Saturday, November 20, 2010

Panic, Defense, and Dwight

With the Kings in the midst of a three-game losing streak; it's time to hit the panic button.  The Kings defensive zone play in the past three games has been terrible.  Untimely penalties, terrible zone coverage, and just a lack of intensity at times have cost the Kings in the last three games.  Only four points separates all five teams in the Pacific Division.  Yikes!
Thomas Hickey
Thomas Hickey...Where are you?
The loss of Willie Mitchell has exposed the lack of NHL-ready defenseman in the Kings system.  Davis Drewiske has played solid this season but he can't anchor a defensive pairing.  When Coach Murray pairs him with Peter Harrold or Jake Muzzin; Kings fans everywhere start getting the sweats.  If Campbell, Hickey, Martinez, Teubert, Voynov, etc. aren't ready to step in now; it's time to acquire someone who can.  Souray anyone?  I thought former Flame Ian White may been the perfect acquisition but those dreams were crushed when he was dealt to Carolina earlier this week.

The Kings failed to sign Ilya Kovalchuk and while Kovy's contract seems to have single-handedly destroyed the New Jersey Devils franchise and 23 years worth of work for Lou Lamoriello; the Kings miss Kovy (or at least a player like him).  The Kings have lost a number of 30-goal scorers that played the left-side.  Michael Cammalleri, Alexander Frolov, and yes...even Matt Moulson.  The rumors of Iginla to L.A. continue (which I think I started...Schenn for Iginla???) but their need for a left wing is more pressing.  Dean Lombardi should be monitoring Paul Kariya's health and interest in playing this season.  It's been a revolving door on the first-line alongside Kopitar and Brown all season long with no success.   

First, Scott Parse played decent enough during his five games but he'll be out 3-4 months after surgery to repair the labrum in his hip.  Any hope of Parse emerging as the next Kris Versteeg will have to be postponed until at least the 2011-12 season.  Then Coach Murray tried Brad Richardson there.  He's got some good speed with decent hands but he's best served as a bottom-six forward.

And now...Dwight King.
Dwight King
Dwight King: The missing link?
Five random facts on Dwight King so you can impress other Kings fans with your vast knowledge on our new 1st line left wing.
  • Dwight was selected with the Kings 4th round pick in 2007.  A pick they acquired from Calgary along with Jamie Lundmark and a 2008 2nd round pick in exchange for Craig Conroy. 
  • The Kings had ten picks at the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.  Dwight is the fourth Kings selection from '07 to make his NHL debut joining Oscar Moller, Wayne Simmonds, and Alec Martinez.  Only Thomas Hickey and Joshua Turnbull remain in the Kings system.
  • King spent five seasons with the Lethbridge Hurricanes of the WHL.  The Hurricanes selected Dwight 4th overall in the 2004 WHL Bantam Draft.  Other notable draftees: Thomas Hickey (3rd), Brandon Sutter (6th), Luke Schenn (20th), Kyle Turris (41st). 
  • Dwight has a brother D.J. who currently plays for the Washington Capitals.  D.J. spent the last three seasons with the St. Louis Blues.
  • My Dwight scouting report: Possesses good size at 6'3, 218.  He's a grinder that plays a physical style.  His game reminds me a bit of Wayne Simmonds minus the flashes of offensive flair and awkward skating stride.  He's a bottom six forward that's ideal in a checking-line role.  More well-suited replacing Ponikarovsky on the Kings third-line than 'Kovalchuk' on the first.  

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