Jan 8, 2012, 6:37 PM EDT
Rich Hammond of LA Kings Insider notes that head coach Darryl Sutter has made his first major shakeup since taking over for Terry Murray.
In an effort to coax offense from a team that’s averaging a league-worst 2.02 goals per game — if they keep it up, the Kings will finish with the lowest GPG average since the lockout — Sutter shook up his lines following a 1-0 loss to Columbus.
– Justin Williams went from second-line right wing to first-line right wing.
– Dustin Brown stayed on the first line, but moved from right to left wing.
– Mike Richards moved from first-line left wing to second-line center.
– Jarret Stoll stayed on the second line, but moved from center to right wing.
In short, Sutter bailed on the idea of loading up the top line with his three best offensive weapons — Brown, Richards and Anze Kopitar — in favor of a more balanced attack.
“We’ll try the other way, with Mike back to his natural position,” Sutter said. “Stolly has played wing. Willy has been playing really good. Hopefully he can give Kopi a little boost there.’’
Hammond notes there’s nothing revolutionary with Sutter’s moves, as both Brown and Stoll have played these “new’’ positions before. If anything, the shift signifies Sutter’s sense of urgency to find a solution. He tried the top-heavy idea, now he’s trying the balanced approach. He’s also seeing how he can spark Kopitar, who has been underwhelming recently (one goal in his last 21 games.)
And if Sutter can’t figure the offense out with the players he’s got, perhaps he’ll get some new players. Helene Elliott of the LA Times notes that “General Manager Dean Lombardi undoubtedly is making and taking calls,” with regards to making a deal, especially since Simon Gagne appears nowhere close to returning.
- Playoffs Tonight: Senators confident they can beat Penguins 18
- Video: Kings denied a goal after quick whistle 25
- Tweet from L.A. Kings Twitter account stirs controversy 27
- Discuss: Sharks take Game 4, even semifinal series against Kings 13
- Discuss: Bruins rally in third, take 3-0 series lead 83
- Video: Callahan gets away with high-sticking Chara 26
- Playoffs Tonight: Kings look for ‘killer instinct’ against Sharks 10
- Brother says Patrick Roy will be Avs’ head coach 21
- Video: Controversy colors Blackhawks goal, disallowed score 58
- Discuss: Detroit takes 2-1 series lead vs. Chicago 89
- Video: Crosby scores hat trick, hits playoff milestone against Senators (91)
- Discuss: Detroit takes 2-1 series lead vs. Chicago (90)
- Discuss: Bruins rally in third, take 3-0 series lead (89)
- Bryzgalov thinks Stalin did a good job, wishes Philadelphia wasn’t so old, and believes poor people don’t want to work (80)
- McPhee says lack of power plays ‘didn’t feel right’; Torts says Washington is ‘whining’ (70)
- Tiger calls Sergio's comments inappropriate, hurtful
- Bears great Urlacher announces retirement
- Posnanski on Golf: Sergio shows disdain for Tiger
- HBT: Soriano calls out Harper after blown save
- PHT: Sharks take Game 4, pull even with Kings
- PBT: Cavs win NBA draft lottery, will pick No. 1
- PBT: Nick Gilbert again Cavs' good luck charm