Bob Miller and Jim Fox were talking about Rob Scuderi’s response to a question about the coaching change during the Kings’ match up against the Blackhawks tonight. Scuderi was asked if he noticed a difference in their style of play since the coaching change and he responded by saying there is a little difference. Scuderi said something to the effect that Sutter’s style is “attack before you are attacked.” The Kings record with Sutter at the helm is 3-0-1 with 2 of those 4 going to overtime/shootout. Scuderi’s simple explanation might be the best assessment I’ve seen yet. Simply put, the Kings seem to be a little more proactive.
I’d like to just mention some things I’ve noticed since Sutter has taken over the Kings (these are just my observations, so the words “appear” and “seem” will show up a lot). Also, some observations on the Kings vs Blackhawks:
-The Kings do appear to be getting more scoring chances. Where the Kings under Murray had devolved into “Dump and Chase Hell”, under Sutter they enter faster and shoot sooner.
-Forwards tend to carry the puck into the attacking zone more often, rather than dumping it from center ice.
-The Kings seem to have addressed the vexing habit of always looking for the perfect pass. A lot more shots, even if they are low percentage BUT they appear to be creating more rebounds.
-Voynov is the real deal. He doesn’t look very big, but he is a very strong positional defenseman and handles the puck very well. I’m glad he wasn’t dealt off this summer because his stock has easily doubled since then.
-The Kings PK doesn’t seem to have suffered from the coaching change. Guys like Kopitar and Richards are shorthanded demons. Richards in particular has that knack for getting you out of your seat when he moves the puck out of the zone shorthanded.
-Patrick Kane LOVES to shoot short side high from the right wing.
-I wonder if Darryl Sutter will make any difference when it comes to calling up kids like Vey or Kozun. Oh, and Tyler Toffoli is on pace for 118 pts and something like 60 goals this season in the OHL. He had 57 goals and 108 pts last season.
-I like the Kings 4th line mix. Clifford is one of those guys who isn’t on the 4th line because he’s just worse than the other forwards. He’s a GOOD 4th line player. Brings grit, energy, and some offense. It’s not an insult for him to be on the 4th line because he owns that position.
-Justin Williams is one of the best forwards in the league down along the boards, in my opinion. He was born to cycle.
-If the Kings can get their sticks on the ice when they’re camped out in front of the net, they’ll get so many more tip chances.
-The Kings didn’t look like they were going to go into “PK” mode in the 3rd and then they did. A habit they will have to break.
The Kings face Winnipeg at 5:30 pm PT tomorrow, Thursday Dec. 29. Go Kings!
About the Author
Written by Eric Cooney
Eric Cooney was born in Pennsylvania, grew up in North Carolina, and lives in Los Angeles, CA. He shares his thoughts on the NHL as one man who is a northerner, southerner, east coaster, and west coaster. Follow him on Twitter @EricCooney