I’ve been thinking about the defense a lot. Whether they’ll be good if not better without Scuderi who always did the “little things” and made Jonathan Quick look really good… and really rich.
Then of course, my glass half empty brain started thinking.
WITH Mitchell and Scuderi the Kings barely finished 8th, had a nice run and then won a Stanley Cup.
WITHOUT Mitchell, the Kings finished 6th, and were ousted by the eventual Stanley Cup Champs.
Okay, not bad. Weird, but not bad.
This season the Kings MAY or MAY NOT be with the services of Willie Mitchell. Judging by the endless parade to the doctors office over the past 4 seasons I’m just not going to include Mitchell and if he does wind up playing, chalk it up to a 1969 New York Mets miracle.
Okay, so Regehr can be punishing and he was playing with a bum shoulder most of the time he was a King, but is he a perfect replacement for Scuderi? Sure, I can convince myself of that. Xanax will do that for you.
Can Jeff Schultz resurrect his career that saw him as a +50 just 4 seasons ago but fell out of favor with not one but TWO coaches… who, compared to Darryl Sutter are creampuffs? Will he be motivated or will he wind up in the corn field with Trent Hunter and Ethan Moreau? My money is on him disappearing faster than Nat… okay, I won’t go there again.
Muzzin should have a better year, Martinez hopefully will have his confidence back after having his face shattered in Europe.
Greene will hopefully be healthy.
Ellerby, well, Thomas Hickey was once a high pick, too.
To me, it’s always about those “little things” I mentioned in quotes at the top of this blog. Putting your stick down to block a shot. Knowing what your opponent is going to do before he does it. Scuderi had that instinct. Do the others?
I don’t think the Kings will be as good defensively as they have been and that might mean the difference between a few wins and a few losses.
Of course, it all doesn’t matter until the season starts.
I do hope the Kings keep the “core” together and Lombardi manages to figure out how to keep Clifford AND Lewis.
Chances are, Mitchell won’t be back so Lombardi will have enough to keep Vey or Kozun or Pearson as well.
Have a great week, folks.