The Los Angeles Kings aren’t getting enough from their left wings, centers or specifically captain Dustin Brown. It appears head coach Darryl Sutter’s solution is to put it all in a blender, according to NHL.com’s report on the team’s expected lines for Thursday’s game against the Phoenix Coyotes.
For one thing, Brown leaves his usual perch alongside Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams on the first line, giving way to Dwight King. The 28-year-old instead joins Jarret Stoll and Trevor Lewis on the third line.
“It’s going to be an adjustment,” Kopitar said. “I guess it helps — not that it’s a good thing — but he [Brown] was hurt during training camp so I played with [King and Williams] for a full two weeks. We kind of know each other already. It shouldn’t be too much of a difference.”
Mike Richards drew some criticism from Sutter for his work at center so far, but perhaps that’s the advantage to Los Angeles snatching two former pillars of Philadelphia’s pivot position, as the Kings are merely moving Richards to left wing and Jeff Carter back to center. (Matt Frattin evens out that trio.)
We’ll see if that’s a long-term or even full-game thing, as line changes can be rapid and experimental. If these work tonight, it would be impressive, as goals rarely come easily against the stingy Coyotes.