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angryjay93

Los Angeles Kings

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Los Angeles Kings




Team Overview: Blessed with gobs of offensive talent, the Kings are built to please the most offensive minded of users. Between the Kings top 5 forwards, a line can be made to suit almost any gameplan, making the Kings exceptionally difficult to defend. As good as things are on offense, the defense is a whole other story. Littered with heavy, slow, and stupid defenseman the Kings have serious issues when they don’t have the puck, to further compound things, their goaltending is very shoddy.

Forwards: Not enough can be said about the forward corps on this team, they contain arguably the best playmaker, best one-timer shot, a top tier all around sniper, a burner, and a little known goal scorer.

Shooting Gallery:
Gretzky-Sandstrom-Robitaille

Wayne Gretzky: 4 weight, 6/4 skating, 2/2 shot, 6 sth & pass, 5/4 aware, Shoots: L

Despite the fact that Gretzky is a weak 2/2 shooter, his other skills are through the roof. With 6/4 skating, 6 stick handling and passing, and 4 weight, Gretzky has all the tools to be an elite distributor of the biscuit. Being on Sandstroms forehand side allows Gretzky to wheel and deal as he pleases and feed the booming Sandstrom one-timers. If the defense shadows Sandstrom too closely, Gretzky is nimble and resilient enough to skate in close and deke a goalie out of his mind, which should help buy Sandstrom a bit more space. Lastly, Gretzky will be the defensive cog of any forward unit on this team, his skating and weight advantage let him chase down and take down almost anyone with a well timed body check.

Tomas Sandstrom: 9 weight, 4/4 skating, 5/5 shot, 4 sth, 3 pass, 5/3 aware, Shoots: L

The ultimate one-timing fiend, Tomas Sandstrom is probably the most dangerous man in the game when he doesn’t have the puck in the offensive zone. Sandstrom has the ultimate knack with his 5 o aware of being able to find the right spot at seemingly all times to set up his blistering 5/5 shot. Despite his 9 weight, Sandstrom is a competent skater at 4/4, which allows him to keep up with the pace of the game and allow the offense to flow smoothly through him. While not the best option for defense down the middle, Sandstrom should be able to pound home more goals over the course of a game then he will give up on the other end.

Luc Robitaille: 7 weight, 4/4 skating, 4/6 shot, 5 sth, 4 pass, 5/3 aware, Shoots: L

Lucky Luc is a solid compliment to this line in that he is a great 4/6 shooter, competent 4 passer and a nimble 4/4 skater weighing in at only a 7 rating. Being left handed on the right wing allows him to use his slap shot as he pleases as the defense will likely be more focused on Gretzky and Sandstrom. Also, with his 5 o aware Robitaille is not afraid to make a home right next to the far post allowing Gretzky the chance to feed him easy slam-dunk one timer goals. The knock on Robitaille is that he isn’t a great defender, while he isn’t a human wrecking ball, he is still very competent, light enough to bring down the heavyweights, yet fast enough to chase down some of the faster players and work that slick poke check.

This is one of my most favorite lines in the entire game, it sets up perfectly for one timer experts as well as users that like to deke since all are very adept at fooling the goalie in close. Defensively this line may not be spectacular, but it can still get the job done with the right mixture of body and poke checks.

Run and Gun:
Gretzky-Robitaille-Granato

Tony Granato: 6 weight, 4/5 skating, 3/4 shot, 3 sth & pass, 4/4 aware, Shoots: R

By sliding Luc into the middle, it opens the door for Tony Granato to take the ice. While not the most skilled player on the roster, Tony is a great change pace with his 4/5 skating, allowing the offense to attack with another dimension. With his 3/4 shot and 4 off aware at 6 weight, Tony is a much more appealing option than other speedsters in the league such as Kevin Dineen.

This line doesn’t lose a whole lot of offense by bringing in Granato, whatever offense that is lost is probably mitigated by the gains on defense by subbing out Sandstrom. Robitaille is another left handed sharp-shooter, while not quite as effective as Sandstrom, he should be able to pile up the goals whether it be via the one timer or by using the deke to go through the opposing defense. I personally don’t like this line as much as the first one, but some users don’t want their offense to be anchored by a heavyweight such as Sandstrom.

Other Options:

Jimmy Carson: 9 weight, 4/4 skating, 4/5 shot, 4 sth & pass, 4/3 aware, Shoots: R

Jimmy Carson is the odd man out of this group, he is a legitimate weapon, with his 4/5 shot and steady 4/4 skating. While that shot may be the best on some teams, Carson is only the third best shooter on the Kings, couple that with his 9 weight and he just doesn’t have a place in the starting lineup. But if injuries or penalties occur, don’t forget this little known gem.

