Kings’ TV analyst Jim Fox joined the crew of NHL Live this morning for a brief interview. Here’s a quick recap of the conversation, where they talk Marco Sturm, Jarret Stoll, the Blackhhawks, the Ducks, his now famous red jacket and more:
– The Kings have struggled against the Blackhawks this year. It seems like they can’t figure out a way to generate enough offense against Chicago. (note: they’ve scored one goal, one goal and two goals in the three games vs. Chicago)
– The Ducks Jonas Hiller is underrated because of his ability to single handedly win games – something we don’t see much in the NHL any more.
– The battle in the Western Conference is so tight. There are going to be some real good hockey teams that don’t make the playoffs this year. San Jose Sharks coach Todd McLellan commented that the only way to guarantee a playoff spot is to win your division. After that it’s wide open.
– The two games where the Kings gave up a lot of goals (six vs. Phoenix and seven vs. Philadelphia) were uncharacteristic of this year’s team. Coming into the season most people looked at the Kings and wondered if they could get balanced scoring from the offense. The Kings are a team that has to rely so heavily on their system that if get a little bit off, it’s going to hurt them. That’s what happened the last few games.
– The quote of the interview: In two other recent games, the 5-0 win at Colorado and the 4-0 win over San Jose – “I haven’t seen a higher top end of a Kings team in my 20 years as a broadcaster.” They played as well as any Kings team I’ve seen.
– It comes down to getting a balanced offense. Jarret Stoll struggled throughout December. “I felt for the first 15 games of the season he was the team’s MVP because I didn’t expect him to score a bunch, but he did it at the beginning of the year. And the Kings were winning games because they were getting their normal production plus the added production of Jarret Stoll.” That’s dropped off. If they can get more balanced scoring, the system and defense will win them games.
– He’s not too surprised that Johnathan Toews is coming back tonight. He speculates that perhaps Toews understands the Blackhawks cant afford to lose much more ground in the West and in a different circumstance he might have sat out longer.
– Marco Sturm scored a few goals early on in his time with the Kings, but “I think he’s been playing better the last two games…I’m starting to see the quickness.” The Kings aren’t known for their quickness and that’s something Sturm can bring to the top line. He has an intimidating quickness that backs off defenders.
– Three years ago at a New Year’s Eve party his friend brought out the red plaid jacket and challenged him to wear it on air. He finally gave in and the the Kings beat Chicago 9-2. This year, he was at a party again and was challenged to wear it once more. He didn’t want to wear it, saying ‘The jacket has to tell me when it needs to be worn.’ He didn’t feel the power of the jacket, but he succumbed to the peer pressure and the Kings lost 1-0. “When I hear from the jacket it will be worn again.”
You can watch/listen to the full interview now by clicking here.
Toews, Smyth, Momma and the ‘Hawks – 1/3/2011 article
HIGH/LOW with Jim Fox – his thoughts on Kings-Canucks playoff game