In and out is a fun term because it reminds me of burgers and also sex because it is what it primarily consists of from what I understand. It’s less fun in sports because eating burgers regularly is not good for you, and despite all the lingo sex is not happening on the field/rink/court. It mostly would be in terms of who is coming (there’s that lingo again!) and going from certain franchises.
For the Kings, as they close in on missing the playoffs for the second time in three seasons, they should perhaps consider an overhaul of a roster that despite being in an effective forechecking sytem, can’t score at all. While certainly bad luck has played a part with the injuries to Anze Kopitar, Tyler Toffoli, and Marian Gaborik during the course of the year, the depth of having scorers, well, doesn’t exist.
Maybe it’s time to forget about having Kyle Clifford and Jordan Nolan and Andy Andreoff. One of those guys in the lineup at a time makes sense, and none of them are above fourth line duties. One is enough.
We all love Trevor Lewis, and tolerate Nick Shore. Neither of them can score a goal to save their lives. Lewis is more versatile, without a doubt, but Shore is younger. Both back-check very well. Do they need both?
On defense, the emergence of Derek Forbort and Kevin Gravel have created a real glut of left handed defensemen. Paul LaDue seems like he will be a main stay in the future. Alec Martinez and Jake Muzzin both carry a four million dollar cap hit. Matt Greene spends the majority of the season shelved. Brayden McNabb has fallen off a cliff after starting the year looking like an emerging top pairing guy.
Coming in...well, there’s not a ton going on there. Besides the defensemen that seem to be locks for next year. that is. Adrian Kempe most certainly will be on the roster, potentially in a middle six role at center, but can play effectively at wing as well. Nic Dowd has been a reliable bottom six center in his rookie year. Kempe has been getting bigger situational roles lately, including penalty killing. Dowd has been a regular in the power play’s second unit, and is usually on the team’s third line option for three-on-three overtime.
As for who else could be en route for next season or possibly later this year for a call up there’s Michael Mersch and Johnny Brodzinski. Mersch is another of the hulking lumber-ass type. Much like Dwight King was, except not nearly as fun and he doesn’t play defense. Brodzisnki is the last real exciting prospect the Kings have that is close to ready at this point.
Is it enough to get a team into the playoffs for 2018? That depends on health again, as always, but having a few more scorers around like Kempe and Brodzinski to pick up the slack, instead of Andreoff and Clifford, should help.
In the meantime, I can pine over losing Valentin Zykov for damn near nothing.
Prediction: Lose, baby, lose.