Much attention, and rightfully so, has been paid to the need for improved scoring from Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown. At a time in their career when their offensive numbers should be rising, they are falling. That’s not to say other players shouldn’t be under the microscope. Jarret Stoll scored 20 goals last season as a second-line center, and the thought, heading into this season, was that a move to the third line would actually help Stoll, as he would be matched up against less-strenuous opposition. It hasn’t worked out. Stoll has five goals in 55 games this season. To be fair, he’s still arguably the Kings’ top faceoff man, he’s a responsible defensive player and he hasn’t exactly had a lot to work with this season, in terms of linemates. Still, Stoll acknowledged today that he needs to be producing more.
STOLL: “I try to do a lot of different things out there, and bring things to our team in other areas. Obviously, in the last 23 games here, we all have to do better, in creating opportunities and goals, assists, points, whatever. It’s obviously not a great year, but I’m just trying to do things to help the team win, and play my role and just try to play it consistently.’’
Will Stoll be playing center upon his return? Most recently, Stoll has been filling a second-line right-wing role, but Stoll said today that he feels more comfortable playing center. The Kings have Anze Kopitar and Mike Richards on the first two lines, and Sutter has praised the overall play of the third line, centered by Andrei Loktionov. It’s possible that Stoll will return as a fourth-line center.
STOLL: “I like center. It’s my natural position, and where I feel more comfortable, anyway. I’ve never played much wing, in a long, long time. Some games were a struggle out there on the wing, but you’ve just got to communicate with your linemates, talk with them and make sure you’re on the same page. But yeah, center is where I like to be.’’