Through an Unlikely Series of Events, Oscar Moller Will Play on Saturday
Signs are pointing to Oscar Moller getting his shot on Saturday. Sadly, it seems as though he couldn’t have been further down the depth chart if he had offered a shot of Svedka to Dean Lombardi’s daughter. (No idea if he really even has a daughter)
After word came down about a one game suspension for Jarret Stoll, deja vu struck, as rampant speculation spewed about the potential coming of Brayden Schenn from Kings’ fans like they were expecting the arrival of the son of God. This had occurred just one day prior when he became eligible to do so after his WHL team was eliminated from the playoffs. This is all to be expected to a degree, after the loss of the Kings’ most potent offensive weapon in Kopitar and Schenn’s sensational Junior season and Junior Championships.
But alas, there will be no Schenn, at least not now. My guess would be that Kings’ management at least wants to see how he’ll fare in the AHL playoffs first. After all, the guy has been all over the map this season:
- He started in Los Angeles, making the Kings out of training camp but sat as a healthy scratch often.
- He was then sent to Manchester of the AHL on a ‘conditioning stint’, or as it was known throughout the league, a loophole.
- He was then sent back to the WHL’s Brandon Wheat Kings.
- He then played for Canada at the World Junior Championships.
- He was later traded to the Saskatoon Blades.
- Just this Wednesday he was shipped back to the Manchester Monarchs upon the completion of his WHL season in Saskatoon.
That’s a lot of bouncing around.
In his previous run with the Monarchs, Schenn scored seven points in seven games. If he performs that well in a few games with the Monarchs in their current playoff run, we may seem him yet again this season at Staples Center. Of course, that would require the Kings to extend this series with the Sharks and perhaps advance to another.
In his stead, it was reported today that John Zeiler would again be joining the Los Angeles Kings.
Zeiler has done some bouncing of his own throughout his career.
He has played 90 career games with the Kings but has never completed a season with the big club without being sent down to the AHL. He has never played in an NHL playoff game, yet Kings management has determined that his NHL experience made him the best candidate to fill the hole that the Stoll suspension left in the lineup. Better than even Oscar Moller.
Zeiler is a physical player and coach Terry Murray is insistent that this series will be decided with fists rather than on the scoreboard. So as a somewhat experienced and able bodied veteran, he seems like the logical choice, right? Let’s examine.
Moller has played the last nine games with the Kings (prior to the playoffs) and has only banked one point – an assist in his first game back. He was scratched in the team’s first playoff game on Thursday, reportedly because of his diminutive size: he’s listed at 5’10″, 185 lbs.
But Moller doesn’t play small. He takes hits as well as anyone else in the league his size. He isn’t afraid to go to the corners or the front of the net. More importantly, he has started to develop a chemistry with his teammates in Los Angeles. He has never looked out of place on the ice and in fact, has looked quite impressive. He creates chances the way a top six center should and had 22 shots on goal in those nine games. John Zeiler? Five points and 34 shots in those 90 NHL games.
Yet, he just doesn’t have that size. He’s not able to be a factor. Sorry Oscar, though we’ve lost a top six forward yet again, we’ll recall a guy who plays in the bottom six (I assume) from your old minor league team to fill that hole, not you. Ouch.
Only now it has been reported that Zeiler cannot be called up to the Kings because there won’t be time for him to clear re-entry waivers since he is not waiver exempt. The ironic thing about this is that the Kings have placed Zeiler on waivers before with no takers. This season in fact. Though re-entry waivers is a half price deal.
The bottom line is that Zeiler cannot fill in for Stoll, and the Kings have no other option than Moller. Well, Peter Harrold, so, no other option.
Yeah, so, Oscar, remember how we said we didn’t think you could hack it in this series? Yeah, about that. We actually need you. Yeah. Try not to make us look bad by actually doing well. We wouldn’t want to have to dress you over Westgarth in game three.
Maybe Oscar should get in a fight to impress Terry Murray and the Kings management.
Funny thing is, I think he would.