HIGH / LOW: Running Wild with Jim Fox

Over the course of their three games played so far this season the Kings have looked like three different teams.

Saturday was not the team’s best 60 minutes of hockey. Tuesday was perhaps the tale of two games and then Thursday they hit the ice like they were shot out of a cannon.

Things have certainly been unpredictable, if nothing else.

Throughout the home stand though, Jim Fox has been stopping by with his Highs and Lows from each game. And he’s back again with a look at look at the Kings’ performance vs. the Minnesota Wild, a game LA won 6-3

HIGHS:

  • Top players playing like your top players, coaches love when that happens.
  • It’s been a while, but the Kings look like they have a top line with Ryan Smyth-Anze Kopitar-Justin Williams.  The chemistry between Kopitar and Smyth has been impressive and Smyth’s passing continues to be right on.
  • Jack Johnson with 20:52 TOI and a plus-2 rating is looking like he is ready to take it up a notch.
  • Once again the Michal Handzus checking line ends up plus at the end of the night, while Mikko Koivu (minus-2) and Martin Havlat (minus-3) were kept under control.
  • Biggest improvement came from the second line of Teddy Purcell-Jarret Stoll-Dustin Brown/Purcell. They were effective all night on the forecheck and all three connecting for a big goal in the third period. Brown also led all players with six hits.

LOWS:

  • The continued inability of the penalty-kill to protect the slot was apparent once again…the “pressure rotation” is off right now…it did get better in the 3rd, but it has a long way to go.
  • It’s almost impossible to control the full 60 minutes in an NHL game (the other team is usually a pretty good team too), but there are still lapses that take the Kings out of sync at times…didn’t see much of that all last year and that “intangible” will have to be cleaned up.

The Kings are now headed to St. Louis for a match up tomorrow against their former coach, Andy Murray. It will also be a battle between two teams fighting for one of the three playoff spots likely up for grabs in the Western Conference this year.

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