I appreciate what Kings' head coach Terry Murray is trying to do for tonight's game. He has taken Trevor Lewis out of tonight's lineup for their game against Pittsburgh and replaced him with tough guy Kevin Westgarth. Westgarth may be a fan favourite and I personally hold nothing against him but this move is not what the Kings need to win.
If I'm somehow wrong and Westgarth proves to be a factor in a Los Angeles win tonight then I'll admit my mistake but until then, I have to voice my displeasure. Taking Trevor Lewis out of the lineup was a smart idea. In 12 games this season, Lewis has yet to recorded a single point and is a -1. To suggest that Lewis is feeling the effects of a sophomore jinx is a huge understatement.
With Westgarth, though, his presence might be a little pick-me-up for the Kings as he'll probably drop the gloves tonight or, who knows, even set up a nice goal like he did in Phoenix a couple weeks ago but it won't be enough to top a team like Pittsburgh. Terry Murray did cite that Westgarth's physical presence was needed but it's unlikely that it'll turn things 180 from their last game against Edmonton.
If you're calling me skeptical, then you're absolutely right. I am skeptical. I really don't know what to expect from this team after their performances over the last couple of weeks. I can only hope that this time for the Los Angeles Kings is their version of January last season. If that's the case, then there's nothing to worry about.
There's a lot to say on what's wrong with the Kings but let's see how tonight's game goes and go from there.
Photo: Courtesy of ECAC Hockey