Corey Millen: 4 weight, 3/4 sakting, 2/4 shot, 3 sth & pass, 4/3 aware, Shoots: R

Doesn't really have a place in the LA lineup. But as a 6th forward on a GDL depth chart, this guy can certainly chip in with some big hits and a few goals.

Forwards Rating: (9/10)

Defense: As good as the Kings offense is, their defense is equally as bad. Despite having a lightweight option in Alexei Zhitnik, the Kings just simply don’t have the checking or brains to hold back an aggressive offense.

Blake-Zhitnik

This pairing doesn’t go with my traditional train of thought, but this defense is already beleaguered, it is probably best to stick to their strengths which is moving the puck and playing offense.

Rob Blake: 11 weight, 4/4 skating, 4/1 shot, 4 sth & pass, 4/4 aware, Shoots: R

Blake’s main and only problem is his behemoth 11 weight. With that said, it makes it really hard to unleash his 4/1 shot and get too involved on the offense, but there is always the temptation to do so. Thus it is wise to keep him on Gretzky’s side of the ice so Gretzky can cover for him. One of Blake’s main strengths is his 4 passing, by keeping him on Gretzky’s side, it makes it much easier for Blake to hit Gretzky with a breakout pass to start the attack.

Alexei Zhitnik: 5 weight, 4/4 skating, 3/2 shot, 3 sth & pass, 3/4 aware, Shoots: L

Zhitnik has the looks of a top 5-10 defenseman, 4/4 skating, 5 weight, 3/4 awareness, competent 3 passing and stick handling ratings. But alas, there is something more to Zhitnik then just the ratings. It’s the on ice product that is the main problem, for whatever reason, he plays brainless defense. I cant keep track of the amount of times I’ve heard of other users complaining about how Zhitnik completely blew his defensive zone coverage time and time again. With this in mind, its almost pointless to put him in the LD slot, which is his natural side.

Other Options:

Aside from Blake and Zhitnik, there isn’t another legitimate option, but I'll give you some anyways.

Marty MCsorley: 14 weight, 3/3 speed, 3/2 shot, 3 sth & pass, 3/4 aware, Shoots: R

Good. God. McSorley is fat.

Darryl Sydor: 9 weight, 3/3 skating, 3/1 shot, 3 sth & pass, 2/3 aware, Shoots: L

Insert generic comment about heavyweight defenseman with mediocre skill here.

Brent Thompson: 5 weight, 2/2 skating, 1/0 shot, 2 sth, 1 pass, 1/2 aware, Shoots: L

These are ratings I would assign to myself. I'm not a good hockey player just incase you were wondering.

Defense Rating: (4/10)

Goalie Zone:

Kelly Hrudey: 6 weight, 3/3 skating, 4 puck control, 2/2/2/3 save, Catch: L

Despite Icestorm’s best manual goalie efforts, Hrudey is down near the bottom of the totem poll in terms of goalies. Aside from his 4 passing, there isn’t much of anything to like about Hrudey, whether it be his 3/3 mobility, or 2/2/2/3 save ratings. To get the most out of Hrudey it is paramount to be skilled with the manual goalie…otherwise, just be prepared for a lot of high scoring affairs.

Robb Stauber: 6 weight, 2/3 skating, 3 puck control, 2/2/2/2 save, Catches: L

Pros: Not Kelly Hrudey

Cons: He's Robb Stauber

Rick Knickle: 2 weight, 2/3 skating, 2 puck control, 2/2/2/1 save, Catch: L

Knickle is the emergency option to Hrudey and Stauber in a game where goalie injuries are impossible. 'Nuff Said.

Goalie Rating: (3/10)

Bottom Line: Despite having a top 3 offense, the Kings can’t be considered an elite team unless a user can shore up their defense and goaltending. If that cant be done, it is probably wise to sell out on offense and run up the score.

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Guest Houli

very nice...i love the kings and Wayne Gretzky!

ty for this one aj!

cant wait for the sabres!

Edited by Houli

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I could say a lot of good things about Gretzky, Robbitaile and Sandstrom and I believe I had discussed with AJ, so he'd understand.

Zhitnik isn't bad, but as AJ said, his bad defensive awareness can doom a defensive effort when going to get the puck back. Blake's heavy. but he does have good speed and a strong slapshot.

