Gann Matsuda On The Hockeywriters.com: LA Kings Looking For More From Second Line
October 11, 2010 1 Comment
LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Kings are 1-1 two games into the 2010-11 National Hockey League regular season, and while it is way, way too early to identify trends, either positive or negative, the Kings have scored just twice in the two games, once on the power play and once in a five-on-five situation.
To make matters worse, the Kings generated few chances during five-on-five situations in both games, in part because of tight checking by the Vancouver Canucks on October 9 (Kings won that game at Vancouver, 2-1 in a shootout) and by the Calgary Flames on October 10 (Flames won, 3-1, in Calgary).
As stated earlier, two games into the season is way too early to identify this as a problem. Nevertheless, Kings head coach Terry Murray has to be a bit concerned.
Although his first line of Ryan Smyth and Dustin Brown centered by Anze Kopitar has created scoring chances in the two games, the second line of Jarret Stoll centering Brad Richardson and Justin Williams has struggled to generate opportunities, and that extends back into the pre-season, including when left wing Scott Parse was on the left side prior to suffering ankle and groin injuries that put him on injured reserve to start the season.
Despite the fact that Williams came into training camp in outstanding physical condition and has looked faster and stronger since his first pre-season game, and while Richardson has been effective in his role, battling for loose pucks along the boards and in the corners, the line has been unable to get much of anything going as Stoll has not yet gotten untracked.
Heading into training camp, Murray pointed to Stoll as a player he expects more offense from.
“Jarret Stoll is a player who I talked to in our exit meetings,” said Murray. “I really want to see him on the puck possession plays, making offensive zone plays, shooting more, scoring more.”
“It’s there for him, in my eyes, the way he can skate and shoot, along with his attitude of getting to the net, looking for rebounds,” added Murray. “We need him to put up more in the offensive part of the game as a second-line center.”
Stoll did not score a goal during the pre-season and has been held off the scoresheet in the first two games of the regular season, even though he was credited with five shots on goal, along with one missed shot, against Vancouver.
But against the Flames, Stoll fired just two shots on goal and missed on one attempt.
Although he has been strong on face-offs, winning nine out of eleven against the Canucks and eleven out of 13 against the Flames, Stoll knows that expectations are higher for him…
To read the full story, click on: Los Angeles Kings Looking For More From Second Line.
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