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Kings Gameday: Phasing In Jack Johnson

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LA Kings @ Minnesota Wild

5:00 PST, Fox Sports West

 

Jack Johnson made his debut against the Stars on Saturday, playing about 20 minutes overall.  He had 2 shifts for about a minute and a half, so during regular time he had about 18 1/2 minutes.  That's a pretty good number for a guy that hasn't played in 40 games, but Johnson was sheltered by Terry Murray for most of the game.  Because the Kings skated 7  defensemen, Johnson mostly played with Peter Harrold and Denis Gauthier, while occasionally taking a few shifts with Matt Greene.  He played only 30 seconds of special teams, a penalty kill in the 2nd period.  He was fairly effective, showing a good speed out of his zone and had a good scoring opportunity in overtime.  He had two shots, was on the ice for Mike Ribeiro's goal with 1 1/2 minutes left, and got a penalty for punching Steve Ott about the face.  Overall, Johnson had a fairly good game.

Now, how do the Kings get him more into the game?

The Kings are going to skate 6 defensemen tonight, meaning that one of Denis Gauthier or Peter Harrold are going to sit tonight.  Harrold has been playing a lot of minutes lately but let Jere Lehtinen skate in alone against Ersberg in the Dallas game, so Murray might sit him for that.  Gauthier is a fairly good penalty killer, but also made like 9 mistakes against the Red Wings two games ago, so maybe he'll sit.  I'd like to see Denis Gauthier sit, because no one likes him and I want to be cool.  For the defense, I'd like to see this:

Quincey-Doughty

Johnson-Greene

O'Donnell-Harrold

 

***

The Kings are playing Ivanans-Armstrong-Westgarth tonight against Minnesota.  I'm kind of afraid Westgarth is going to go toe-to-toe against Derek Boogaard.  You don't like to see a kid get killed in his first NHL game.

***

Brian Boyle and Ted Purcell were both sent down (Purcell to make room for Jonathan Bernier), so it's looks like the Kings are going to ice these lines:

Frolov-Kopitar-Simmonds (our best line against Dallas)

Calder-Stoll-Brown

O'Sullivan-Handzus-Zeiler (sigh)

The Kings, uh, the Kings are probably not going to win tonight unless our best players make something happen.

Prediction: Kings tie, 0-0.  Didn't think ties could still happen, did you?