LA Kings LA Kings Insider Presented By Solar City Ontario Reign
October 22, 2011 4:30 pm

Second-line support big for Kopitar, Kings

Behind every great first line is a strong second line. That’s a formula — depth at forward — that the San Jose Sharks have successfully followed for years, and it’s now evident with the Dallas Stars, with Jamie Benn and Loui Eriksson providing a strong second-line punch. So, when you look at the early-season success of Anze Kopitar and his linemates, don’t forget to nod in the direction of Dustin Penner, Mike Richards and Dustin Brown, who have made matchup situations more difficult for opposing coaches and who have made life easier for Terry Murray. No longer can teams simply key on Kopitar’s line.

MURRAY: “That’s something that players recognize right away, I think, is the matchups. They’re looking at the back ends [defensemen] in particular and they’re nodding at each other if they’ve got that third pair out there. `This is the shift. Let’s get it in, get it going and get after them.’ It makes it difficult for the opposing coach when you have a couple lines that are a threat out there. Whenever there is, in the players’ minds, a mismatch or I see something there, where I can get a line out in a mismatch situation, I’ll try to jump on that one right away. It’s a nice feeling for a player, I think, to have a little less pressure sometimes, just in a couple shifts in a game or a period, so they can get a nice comfort level of play in the offensive zone, where there’s a real good feeling coming back to the bench and they’re saying, `That feels good, guys. Let’s get out there and keep doing it.’’’

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.