Time for Change: Kings Lineup Suggestions

Sutter on Kings bench‘Oh October, where have you gone,’ is likely something Darryl Sutter often wonders. Back in the opening month of the season his Kings had the hottest line in hockey, with the trio of Tanner Pearson-Jeff Carter-Tyler Toffoli racking up 35 points in the first 11 games. Overall, the team has been a bit of a mystery most nights, especially on the road, where their 4-8-5 record is only slightly better than Edmonton’s league-worst two wins.

Yet, here is where you can get lost in the numbers. The Kings have averaged 2.80 goals scored in their 20 home games, that’s only 19th best in the NHL. Meanwhile, on the road, they’ve averaged 2.59 goals, 15th best. And, in case you didn’t know, only Tampa Bay’s 15-4-1 home record trumps the Kings’ 14-4-2 mark at Staples Center.

You can argue their individual merits all you want, but there is surely no denying that the Kings three most lethal weapons on offense boil down to Carter, Toffoli, and Marian Gaborik. In fact, Gaborik is turning out to be the straw that stirs that drink for Anze Kopitar. Following his well-documented bromance with Ryan Smyth several years ago, Kopitar now seems to be at peace with Gaborik on his wing. One small sample of the Slovakia native’s impact can be seen when sifting through those October numbers again. Gaborik played a scant three games that month, and Kopitar produced just three points. Not exactly what you would expect from the team’s top points producer since he broke into the NHL.

On the flip side, has anybody noticed the points Kopitar was producing over the last two weeks while Gaborik was healthy?

All of this info builds to a singular point– Sutter has been tinkering with the lines (both with Gaborik in the lineup and without him), but has yet to find the perfect combination. Even though we can assume he never read this article (where we suggested the Pearson-Toffoli-Carter and Gaborik-Kopitar-Brown lines that he ended up using for most of the playoffs), MayorsManor can still offer some help again. Here is what we propose moving forward:

With Gaborik in the lineup, the lineup should look something like this:

Gaborik-Kopitar-Brown
Pearson-Carter-Toffoli
Richards-Stoll-Williams
King-Andreoff-Lewis

Sure, Clifford over King makes more sense on the fourth line, but Sutter would not agree with you. The point here is not about scratching Clifford every single game, it’s more about finding a way to get Andreoff in the lineup. It’s time. It needs to be done, and sooner, not later. The kid can play all three forward positions and has a bit of scoring touch. For what it’s worth, four of those bottom six forwards are interchangeable – five of them when including Clifford – in the sense you can mix and match them any way you want and the offense results most likely aren’t going to change much. The lineup above is focused on the top six. Rotate the other guys around to get Andreoff more playing time. The Kings will need him come the post-season.

Now, assuming Gaborik is going to miss tonight’s game, here is the proposal:

OPTION A:

Pearson-Kopitar-Toffoli
Brown-Carter-Williams
Richards-Stoll-Lewis
Clifford-Andreoff-King

For you contrarians, don’t worry – we have an alternate suggestion, as well:

OPTION B:

Pearson-Kopitar-Toffoli
Brown-Carter-Williams
Clifford-Stoll-Lewis
King-Richards-Nolan

Here comes the interactive part, time to share your opinion…
Wait, there’s more. Knowing the bottom two lines can be constructed several different ways, if you were the coach…

OTHER MUST-READ ARTICLE:

Lombardi’s Plans for the Cap Relief, Kings Defense

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Comments

  1. I wouldn’t put any money on Nolan playing anytime soon. FIrst game in after sitting for how long and let’s his guy beat him to home plate on the first goal? By the time his guy got the puck in the slot he was just coasting and had already given up. I imagine Sutter was not a fan of that play in the slightest. I say we go with:

    23-11-14
    70-77-73
    74-28-22
    13-10-15 (andreoff?)

    Or just go crazy and go with:

    74-11-77
    70-22-73
    23-28-14
    13-10-15 (andreoff?)

    Man, being a head coach must be tough just from the “putting lines together” standpoint. I just think that stoll, brown, and williams have always been a great line and lewis has been playing pretty damn good lately. If only one of CLifford or King would take their game to the next level damnit.

  2. Ellis Faraci says:

    Carter needs to play on the wing not centering.

  3. Ron Wilson says:

    I do not understand how Kopitar can play like he does. Sometimes I think it might do him some good to bench him sometimes.

    • Todd Jenkins says:

      I agree. He has spurts of tightness. But last night Kopi didn’t get a single shot on goal, and half the time he had the puck he just spun around like he didn’t know what to do with it.

  4. can someone please explain to me all the love for Dwight King? I understand that he is a big body and has put in 10 or so goals, but the dude is 6’4″ 230lbs, and plays like he’s half that size. He doesn’t hit, doesn’t have any spectacular puck handling skills, doesn’t go to the net a guy his size should, doesn’t have a great shot, doesn’t score on a regular basis, doesn’t make great passes. .. i could go on. What am I missing? A guy that size should either be knocking players on their ass or clogging up the crease for opposing goalies (and knocking in rebounds). I’m all ears guys.

  5. Marc Nathan says:

    I guess you’ve based the Kings second best home record to only Tampa on something I don’t understand. I’ll take Nashville’s 14-2-1 at home as the BEST home record in the league, and move from there…

  6. John Hoven says:

    NHL stats deck ranks home record on “points earned at home” – thus, the gay that was recorded Tampa Bay was first and Los Angeles was second.

Trackbacks

  1. […] – Darryl Sutter will use these exact lines suggested earlier […]

  2. […] • Should the Kings make some lineup changes? Here are a few suggestions. [Mayor’s Manor] […]

  3. […] Anze Kopitar being on the same line with Marian Gaborik, Jeff Carter at center vs. wing, line combo suggestions, Tanner Pearson, Tyler Toffoli, goalie Martin Jones, Slava Voynov’s absence, how […]

  4. […] The Los Angeles Kings have struggled recently, and John Hoven from MayorsManor.com wants to see some lineup changes. […]