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Ondrasik: So Far, So So

by John Ondrasik / Los Angeles Kings

Five For Fighting

I’ll take it. I guess.

Faced with a brutal opening schedule our boys weathered October to slump through early November’s home skate. Recent hot play finds us sixth in the West at season’s quarter pole. That with Dustin Penner (0), Ethan Moreau (1), Kyle Clifford (1), Trent Hunter (0), Brad Richardson (0), Trevor Lewis (0), Andrei Loktionov (0), and Colin Fraser (1) all tied or trailing Kevin Westgarth in goal scoring. (Nice shot bro!)  Add in Jarret Stoll’s (2) and Justin Williams' (3) struggles, it’s amazing we’re above .500.

It’s still early, but let’s address some of my questions in my opening day article.

Can one of the Jonathan’s elevate to a top 10 NHL Goalie?

J. Quick’s red-hot start has tempered slightly. Still he’s stolen at least 6 points to date, and the three-game shutout streak speaks for itself.  Only half-negative is that Bernier can’t get enough games to get in a groove.  With Quick rock solid, that’s a problem Terry Murray will take.

Is Kopitar 100% healthy?
Yep.

Can Dustin Penner salvage his career?

Let me seriously address those pent-up with Sir Dustin.

As much as Kings’ fans have a penchant to impose a penance on Dean Lombardi for Mr. Penner, any pending trade is penny ante until the pendulum of his play swings back toward the penthouse.

Let’s at least give him props for Five for Fighting after Doughty was taken out in Jersey, and though we may be watching the penultimate chapter of Dustin Penner, that, at least, was a good penalty to take.

I, for one, am pulling for him.

Are the Kings tough enough?

Hasn’t hurt them yet, but scratching Kevin Westgarth to add scoring punch puts to much pressure on Kyle Clifford to bodyguard.  Without Wayne Simmonds, the Kings may have issues with tougher teams.  I don’t want to see Mike Richards dropping the gloves.

Power Play? Power Play? Power Play?

Dig it.  This group still needs some time to gel, but they have much better movement than last year. Jack Johnson has stepped up his game all around.

Is Justin Williams the secret to success?

He slumps, we slump.

Will Jarret Stoll ever miss in a shootout?

Yes (1 for 2).

Frankly, I don’t need Jarret Stoll to score goals with his face off percentage and shootout savvy.  Amazing that he goes upper right wrister every time and goalies still can’t stop him.  Note to certain nameless Kings re: shootouts:

Lose the “Pavel Bure” and get the shot on net like Stolly…Eh?

Will Drew Doughty contend for the Norris?

Doughty is still rounding into shape.  Missing training camp and early injury set him back.  He’ll be fine once he forgets he’s freaking rich.

Mike Richards?

How can you not love this guy?  Better than advertised.  Forget the goals, he has the best hockey smarts on the team. Obviously a huge loss if last night’s injury is serious.

Gagne?

I stand by my “if he stays healthy, he’s the steal of the summer” prognostication.

Most pleasant surprise so far: Slava Voynov.  I’ve got a realtor for you brother, because you ain’t going anywhere.

Biggest Concerns: Besides 2nd tier scoring, our holding leads in the 3rd period is suspect to say the least.

Most unpleasant surprise:
Love Patrick O’Neal’s work on Fox Sports, but I surmise I’m not the only one missing Heidi Androl’s broadcast contributions.

Coolest thing you probably don’t know: NBA lockout spurred scribe Bill Simmons to buy Kings’ season tickets …Huge Bball guy becoming hockey advocate.

So there ya go.  Mixed Bag.  At least we owned the Ducks!

Don’t forget.

There’s always this year!

See you at Staples.

P.S. Does Tim Tebow Skate?

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