Line changes...well, maybe - LA Kings Insider

It was only a few minutes after last night’s game when Terry Murray told reporters that he wouldn’t make line changes, that he was pleased with chemistry. Well, this morning the Kings hit the ice with three new lines, although each received only right-wing tweaking. Justin Williams skated with Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown. Trevor Lewis skated with Jarret Stoll and Ryan Smyth. Wayne Simmonds skated with Michal Handzus and Kyle Clifford. Afterward, Murray tried to throw a bit of cold water on the changes, telling reporters that those wouldn’t necessarily be the lines Thursday when the Kings play Florida…

MURRAY: “We’ll see where that goes, in a couple days. Sometimes, if you make a little line change in practice, it brings a little more focus to it, and that’s a good thing when you have two days between games. We’ll see where it goes. Look, we need some offense. We need to get some production from the top two lines, in particular. The Stoll line has been tremendous, through the time they’ve been together, with lots of points, good chemistry, good reads and a lot of things happening. But in the last several games here, we’ve gone a little stale. We’re just trying to get a different look and get some focus back. Maybe it will stay as I had it in practice here today. Quite honestly, I can’t answer that. I’m going to continue to watch the last couple games, and put it under the microscope a little bit and see if I can make some changes that would be for the next game.”

If Murray does decide to make changes, it certainly wouldn’t be a surprise to see Williams on the top line. The Kings’ leading scorer, with 22 points in 23 games, Williams has been consistently strong all season. His speed, hard skating and willingness to work in the corners have made him a standout in nearly every game this season, and the move of Williams to the first line can be seen as a reflection on his strong play…

WILLIAMS: “Well, I don’t know about that, but it’s definitely a reflection of how the team has lacked scoring. We’ve scored, I don’t know, five goals in the last five games, something along those lines. That’s clearly not acceptable, so we’ll try to switch things up maybe. Maybe Kopi, Brownie and I can create something, but it’s only going to get created if we work hard for each other out there. I know we will, and hopefully this is something good. Smytty, Stolly and I stayed together for over 20 games, which is kind of an eternity for lines in this league, but hopefully we can do the same, create a spark and get something going in the positive direction.”

Question: You and Kopitar, when everyone was healthy last season, had some good success. If that something you think you could pick up again?

WILLIAMS: “For sure. Kopi is a guy who is simply going to create space, just by him being out there. If I can play at the top of my game, that means good things. Brownie is kind of the crasher, and I’m the grinder. I’ll try to make plays out there and try to make stuff happen, but I can’t deviate from my game, just because I’m playing with Kopi and Brownie. I’ll just play the same way.”

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Adrian Kempe

#9 | 6′ 2″ | 195 lb | Age: 21

Born: September 13, 1996
Birthplace: Kramfors, SWE
Position: LW
Handedness: Left


Kempe was selected by the Kings in the first round (29th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.

Alex Iafallo

#19 | 6′ | 185 lb | Age: 23

Born: December 21, 1993
Birthplace: Eden, NY, USA
Position: C
Handedness: Left


Iafallo was signed by the Kings as an unrestricted free agent on April 18, 2017.

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.

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.