Fourth-line decision time - LA Kings Insider

Among the Kings’ forwards, there’s still considerable question as to who will be on the fourth line. Kevin Westgarth is certain to play on one wing, but the center and left-wing spots are still very much up for grabs. Almost every practice and preseason game features a different combination, and today it was Brayden Schenn and Kyle Clifford teaming with Westgarth. Others in contention include Rich Clune, Andrei Loktionov, Trevor Lewis and John Zeiler. If Scott Parse is healthy for the start of the season, Brad Richardson likely moves to the fourth line, making the competition even tighter. Here’s what Terry Murray said about the fourth-line race today…

MURRAY: “Well, Westgarth is on the fourth line. Parse is out, so that moves Richardson into that spot. I had him as the fourth-line center iceman at the start of the training camp. With the young players still here — Schenn, Loktionov — I clearly want to use them while they’re here. Clune, Zeiler and Lewis are here. I’ve got to play around with that and try to get the best looks that I possibly can. Clifford and Schenn are with Westgarth today. It’s two young guys who are junior-eligible, and I’m giving them every look that I possibly can, to be in there and show the best that they can. It’s a hard thing to deal with, with the number of players, but it’s a nice situation to be in. It clearly says that we have a pretty good group of guys who are vying for spots.”

Clifford has been an intriguing player throughout training camp. He had a goal in Tuesday’s victory over Anaheim and looks comfortable with the type of physical play that is expected from a fourth-line player. Clifford is only 19 and would return to his junior team (Barrie of the OHL) if he doesn’t make the NHL roster.

MURRAY: “He’s a 19-year-old in a man’s body. That’s what I see. He’s a powerful guy. His test results, his on- and off-ice stuff, and you can see the play that he made on his goal the other night, just driving through to the front of the net. He’s a fearless guy. He’s a gritty guy. He’s impressive, he’s very impressive for his age. Last year, I look back and I remember that he ran out of gas at the latter part of the training camp. This year, he seems to be getting stronger. He’s physically maturing, and he’s blending in, in all of the drills. He listens well. He’s a player on the rise, obviously, and we’re excited to have him in the organization.”

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.