Takes and trash talk from both ALL sides of the NHL's most obscure PATHETIC* rivalry

* Thanks, Kevin Lowe!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Kings Gameday: Frolov on a Checking Line?

Los Angeles Kings (1-2, meh) vs. Carolina Hurricanes (2-1, 4 pts)

7:30 PST, FSN West, FSN South

Do me a favor: reach into my pants. No, in the front. Do you feel that? No, that's my phone. Left. Yeah, right there. That's a boner. That's what Frolov playing defense does to me. Hey, shut up, we can't all be Dustin Brown. You know what, forget it, just get out of there.

The point is, I'm very excited by this pronouncement by Terry Murray that Alex Frolov will skate with Michal Handzus on the prime defensive line for the Kings. The traditional NHL line is that you have to have 2 scoring lines, a checking line and then a goon line. Look at the Ducks for an example of this and see how well this works. The reality, however, is that guys aren't either good at offense or good at defense; guys can be good at both and they can suck at both. There are guys like Sammy Pahlsson, who's great at defense but couldn't score if you put a passed out coed in his hotel room, but most of the time the top defensive unit is populated by failed offenisve talents like Kyle Calder. Alex Frolov is a talented offensive player but he's also the best defensive forward on the team. He's good not only at positional defense and stripping the puck, but he's also great at protecting the puck in the offensive zone and keeping the puck away from the opposing team. A guy like Ryan Getzlaf or Olli Jokinen can't do much damage if they don't have the puck. Placing Frolov against top offensive guys will definitely help the Kings.

Nice defense.

What does this mean for Frolov? Well, it means his +/- might take a little hit and he might not score quite as many points, but overall it'll make him a better player and it'll help the team. I imagine the Kings will move Matt Moulson down to the Frolov-Handzus line when Patrick O'Sullivan is ready to go, or move O'Sullivan to that line to create an ultimate offensive-checking unit. That would definitely put me at full mast.

***

The Kings are playing Carolina tonight in an important grudge match. Nah, just kidding, I don't think either side really cares. But hey, Tim Gleason! I liked Tim Gleason when he was on the Kings and he's done well for Carolina. Still, his face is squishy and I hope Dustin Brown buries him tonight.

Prediction: Kings win, 4-2. Goals by Frolov, Handzus, Moulson and Doughty. Eric Staal's eyes will be too close together.

6 comments:

Chris Kontos said...

Reminds me when the Flyers asked Keith Primeau to take on a more defensive, 3rd line role during the 2003-2004 season, the same season the Flyers went to the cup. The assistant coach for the Flyers that year? Terry Murray.

Hopefully a career ending concussion isn't part of the deal too.

Ksy92003 said...

It's a Battle of California-palooza tonight! The Ducks (0-4-0, devilsh laughter) take on the Sharks (4-0-0, I really don't care. The Kings aren't making the playoffs anyway) at 7PM, and the Kings (1-2-0, We're #4!) take on the Hurricanes (who gives a fuck?) at 7:30PM.

Somebody will be in first place (Sharks, obviously), somebody will be in last place (Ducks, hopefully), and somebody will be crying themself to sleep (me, probably).

WufPirate said...

In the majority of previews I've read so far: The media pundits can't seem go without mention of the fact that Jack Johnson is injured and can't "face the team that drafted him".

<-- sick of hearing about the whole "Jack Johnson wouldn't play for Carolina" B.S.

Should be a fun game however. I'll be up late watching in NC.

Earl Sleek said...

5 year extension for Matt Greene already? I guess that could be a good deal, but shouldn't he get maybe a 5 game tryout first?

jamestobrien said...

I've been a fan of Eric Staal ever since he lead my fantasy team to victory a couple years ago, but it was still surprising to see him as the cover star for NHL '08. He only had 70 points the year before.

My guess is that EA didn't want to fork over the cash for Sid the Kid.

Ksy92003 said...

Well, the prediction was off, but still a 4-3 win. What's surprising is not the fact that your prediction that Handzus would score a goal was incorrect. It's surprising that Handzus scored two goals instead of zero. I guess the whole "second-season-after-reconstructive-knee-surgery success" thing is true.