Chemistry 101 with Kings’ prospects Linden Vey and Jordan Weal

:Linden Vey - LA Kings Black Aces 2013
We’ve all heard about the importance of chemistry, especially as it relates to team sports. When certain guys have it the sum of their parts can equal more than the individuals and great success can come from it. On the other hand, a lack of chemistry can cause players to be traded, managers to be fired and much worse.

So, how do you get it? How do you keep it? And more importantly, is it really all it’s cracked up to be?

“I think for a centerman, when you find one guy, it makes the game a lot easier,” Kings’ prospect told MayorsManor. “Obviously it takes three guys, and I had the privilege of playing with two great players this season [Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson]. We developed a lot of chemistry this year. But, with Toff being up, and Pears being injured a couple times; just having one guy, you appreciate the skill and chemistry that you have with guys.”

Toffoli was called up several times, with the last one cutting the deepest for the Monarchs, as they were just about to begin the AHL playoffs. Unfortunately, they came up short in their five-game series with the Springfield Falcons, even though several games requirred overtime.

“When you lose a guy of that caliber, you know we could’ve used him for some goal-scoring and stuff like that, it’s frustrating,” Vey explained. “But we realize that everybody wants to move on. For me, I played with him. He played on my line all year. We got to be good buddies, and I wish him all the best, and he’s been doing great up here that’s for sure.”

Even though he’s trying to be positive about what’s in front of him, Vey admitted things still sting a bit from a few weeks ago.

“I think when you play hockey, you want to win. It’s hard to lose, especially with the way we played. I thought we deserved a better fate, and we played so well against a top seed team, and lost three overtime games. That’s really disheartening.”

Of the success they had in Manchester, maturity and chemistry played a big part for Vey and his usual linemates.

“I think it’s a combination of both. (For me), your second year in the league, you know what it takes and this year I had a lot of opportunities. I think the coaching staff gave me a lot of chances to be a go-to-guy. Having great players to play with just added to it.”

Don’t discount the chemistry with the coaching staff either. Freddy Meyer was added to head coach Mark Morris’ staff this season and it paid immediate dividends with guys like Vey.

“Obviously when you get a new guy, you miss things, and things are different. But different guys bring different things. And I know Pelly [former coach Scott Pellerin] really helped me on the offensive side of the game. He thought the game like I did. Because he was a forward. And Freddy comes in, he played in the NHL on defense. So, he’s got that defensive mindset. I think he helped me a lot this year with just being more solid in my defensive zone. And really helped me out throughout my whole game.”

Fellow prospect and center Jordan Weal, had his own taste of chemistry in Manchester this season with the arrival of Colton Yellow Horn from the ECHL’s Ontario Reign.

“For sure. We had some early success the first game we played together, and that helps a lot. It gets the ball rolling. We just continued going from there. It was a fun second half of the year,” Weal remarked.

As for the debate over a line needing to be built around three guys having chemistry versus just two well connected players, Weal had some distinct opinions.

“It’s always got to be three. I think when a line is playing at its best, all three guys are on the same page, and I think that’s what we had. Kozy (Brandon Kozun) has a lot of speed. When he’s coming down the wing with speed, if you hit him in stride he’s gonna keep the defense pushed back, and that’s what he really brought to our line. That and scoring a lot of goals.”

Chemistry. Some guys have it and some guys don’t.

RELATED CONTENT: Dean Lombardi on the 2013 Black Aces

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About John Hoven

John Hoven is a member of the of the Professional Hockey Writers Association and co-hosts Kings of the Podcast. He is also the founder and editor of MayorsManor.com, which has been named Best Sports Blog in Los Angeles by LA Weekly and Hockey Blog of the Year by Yahoo Sports. Click "ABOUT OUR TEAM" above for a full bio.