McSorely even heavier than Lindros? I'd not have imagined, but then I didn't peek at his weight too much and I always sub him. Granato and Carson are also good options.

Hrudey is a love/hate affair. He can come up with some clutch saves even with his shortcomings, but he's almost like a berry when it comes to pressure. He goes squish if the other guys get to him too much. He's better than a few goalies I know, but that isn't saying much in some cases.

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Weight Bug Fix Analysis

Wow.

What. A. Team.

Forwards

When you're tempted to leave Wayne Gretzky on the bench, you know you have a lot of offensive talent.

Sandstrom, at 9/3 wgt/chk and with a 5/5 shot becomes one of the premiere power forwards in the game with the weight bug fix. He needs to be your centre.

Who better to feed Sandstrom with one-timer passes than Wayne Gretzky? With the weight bug fix, he needs to use his elite agility, stickhandling, and passing to move the puck up the ice and generate chances for his team. His 4 weight makes him easy to knock over, but good luck catching him -- his 4 weight and 6 agility make him the most elusive skater in the game, despite is 'ok' 4 speed.

For the other winger, your choice is between Robitaille and Carson. Carson weighs more (9 vs 7), but his shot isn't quite as dangerous as Robitaille's (4/5 vs 4/6). Both have a 2 in checking, so aren't too dangerous in that respect (7.6 and 6.1 checking effectiveness). Robitaille and Gretzky are both left-handed shots, while Carson is a righty. I'd go with Robitaille on the left wing and Gretzky on the right, but if you find your forwards getting pushed around, you could swap him out for Carson.

Defense

This team might have the 2nd best defense pairing in the game with Rob Blake (11wgt/3chk) and Marty McSorley (14/3). McSorley can take out almost anyone in the game and has decent 3s in skating and passing. Blake's a bit of a skills upgrade at 4/4 skating and 4 passing.

But you've still got Hrudey between the pipes, so all bets are off!

Edited by smozoma

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I'd typically start with a forward lineup of Granato-Robitaille-Sandstrom for an all offensive explosion. I find this combo gives you a little bit of everything (speed, agility, offensive awareness, shot accuracy, shot power) but as mentioned by AJ/Smoz this team has plenty of options.

You can go with an all slapshot lineup of Carson-Kurri-Sandstrom which is fun. And yea, there's always Gretzky too though I don't normally use him. Oh, and there's even Millen and Donnelly for good replacements when none of the above are working.

On defense, it's usually Blake/Zhitnik. Every once in a while it's fun to put guys like Huddy, Chapdelaine in but I never leave McSorley in.

Hrudey is a liability on the team for sure, so there's times I will start Stauber. Fun team to play with though, RARELY have a bad/boring game.

-Evan

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Great analysis AJ and spot on as always. I definitely prefer the Granato-Gretzy-Robitaille line over the other options. It's a dekers paradise plus you have a one timing sure thing in Robitaille.

Most exciting play for me is th long range bomb pass from Hrudey to a streaking granato up the wing or down the centre of the ice.

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I would probably switch Granato to the right wing and have Gretzky serve up pases from the left. Their natural sides can help out if you swtich them.

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GRETZKY AT CENTRE FTW

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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GRETZKY AT CENTRE FTW

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I definitely go Gretz at centre, Sandstrom on his off-wing, and Robitaille on the other. Bomb them from long range with slappers!

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Granato-Robitaille-Sandstrom is a great line as well. Granato can use his speed to create scoring oppourtunities for himself as well as his linemates. Robitaille is a nifty deker in close and great one time shooter. Sandstrom can score bombs from anywhere inside the blue line with his slapper. Only issue i have with it is by benching gretzky, the team loses its most effective defender, although with all the goals that will be scored by this line, its very possible to bury the opposing team under goals.

Any line with Gretzky in the middle supported by Granato, Sandstrom, or Robitaille also has the potential to be a great line. If a user can make gretzky's 2/2 shot be useful, then it adds a whole new element to the offense and it also allows gretzky to use his defense all over the ice.

I just have issuse with not putting either Sandstrom or Robiatille in the middle because im a one timer guy, Sandstrom is by far and away the best one-timing center in the game and luc is easily in the top 5.

with that said though, this is what makes the kings one of the most explosive teams on offense, their options are almost limitless.

