Jekyll and Hyde: Report card time

The Kings record is 19 – 18 – 1 and at this moment that is good for 5th place in the Berry Conference.

With 28 games remaining, the path of the RiverKings is uncertain. Will the team actually go on a real winning streak and push for the playoffs? Or will the Kings continue to sputter along?

Will coach Gardner start a dismantling or simply tinker until the summer and make a sweeping move?

The O: C-A bit disappointing to be honest considering I was expecting to enter this season with a stellar offense. It has been incredibly erratic to say the least. The lack of a first line has really hurt this team offensively and also defensively and prevents it from reaching its full potential.

The D: C-Disappointing also. At this point it is merely average and some may even argue below average. Landmesser has been looking like an average defenseman, which would be fine if he wasn’t captain of this team and making big dollars. His offensive numbers aren’t up to expectations. He’s too slow at this level. Time to retire.

This team has been disappointing, I don’t see potential in the Kings as it stands.It seems to lack the mental acuity to play consistently at a certain level and as a result shows a different side of itself at every game.

The Kings have shown that it can be Jekyll and Hyde and when it shows up on the ice you don’t know which one is going to show up.

Hopefully the coach will make some trades and get new acquisitions from some trades this season. Such as GETTING RID OF SOME BIG FOWARD NAMES AND OLD D -MEN and get back to the basics of hockey and that is hard work.

I’d like to hear you guys grade the team’s performance so far and I’m sure it will be mixed between people like me who see the team as merely average with unfulfilled potential as a result of the rebuilding process and then others who see the team as dreadful that needs to be completely revamped.

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The Roller Coaster season is still happening.

28 games left!!

If you look at that record at face value(19 – 18 – 1), I think it reflects the talent level on this club and the tooth-and-nail dogfight the Kings will be in over the final games of the regular season as they look to secure a playoff spot.

Here’s a player-by-player assessment of the Kings as they turn the page on the first half of the season.

The D

#55 Derek Landmesser
As I said above: Landmesser has been looking like an average defenseman, which would be fine if he wasn’t captain of this team and making big dollars. His offensive numbers aren’t up to expectations. He’s too slow at this level. Time to retire.C-

#5 Russell Smith
A solid, stay-at-home performer. Some defensive breakdowns of late but, again, he’s not alone. B+

#46 Milan Maslonka
Always hurt and does not have the jets. C-

#44 Nathan Lutz
A very steady performer along the blueline, exceeding expectations/A-

#7 Dane Marshall
He doesn’t always look pretty.He’s fine when he works within his game. But he has had a tough year. B.

#4 Martin Kubaliak –
Mississippi 01/17/11 Kubaliak, Martin (D) waived

#24 Andrew Lackner- Lackner, Andrew (D) placed on 10 day IR
He plays well in stretches and plays badly in (long) stretches. Not having the year I thought he would have. But no one else is having a good year. C

The O

#3 Patrik Levesque
Making the most of his ice time. He can contribute offensively. B

#9 Matt Boyd
Hard-working performer brings his “A” game on most nights. The proof will be in the pudding, at playoff time. B

#16 Louis Dumont
Good old Lou. A solid two-way contributor who has earned his paycheck. A

#19 Matt Summers
A bit of a surprise for me. I didn’t think he had a good season last season. But overcame a slow start this season and has become one of the more consistent offensive performers on this team. B+

#20 R.G. Flath
Good wheels, great shot, and his defensive game has improved. B-

#26 Chris Auger
Tons of effort, but is fighting for second and third-line ice time. C

#27 Brennan Sarazin
A very steady performer, exceeding expectations. However, his lack of foot speed has become glaringly apparent.

#72 Jeff Christian
Great guy. 11 goals in 38 games has to be classified as a disappointment for the player who should be leading this team in scoring by a long shot. Prone to defensive lapses in the neutral zone. However, he always a threat to score whenever he fires the puck. C

#83 Chris Richards
Another frustratingly inconsistent performer. His production will forever be linked to his fat salary. Truth is, Jeff and Chris are the biggest disapointments of the season.C

#22 Tyler Sheldrake
Prone to long lapses of lazy hockey.C-

#87 Darrell Stoddard/
A solid two-way player. He can contribute offensively, now and then. Has earned every single second of ice time. Put him in front of the net, and good things happen. He gets an “A” for effort, alone. B+

Tenders: B-

Sterling and Pechurskiy have given the Kings on most nights the opportunity to win.

Unfortunately for the two backstops, the Kings don’t score a lot of goals.Both netminders have shown this season that they can be brilliant, however, they seem to lack the mental stability to ensure that it remains through the thick and thin and this has resulted in both goalies showing several poor performances this season.

The new coach, Gardner, I’ll give a B.


That’s it for today. I’ll be back on Thursday with Offside Thursday and a re-cap of the Kings road trip and Tuesday’s game vs the Bugs.

I’m Joe Sports.

A new season begins now !!

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