The NICE Line Surges During the First Valley of the Season

In the most recent stretch of Kings hockey, the boys had Vladislav Gavrikov go down with an injury, and Pheonix Copley succumbed to injury long term. They lost three in a row before a much-needed victory over the always tightly contesting Seattle Kraken in a thrilling shootout. During this valley in the Kings’ season, one thing has truly stood out the most: still, one line remains the Kings’ best.

The Kings have had some historically significant lines that have coined different eras of the franchise. Returning to the Triple Crown Line with Marcel Dionne, Dave Taylor, and Charlie Simmer, the Kings have deftly labeled their lines of notoriety and impact. That 70s line was a line that cut through the 2014 playoffs like mincemeat, particularly against the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks in the conference final. In the past few seasons, a new line has emerged as one that has been the most consistent driver of offense and reliable defensively in the Nice line.

The Nice line, which is really at the core, is the duo of Trevor Moore and Phillip Danault. Sure, Viktor Arvidsson has spent most of his even-strength time with this duo, and wingers have jockeyed in and out of the other wing position, but these two are the drivers of that line.

Big Phil

It all starts with Phillip Danault. The two-way forward who shut down his way to the Stanley Cup finals in 2021 has become a centerpiece on this roster. He blew his career goal totals out of the window during his first season with the Kings, with 27, previously a high of 13. The season after that? He established a new career high in points, with 54 overall. Danault is on pace to break his point totals from last year while still chipping in goals, which he was never counted on during his days in Montreal. He may never be a 70-point, upper-echelon offensive player, but he is a consistent 50+ point-getter while receiving Selke consideration in the awards selection. That’s a luxury to have while deploying a future Hall of Famer consistently who is a 70+ point producer and effective in all three zones. Something to add to boot? Phil is not categorized as a fighter, but he has dropped the mitts for his teammates, as he wears the ‘A’ for a reason. He plays the game the right way, he is a warrior (see below), and is a consistent player in all three zones. Having a center like this play off of your top line has been critical to the Kings rise over the last two-plus seasons.

More on Moore

Trevor Moore may not get his number in the rafters, but he is tirelessly relied upon for throwing in a Thousand Oaks reference, where a betting individual may tell you his bar tab has been covered once or twice while he’s been out and about in his home city. He’s been arguably the best player on the Kings team this year and is undoubtedly en route to his first 30+ goal season. He was injured last year but is looking like a man reborn, with his shiftiness and puck-hounding skills on full display. He has been the best compliment to Phil Danault since the two were joined in 21-22. During the most recent stretch of games, which has not favored the King’s record and transcendence to the Hockey elite, he has been a significant contributor to why the Kings are so successful.

The other forward? Most recently, it has been Kevin Fiala, a dynamic play driver with a lethal shot. Fiala can be a hot head, but he’s the most offensively versatile forward on the Kings and was promoted to the Nice line to get him and Dubois going. Through the reunion of these three (they played extensively together last season), they have controlled play and contributed massively to some losing and winning efforts.

Will Fiala remain? What happens when Arvidsson comes back? Shouldn’t Kaliyev get a shot back in the top six?

These questions render answers, but there is one sure thing. The duo of Moore and Danault are a staple to the Kings overall game, and regardless of the other winger available, those two have had all the mojo for this extremely deep Kings forward group.

We Got The Jack Inside The Rink

In episode 8 of the Inside The Rink podcast, Matty and Smitty are joined by new co-host Conrad Jack. After the long hiatus, we get back to hockey with a PACKED episode!Matt Rempe & the Devils vs. Rangers Line BrawlCould the Vancouver Canucks squander a playoff opportunity? Have the Winnipeg Jets finally figured out their lines?Flyers Head Coach John Tortorella is a sound byte MACHINEOvechkin is on his way to 895, Who is next?McDavid joins elite company with 100 Assists in a seasonRyan Hartman was suspended 3 Games, was it worth 3 games??Can Auston Matthews hit 70 Goals this season?The Eastern Conference Wild Card race is heating up, who lands the two playoff berths?For all of your hockey news and more from the show, visit us at insidetherink.com and watch us on YouTube! How to support us and our sponsors:TicketmasterColumbia Sports ApparelESPN+ SubscriptionFanaticsDraft Kings – CODE ITR
  1. We Got The Jack
  2. Episode 7. Player Safety First!
  3. Episode 6. Early Trade Season
  4. Episode 5. Longing For The Chiarelli Years
  5. Episode 4. Ottawa’s On Fire

Connor Doyle

US Navy Veteran and UCLA Class of 2024. Background in International Development Studies. Los Angeles born and raised. Following hockey for over a decade.

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