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*Raises his hand* Me, me! I've actually done pretty good with Gretzky under center at 87 points in Blitz. :lol: He can also come up with a surprising one-timer down the middle of the attack zone with a well placed pass. I know the 1993 season was an off year by the standards he was in, but despite his low shot ratiings, he can still surprise a lot of people. Just ask the Maple Leafs.

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Now that I think about it, I just shuffle Gretz, Sands, and Robi around until something starts working :lol:

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One of the only teams I know real well, wanted to share my opinions.

Defense. Not that weak... of course Hrudey remains the fragile link in the chain, but depending on the version I'm playing I find I can try a few different options with LA other then accepting a beating and praying I score one more...

On Gens Console the standard is usually Zhitnik replaces McSorely, Blake stays in unquestionably. But in 2 player Head-to-Head I find an alternate fun strategy is to let the offense worry about scoring and put in Thompson and Watters on defense, completely clog up the middle and exploit the weight bug. Doesn't work against everyone, but it's fun and drives people up the wall when you shut them down with 40ish rating players.

On Smozoma Ver. leave in McSorley, forget the Zhit, he's a feather, radical difference that weight correction makes... Mc S. is THE wrecking ball, +20checks per game easy! Blake gets tougher too, so bonus!

For a different look though I use Huddy and Sydor. The bug-fix increases their checking potential, and with less Off. Awareness they're usually hanging back further then Blake/Mc S. to stop opponent rushes with well placed hurtin's. Hardy too is a slightly weaker option, good injury replacement for this strategy.

There isn't much to add to the offense that hasn't been said...

Kurri and Donnelly are real good, often overlooked. And Millen on console can be thrown in to take advantage of the weight bug if your strategy is keep the opponent on the floor.

Overall (really with any team) I don't recommend putting in all the guys with the best stats for all positions all the time.. switch guys up when you have this many weapons, find who is in sync with who, work with what the opponent is giving you, etc... the Kings offense can match any style of play.

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SNES is so much different than Genesis. Carson is the stud of this team on SNES, Gretzky will never make a lineup. Granato's blazing fast, but his hands are weak.

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If you're into historical accuracy like me, 1) you won't score many goals and 2) here's how the Kings were set up in their 1993 playoff run.

Forwards:

Robitaille-Gretzky-Sandstrom. Rychel filled Robitaille's place when they wanted to "protect" Gretzky.

Conacher-Carson-Kurri.

Granato-Millen-Donnelly (USA Line)

Rychel-Shuchuk-Taylor, rarely used as a 4th line.

*Carson was scratched for six playoff games; when that happened, Rychel replaced Robitaille on line 1, with a Robitalle-Conacher-Kurri 2nd line (sometimes with Shuchuk in Conacher's place).

*Shuchuk was scratched seven times; Gretzky or Conacher centered the 4th line when that happened.

*Sandstrom sometimes double-shifted in place of Taylor

*I also remember Granato-Gretzky-Shuchuk and Rychel-Kurri-Sandstrom combinations, probably due to injuries.

Defense pairings:

Blake-Zhitnik

Sydor-McSorley

Huddy-Watters

Hardy was used as a 7th defenseman when Carson and/or Shuchuk were out, rotating into the 2nd and 3rd pairings but apparently never with Blake/Zhitnik

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Terribly, though, I don't see a few of the players around unless I'm missing something. The rosters were rather inprecise when EA worked on the game.

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I tried out the Carson-Kurri-Sandström line (SNES) just for fun and in my opinion the "Shooting Gallery" title should go for them.

My first instinct was putting Robitaille into C because he is way better than Kurri (4/6 vs 4/3) but Luc isnt a help at all in def with his 3 aware. I play a lot with Kurri in C and he tends to skate back instantly as soon as a turnover occurs plus his 4/3 shooting isnt so fearsome but makes him a decent and effective sniper.

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CB Notes

Forwards

Wayne Gretzky: Elite skating is as good a counter as weight buggers can hope to have against CB checking and Gretzky has it in spades. Gretzky maintains his status as the best play maker in the game and will continue to feed the likes of Sandstrom and Robitaille for some juicy one-time chances. Creating his own offense is going to be a good bit tougher now, especially against teams who clog the slot with impunity as Gretzky's atrocious shot ratings minimize his scoring range. Defensively Gretzky remains extremely effective and should continue to be plopped right in front of Rob Blake for a deadly combo.

Tomas Sandstrom: Taking Sandstrom off the ice has become much more difficult due to the fact that his largest weaknesses has been addressed. No longer a suck hole on defense, Sandstrom is an adequate CB checker with just enough skating to pressure an opponent into mistakes. Sandstrom is already a fantastic offensive weapon, being able to feed him easy goals off of turnovers can lead to some huge games.

