What do the Kings need most right now?

Sutter Kings bench NHL hockeyWith the NHL Trade Deadline done and over with, it’s time for a quick temperature check. Going into the final 20 games of the regular season, which player (or group of players) will coach Darryl Sutter need the greatest improvement from over the next six weeks? Rather than list out a player’s stats over the past 10 games, or how a player is performing relative to their career average, etc. – we’ll just serve it up as is.

NOTE: The 10 options below will appear in random order by the server, so they are not in any sort of ranked preference.


Poll closes Thursday at 4pm PST.

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Comments

  1. Crown Royal says:

    It’s doubtful this team is as good as either the 2012 or 2014 Cup winning teams.

    The 2012 team had Brown playing the best hockey of his career going into, and during, the playoffs until he was boarded by Hanzal in the Conference final. Richards was also injured when Doan pounded his head to the ice but both remained in the lineup. Fortunately JQ was solid all the way through, Kopi took over against the Devils, there were no injures on defense and really only Clifford was out during the playoffs.

    The 2014 team featured Gaborik, JW and Carter all coming up big. TT and TP added some spice and JQ did what he needed to do in all those game sevens. The Kings also got numerous timely goals from the defense.

    The current team has question marks at center and defense. Shore is a developing player who is going to be a very effective third line center but lacks experience. Stoll’s play has significantly declined and now he is really a fourth line center slotted in the 3C role. MR is no longer on board and the Kings desperately need him back playing as the 3C in an effective way. Stoll can’t get that job done anymore and Shore may or may not be ready for it. DS probably wouldn’t trust him as the 3C even if he is ready. After the first two centers there are nothing but question marks.

    There is talent on defense but the pieces simply don’t fit together. The three big bangers, RR, MG, and BM all lack mobility. JM, AM, AS, and JM all are more puck movers than big strong defenders. DD is a big talent but too much is asked of him and he still not settled in as an elite defender. The Kings made a big mistake not getting Forbort integrated into the defense a bit earlier. He is big, mobile, and can move the puck. His presence would have helped immensely but again, you have DS who wouldn’t trust him anyway as he is so “against” using young players unless forced to do so.

    This team is used to winning. They have a goaltender who is at his best in playoff games. There is a lot of talent in the room. It looks like there are several better teams than the Kings right now but this team will take some beating. No one player can win the Cup for his team but JQ is the key.

  2. scooby snacks says:

    @CrownRoyal — Totally agree with your assessment. One thing that I did want to point out is the fact that Stoll was the King’s most physical and dare I say “underrated” player in the playoffs last year. He really stepped up and filled the void that Brown left as our big hitter, and I think he’s at his best in this type of a role. As a leadership guy, the Kings will need him to up his game once again especially if we end up pulling a wild card spot where we’ll face either Nashville (big, tough), Anaheim, Chicago, ect.

    • Crown Royal says:

      Stoll was effective in the playoffs last season. His play this year has definitely declined and I doubt he will play to previous levels again.

      He was not a really good skater before but he’s slowed down even more. His faceoff work and penalty killing was good but that’s also declined. Another problem is his lack of offensive ability inhibits his line mates. Stoll has never been a playmaker, isn’t really a goal scorer, and it was Richards who helped JW to score goals last season in the playoffs rather than JS.

      As I write this, I don’t believe Stoll has an assist in the last 30 games or so…even playing significant minutes with a good goal scorer like Williams! That is unacceptable offensive production particularly from a center who is not playing all that well defensively any longer.