really hope he makes it. IIRC he scored the winning goal in all 4 of the games of the SM-Liiga finals. True clutch player.

But erh, we'll be happy to have him back!
he's played several preseason games for us. in his first, management and the announcers called him the best player on the ice. his second game he led us in scoring with a goal and an assist. his third game he didn't score but sounded very effective again (sounded because the games have so far only been on the radio).

so, unfortunately, i don't think we're going to let you have him back, especially not if he's a clutch performer.

 
Old
09-24-2003, 08:31 AM
  #6
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Originally Posted by Frolov 6'3
From what I've read is Strbak strong in front of his own goal but he looks a little bit uncertain with passing. The PP was definitely not his strongest point and he plays as if he don't want to make a mistake. I expect more initiative from him, probably he is trying to get used to the smaller rink because like you said he can play.
yeah, i definitely think you and i are on the same page regarding strbak. there were a few times against the ducks when i thought that he played timidly, backing off on plays that were right there for him to make.


igm,
i agree with just about everything you said, and while i would certainly love to see klee or another veteran defenseman signed, i don't think that its going to happen. face wash hasn't posted everyone's salary lately, but if i recall correctly we were at or over the budget that the kings had said they wanted.

that said, however, i think that if it looked as though we were going to lose allison and deadmarsh for the season, management would realize just how disasterous that could be, and they might open up the purse strings a bit more and go out and get someone.

lets think about making the playoffs in a different way; without allison and deadmarsh, are we as good as edmonton (a team that seems to perenially sneak in to a high seed)? i'm not sure. minus one of them, yes, i think that we stil have the offense and especially the power play, but without both of them i'm not so sure.

 
Old
09-25-2003, 05:30 AM
  #7
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#1. Jared may have made the Kings out of Camp, but mostlikely was going to go back to Manchester and be a call up. Now I think Jared will not be called up this year, as he will get back with only 1/2 a season left and will need to get conditioned which will take a couple of weeks. He will remain in Manchester. As for his career, I don't think it will have a major impact. Players have come back from this injury many times and have not had set backs.

#2. The player I hope has a break-out season is LUBO. He had a great rookie campaign, but then got Home-sick, ran home to get married over the All-Star break, also had injuries. He will get lots of PP time this year and he should surpass his rookie numbers and beyond.

#3. Pirnes & Strbak will have an impact on this season. Pirnes has great hands and can play on all 4 lines if needed. Strbak, will only get better as he gets acustomed to the North American game. Paired with Lubo mostlikely.

#4. With both in the line up and Healthy the Kings are not just playoff bound, but could do some serious damage. With just 1 of the 2 the Kings could still get in and get to the 2nd round. I even think with both out the Kings could manage to get into the playoffs. Last year we needed 7 more wins (14 points) to get in, How many 1 goal or 1 goal + an empty net goal losses did we have? 20!!! How many of theose 1 goal losess game on soft goals? With the goaltending we had last year vs. what we have this year, I would expect the 1 goal losses to but cut down by half. Thats a 20 point difference and good enought to get the 6th seed last year.
We have more depth up front this year and a much better goalie in place. I don't think the playoffs are out of the question, but the question is how far can we go?

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09-29-2003, 09:44 PM
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Pirnes will most probably go to Manchester. He had a couple of good games, and Kings fans are often wowed by the scoresheet, but I think management believes he is best served (at least to start the season) in Manchester. He has looked good.

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09-30-2003, 05:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TubbyTerrion
Pirnes will most probably go to Manchester. He had a couple of good games, and Kings fans are often wowed by the scoresheet, but I think management believes he is best served (at least to start the season) in Manchester. He has looked good.
Pirnes is 26 years old that was drafted this year. He will get a good look. I think the purpose of drafting an overage player is that the kings would really like for him to help the team out asap...i've been impressed the few times i've seen him...i'd venture to guess he would make opening day.

oh yeah, welcome

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