Robyn Regehr and Matt Greene are not friends of the analytics movement. They are your old school, "defense" first type of guys. Matt Greene occasionally will jump into the offensive zone, more so than Regehr does, but also gets burned more at the blue line than Barack Obama in the YouTube comments section. And both are absolutely horrendous when trying to exit their own zone. It's like having your head so far up your ass you don't know which way is out. At least that's what it feels like watching them trying to settle a puck down behind their own net, or trying to find an outlet pass. And now the season is in jeopardy because the Kings have lost two games in a row.
Fortunately the Kings have Alec Jesus Martinez coming back. Oh wait. No they don't. He's been riding a stationary bike only. Whether this is because the team is playing it safe with his concussion, or because he thinks he is trying to bike to the store and back, is unknown. But they have Tanner Pearson walking without crutches or das boot! Though even the optimistic predictions are that he'll be back at the playoffs. Hurry the fuck up, Tanner. What about Andrej Sekera? Oh shit, they already got him. Uhhhhhh, who's in Manchester? Forbort? Anyone else? Schultz? Um, ANYONE else?
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Mike Richards has a goal for Manchester tonight. 3 goals, 9 assists in 10 games.</p>— Rich Hammond (@Rich_Hammond) <a href="https://twitter.com/Rich_Hammond/status/571488018919370753">February 28, 2015</a></blockquote>
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The Kings have a roster spot open. Nick Shore hasn't been bad, but could he shift to the wing and rotate with Jordan Nolan? Sure it doesn't mean Greene or Regehr sits more, but If Richards has picked up his play, AT ALL, is it worth giving him a shot? Probably not, but let's play devil's advocate. His cap hit is still very present whether he's in Los Angeles or Manchester. The team can't seriously be worried about waivers. "Oh no. Please don't pick him up" (winks and nudges Toronto Maple Leafs). What the hell, why not?
Maybe it's just too painful for Jeff Carter. Though you have to figure Richards will be doing whatever it takes to avoid going back to New Hampshire. It's a bit too late to showcase him at the deadline (you know, since that's tomorrow), and really the less the league knows about him the better. Maybe someone will forget about him by the draft if he only toils in the AHL. I guess I'm not opposed to him in a limited role again to see if there is any sign of a career resurgence. Or I could just be grossly overreacting to a two game losing streak.
Good god though did Greene and Regehr suck these past two games. Carter and Toffoli looked off in the last game, but the well rounded suckiness of those defenders makes me want to gouge my eyes out with a melon baller. I know Jamie McBain has a tendency to whack opposing players in the cojones, but do the Kings really need to be going with both Regehr and Greene? They didn't last year in the playoffs, that's for certain. You figure once Los Angeles has Martinez back the team would be better off scratching one of them. You have enough penalty killers with Doughty, Muzzin, Sekera, and in a pinch with Martinez. Of course it likely means Brayden McNabb sits. Sigh.
Prediction: Kings lose 3-2 with goals by Regehr and Greene.