Kings' fourth line getting some work - LA Kings Insider

Darryl Sutter’s past would indicate that he values grit. A glance at his 2003-04 Calgary Flames team, which made a surprising run to the Stanley Cup Finals, reveals a roster with a lot of grinders. Perhaps it’s not surprising, then, that so far during his stint with the Kings, Sutter has increased the responsibilities of his fourth-line players, particularly Kyle Clifford, Colin Fraser and Trent Hunter. For instance, starting with the Anaheim game, Fraser’s ice time went from 6:59 to 9:23 to 10:11 to 12:56 (it dipped to 9:37 last night). Sutter has even put the fourth line out for special-teams duty briefly. Sutter comes with the reputation as a coach who likes to roll four lines when possible, and it doesn’t appear as though that’s going to change in Los Angeles.

SUTTER: “I think you’ve just got to recognize and have a trust in that combination on your fourth line. And then recognize what’s going on on your bench lots of times, too. It’s the style of game, or maybe how another line is playing. You look at a guy like Fraser, who, really, we’ve swung him through the lineup pretty good and he has given us (good play). The game before, he played several shifts with Kopitar and Brown because I wanted those guys to play more of an abrasive game. We talked about being a good four-line team (against Chicago). It’s simple. That gives them some more responsibility if they’re on their game. If the top skill guys are really going, you want to give them big minutes, but we also use those guys to kill penalties, Anze and Brownie and Richie, so with Kopitar’s minutes, maybe there are times when you want to give him a little (rest).

“There are times, like the first five or six minutes in the second period, when they didn’t play that much. That wasn’t about how they were playing. It was just for their benefit. You know, it’s not a rite of passage that the top players get to go every third shift, or the top defensemen. I think we cut Drew’s minutes back (against Chicago), because I thought Johnson and Greenie were going to be important players in the game, give us a little more of the physical part of the game. I know the mantra is that we have to score more goals, but there are parts of our system that we’re trying to do differently, in terms of defensive pressure to get more pucks, and we have some guys that aren’t there yet. So even though they’re high-end guys, they can do a lot better job, in those parts of the game, to create better individual numbers for themselves.’’

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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.