Monday, August 4, 2008
I honestly have nothing negative to say about Matt Moulson; he is a favorite of mine and I will openly admit that. When you think about the roster, it's amazing to see how much individual success the younger forwards had. Moulson definitely had that type of success last season and he's only going to go up from here.
Surprisingly, there was a post that I had written about him around the time when he was first recalled by the Kings back in November that has been one of my more popular posts. I think out of all the Manchester boys and Junior prospects mentioned from this past season, he’s been the most searched for in this space (even more than Teddy Purcell). I’m not sure why exactly, but it’s nice to know that there are people all over North America who have noticed his play on the ice. Perhaps his being drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins or his attending Cornell University has added to his search numbers. In any case, I’m glad people are curious about him, which I’m hoping translates to realizing that he has the potential to be a solid and reliable NHL player.
He played in 22 games with the Kings accumulating 5 goals and 4 assists for 9 points in a short amount of time. He was recalled a total of four times last season and was subsequently reassigned four times. The first recall occurred on his birthday after Kyle Calder had broken his thumb. Every time I saw that he was reassigned I essentially raised hell. I couldn’t understand why the Kings would reassign him when he was CLEARLY doing better than all of the lower tier players on the roster. I mean, he scored his first NHL goal in his first NHL game! When did Derek Armstrong score his first goal of the season? (Note: That definitely wasn’t a knock on Army as a person. He’s awesome.) Moulson proved in basically all 22 games that he belonged on the roster. With Ladislav Nagy constantly in and out of the active lineup at that point in time, Moulson was also in and out of the Kings lineup. My anger concerning the constant movement of Moulson actually began earlier when Marc Crawford insisted on using Jon Klemm as a forward instead of his normal position of defenseman, which ABSOLUTLY KILLED ME. And speaking of, I don’t think I did a review for Klemm... whatever. This accumulation of nonsense really turned me into a crotchety person who would fly off the handle at the drop of a hat. Well, it wasn't that bad... really....
Meanwhile back at the ranch (and by "ranch," I mean, Manchester), Moulson played in 57 games tallying 28 goals and 28 assists for 26 points. He ended the regular season at a +5 and had only 29 PIM. In the playoffs he played in all 4 games getting 2 goals and, like Teddy, ended at a -9. To me, a -9 during a 4-game sweep by the best team in the AHL just tells me that Moulson and Teddy were getting the most minutes per game. I was happy with Moulson's production in Manchester after being shuttled back and forth so many times last season.
The Kings have re-signed him for 1-year with terms undisclosed and my first reaction to this signing was utter, utter relief. In looking at the depth for next season, the 3rd line is where he would most likely start. My guess is that he'd be successful with working as a shut down-type of player who has the ability to notch some points as well. I can see him as Calder’s replacement in that type of role. Calder had an off year with his deflection skills due to his lack of ice time, and I remember some of Moulson’s goals were of the dirty quality around the net. If I recall, Calder became a consistent scratch with Brian Willsie filling that spot. So Moulson replacing Calder/Willsie? Sounds like a great idea!! Who knows where he could actually end up by season's end, but I'm sure as hell excited to see another young face on the roster.