Luc Robitaille: Life remains largely the same here as Robitaille is still a great option on the wing or in the middle due to his well rounded skill set. Could be a bit of a CB pest against the likes of Joe Juneau and Andrei Kovalenko but he will need to keep his head up when strong skating heavyweights are roaming around.

Tony Granato: Without a doubt Granato's speed remains his most critical skill and this should aid him in his fight against a slight CB check disadvantage. A great option who still warrants plenty of ice time in attack that focuses more on high flying antics than precision based tactics.

Jimmy Carson: Despite a nice power up Carson falls victim to the numbers game. The only way he deserves a starting spot is if a right handed shot at RW is desired and Granato's speed isn't a part of the game plan. Be sure to keep Carson in mind in GDL drafts as his stock has skyrocketed.

Corey Millen: Mostly a weight bugger, Millen's lack of agility and subpar skill set transform him into a bit of a liability on the ice.

Jari Kurri: 8 weight, 4/3 skating, 4/3 shot, 4 sth, 3 pass, 4/4 aware, Shoots: R

LA doesn't have a true CB champion upfront and due to some previous comments in this thread it seems Kurri is worth a mention. Kurri is a fine depth player who isn't sunk by any particular weaknesses but his game doesn't pop. He is built in very much the same mold as Ron Francis who is a perfectly fine player but can be easily outclassed by his teammates. Kurri suffers a little bit from positional purgatory, not fast enough to be a wing and not a skilled enough sniper to man the slot.

Mike Donnelly: 6 weight, 4/4 skating, 2/3 shot, 2 sth, 3 pass, 4/3 aware, Shoots: L

Another player mentioned by other people in the comments, Donnelly is another acceptable option but he doesn't do enough to kick anyone out of the starting line up. He's good depth and would be justifiable in a gritty type role.

Defense

Rob Blake: Not only has CB checking transformed Blake's play style it as has also transformed the Kings defense in a positive way. No longer is Blake restricted to poke checking and positional play, he can now bring the pain to an unsuspecting forward which should prove to be a deadly combo as Gretzky back checking will leave little room for the forward to operate. Unfortunately, with the puck on his stick Blake still maintains his cream puff ways but he has the ability to elude a check and push the puck up the ice.

Alexei Zhitnik: No longer is Zhitnik relied upon for everything and this should come as a welcoming revelation. He was always a bit overwhelmed in the #1 spot with so many responsibilities but now he can focus on either being more of an offensive threat with using his speed to create plays or as a defensive stopper if he decides to humor us with some sound positioning.

Marty McSorley: We found him! The ultimate CB champion is none other than Marty McSorley may he body many souls with his sufficient 3/3 skating. Among forwards, only Chris Simon and Jay Caufield can escape McSorley's wrath which allow him to go into CB mash mode when he finds a chance to annihilate his victim. Sadly, 14 weight falls into the overkill category as what is given up in acceleration, agility, and puck handling cancels out the CB gains. McSorley should be utilized purely as Blake's sub as icing both of them at the same time leaves the Kings back line far too hefty.

Darryl Sydor: A much more balanced and bland CB option. Just live a little, let your hair down and have some fun with McSorley will ya?

Brent Thompson: One of the least skilled weight bug players in the game should probably stay buried on the bench as he will be a nice snack for the CB monsters coming after him.

Charlie Huddy: 10 weight, 3/2 skating, 3/1 shot, 3 sth & pass, 2/4 aware, Shoots: L

Huddy takes over Thompson's role of emergency option if the Kings defenders decide to hold a meeting in the penalty box or medical room. A smart player with a reasonable skill set who can play a passable stay at home type game.

Bottom Line

Things are really looking up in LA as they benefit greatly on both sides of the puck. The offense remains versatile and can really push the tempo if needed to take advantage of a weak defender attempting to handle the puck. Even if stricken by injuries or penalties, there are still a few options waiting on the bench that most other teams would be ecstatic to start. Push the pace and make the other team commit some costly mistakes.

While I wouldn't say the Kings are a great defensive team due to their inconsistent defensive AI, they have received a noticeable upgrade which will help them keep the puck away from Hrudey and hold onto some more leads than they had been accustomed to previously. They have a good balance of weight bug checkers and CB guys which should give them a great shot at winning a game regardless of matchup. The Kings are definitely on the rise and may even be pushing into the top 5 overall.

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