Farewell Iron Man Kopitar

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Yea yea, we’ve talked about it already, but when your top scorer (for several years) goes down with a broken ankle for somewhere near 6 weeks, it’s going to be a subject of conversation. Fortunately for the Kings, we’re deep at center. OK, not so much deep as… well… not deep. We’re not deep at center. I mean, there are players who can play center (Stoll, Handzus, Lewis, Richardson, Moller, but we’re still far from deep at the position, and absorbing the loss of our #1 center is going to be rough.

According to Rich Hammond, the Kings are skating as follows for practice today:

Penner-Handzus-Moller
Smyth-Lewis-Brown
Ponikarovsky-Stoll-Simmonds
Clifford-Richardson-Westgarth

It’s a respectable line-up, but not one that is likely to strike fear into the hearts of opponents. As Murray points out:

Execution is going to be critical. Playing the system, playing with structure is going to be highlighted even more, and then the opportunities, when you do recover the pucks, now be creative. Now try to get something done on the offensive part of the game.

If the team can get some strong execution, and come together this could be what some people call an “opportunity.” Lewis gets a shot on the 2nd line, Moller gets bumped to the 1st line where he will be expected to chip in some goals, and the team as a whole gets an uptick in responsibilities. If the Kings can pull through this rough stretch, they will no doubt be even stronger as a team moving forward.

I’m curious what you think. Are the Kings going to fall apart and miss the playoffs? Make them and enjoy an abrupt exit? Or will the Kings pull together and make a run?

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Tags: Brad Richardson Jarrett Stoll Los Angeles Kings Michael Handzus Oscar Moller Terry Murray Trevor Lewis

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