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Quarter Season Review - Richards, Gagne & Williams

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From Matthew Barry

Mike Richards

Remember the days when we had Jason Allison and the second line center was Jozef Stumpel? Richards is exactly what the Kings have been looking for in a 2nd line center for decades and he’s proving to be exactly as advertised. It took a while for him to get used to his new teammates, but short handed goals, power play goals and a +3 defensively Richards will only get better. GRADE: A

Simon Gagne

Probably Lombardi’s best signing yet and benefiting not from playing with his old linemate in Richards but on the top line with Williams and Kopitar and has repeatedly come up with timely goals. GRADE: A

Justin Williams

I’m still not convinced he’s first line material but he’s been working his tail off this season and is making Kopitar and Gagne look really good. Last season at this time Williams had 9 goals and 12 assists and didn't have a consistent left winger, so 3 and 12 is a bit of an underperformance from him. Lets hope he stays healthy. GRADE: B

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I think the Kings will get better as the year goes on. I don't think we're going to finish top 2 or 3.

I would agree. But the Kings are not without problems. Dustin Penner has a been a TOTAL bust in LA and is a UFA at the end of this season. I see LAK trying to just salvage what they can (they only have about 600k in cap room, so he could be moved at the deadline or before as he is the 3rd highest paid on the team).

Doughty has been average thus far. Jack Johnson has been head scratching as usual (if there was ever a case for a player to have been sent to AHL for development prior to starting NHL career, I think Jack is / was a poster child for that).

Goaltending has been good, but Bernier can't be happy about only getting 3 starts out of 20 this season. At one point he was the heir apparent, but Quick has wrestled the job away from him and won't give it back. I can't think it is not healthy to only have Bernier getting 12-15 starts this year.

I also think that the Kings really miss an energetic gritty winger (ala Simmonds).

So, lots of talent and potential, but certainly not without cracks and problems.

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#2-4 spots for points for the kings- Richards, Gagne, Williams

Richards and Gagne tied for #1 in plus minus

Kings are one win behind so far.

If not this year then next year you will see them in the SCF with a real chance at the cup.

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