Will lineup shifting make a difference?
Darryl Sutter made his most significant line changes as Kings coach today, when he flipped some players on the first and second lines. Justin Williams moves from second-line right wing to first-line right wing. Dustin Brown stays on the first line but moves from right wing to left wing. Mike Richards moves from first-line left wing to second-line center. Jarret Stoll stay on the second line but moves from center to right wing. It’s nothing that hasn’t happened before — Brown and Stoll have played their respective “new’’ positions in the past — but it’s a product of Sutter trying to squeeze some offense out of this group, which is coming dangerously close to averaging fewer than two goals per game (2.02).
SUTTER: “Keep mixing and matching those guys. The kids, the one line, has been pretty good for us, so we’ll keep working with it. We’ll try the other way, with Mike back to his natural position. Stolly has played wing. Willy has been playing really good. Hopefully he can give Kopi a little boost there.’’
And, in Sutter’s opinion, is Kopitar, who leads the Kings in points (36) but has only 11 goals — including one in his last 21 games — in need of such a boost?
SUTTER: “Well, the media always does everything based off numbers, right? From a numbers standpoint, he’s probably fine, but I think there’s other parts of his game that he can be better at, that can help us.’’