All eyes on Frolov - LA Kings Insider

For as long as Ryan Smyth is out of the lineup, Alexander Frolov will go a long way toward determining how successful the Kings will be. Doesn’t this kind of have the feel of a soap opera? Frolov, last year’s leading scorer, gets benched, comes back, moves up to the top line and…what’s next? Gets amnesia and has his evil twin brother show up?

It’s going to be very compelling to see how Frolov handles the move. I asked Justin Williams about skating with Frolov, and Williams said he thought he, Frolov and Kopitar had some shifts together near the end of last season.

Immediately after his one-game exile last month, Frolov had three goals and four assists in four games. Since then, he has had zero goals and four assists in nine games. Which Frolov will the Kings get now? Here’s what Terry Murray said about the ever-evolving situation…

Question: Ryan Smyth brings some specific qualities that helped Kopitar and helped that line. What does Frolov need to do in order to help that line stay at that level?

MURRAY: “He’s going to have to bring his `A’ game, as far as the playing side of it. Just be on top of his game, with the puck possession, cycles, puck protection, getting pucks to the net. That’s the one thing that Ryan Smyth does very well, is taking pucks and getting pucks to the net on a pretty consistent basis. I think Fro is a player that would rather pass the puck around some problems, and try to pass it to an open guy, rather than getting it to the net on a shot-mentality basis, like Smyth. So, can I change that? That’s a difficult request, but we’re going to keep talking about it.

“The other part that Ryan Smyth brings to it is just on the emotional side of the game. His mentality is different. He has an attitude of playing that game in the real dirty areas. I think that’s a big part of the addition that was really positive for that line. It really, I think, brought an attitude to Kopi, where now we’re seeing more of that drive to the net, take it to the blue paint in traffic, under pressure, which is a very courageous play. Ryan Smyth does that on a pretty consistent basis. So we’ll miss that part of it. I just hope that, after 20 games, Kopi has really seen that that’s an important part of it, and he can continue to do it and maybe encourage Fro to continue with the same idea.”

Question: It’s been roughly one month since you went through the stuff with Frolov, taking him out of the lineup. Since then, has he showed you what you need to see, consistently?

MURRAY: “Yeah, pretty good. Pretty consistent. What I talked to him about was concentration. Don’t stray from the game. We need more than skill in this game today. It’s got to be attitude. That’s five times more important than skill sometimes, when you’re playing the heavy games, the hard games, and this [Philadelphia] is one of the teams that you have to bring that attitude to. The concentration level, by Fro, since he’s been back into the lineup, has been good. He looks hungry to me. His intensity is right where it needs to be.

“Look, I’m not going to take too much of the credit for taking him out of the lineup. The other part of it, he knows this is a huge year for him contractually as well. Everything that he does, number-wise, is going to be referred to whenever they get into negotiations. So it’s very important that he bring his `A’ game every night.”

Rules for Blog Commenting
  • - No profanity, slurs or other offensive language. Replacing letters with symbols does not turn expletives into non-expletives.
  • - Personal attacks against other blog commenters, and/or blatant attempts to antagonize other commenters, are not tolerated. Respectful disagreement is encouraged. Posts that continually express the same singular opinion will be deleted.
  • - Comments that incite political, religious or similar debates will be deleted.
  • - Please do not discuss, or post links to, websites that illegally stream NHL games.
  • - Posting under multiple user names is not allowed. Do not type in all caps. All violations are subject to comment deletion and/or banning of commenters, per the discretion of the blog administrator.
Jake Muzzin

#6 | 6′ 3″ | 216 lb | Age: 27

Born: Feb 21, 1989
Birthplace: Woodstock, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Left


Muzzin was drafted in 2007 by the Pittsburgh Penguins, before signing to the Kings in 2010. He has since become the first Woodstock, Ontario professional athlete to win a major sports trophy.

Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left


As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right


Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

Tyler Toffoli

#73 | 6′ 1″ | 200 lb | Age: 24

Born: April 24, 1992
Birthplace: Scarborough, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right


Toffoli is a Canadian professional ice hockey forward, drafted by the Kings in the second round of the 2010 Draft. Toffoli scored his first career NHL goal in his second game in a 4–0 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes in 2013. He was also named the 2012–13 AHL All-Rookie Team.

Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right


Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left


Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.