LAKings: Mc3 and Mc5 – A Time Capsule

I always had the feeling, the unsupported thought in my mind, like I had the general impression that McNabb and McBain together was a good pair. I had positive memories but nothing specific, just a position like “hey I’m sure they looked good, they never looked bad that I remember.” Then, the San Jose stadium game was on the other night, Kings Sharks outdoors and lo and behold who’s the defensive pair in that victory?  Well its McNabb and McBain.

Further, that was win number 7, part of an 8 game winning streak. McNabb and McBain were a defensive pair for the last 7 of those 8 games won in a row…


The first game of the eight game winning streak was the game in Tampa, where Martinez got his bell rung. We won that game, and that gave a slot in the lineup to McNabb. Mcnabb and McBain got paired together and we promptly won seven in a row with them together.

Then, we lost one game to Ottawa, 1 to 0.

Then the trade, and we got Sekera.

Suddenly McBain was forgotten. But not by me, goddamnit.

I am not saying that pairing caused, or was the major reason for the win streak. What I do know is that a balanced righty-lefty on D pairs is the optimal, and with the pairing of Regehr and Doughty, Muzzin and Greene, McNabb and McBain we had that righty-lefty balance.

McBain had been playing a few games while McNabb sat; McBain was paired mostly with Regehr prior to the Martinez injury, and also some with Muzzin due to in-game needs like PK etc., but he was never paired with Martinez. When A-Mart got hurt, McBain continued getting power play time, McNabb did too but a bit more. McNabb was paired with other partners, including Doughty on the PP, but McBain less so.

I never understood why Sekera was going to be a solution to the right-side #2 D hole.  I think it is mostly overlooked due to the major contract problems overshadowing it, but for me the Martinez 4 million was based on his ability to play the right side in addition to his natural left side.  That experiment started the previous season with some small success, but in 2014-2015 it became clear that A-Mart is not strong enough on the wall to survive a playoff-style forecheck. Too many dumpouts, too many giveaways, and too many chances around the crease. If you doubt that, then you would have felt Sekera was redundant. But he wasn’t; he was just an undersized guy with speed and excellent passing, used to digging the puck out on his off-side and able to withstand pressure and make outlet passes.

These are things that A-Mart needed to improve upon, if possible, but did the Kings really want to bet their “win now” season on a player who was very good on his left but not very good on his right? Should the Kings assign that player to his weakest side? If we put A-Mart on the right, do we not lose 2 positions? He’s lost to the left, and now the Right side is weakened; is that a winning move?

No. It wasn’t. Sekera was about 2 million too much, but other GMs are willing to pay and Edmonton wanted another Lubomir Visnovsky type.

And so, McBain.  Me, I’m glad. He’s cheap, he’s familiar, he has a history of success with his most likely pairing partner. He’s a right shot with Power Play ability and a cannon, and he fills the holes while letting A-Mart stay on the left. Yeah boyeee…

Mc3andMc5 chart


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14 Responses to LAKings: Mc3 and Mc5 – A Time Capsule

  1. Dominick says:

    I hope the lineup plays out with the players we have. Even if Voynov plays for the Kings again we’ll need a righty-lefty pairing that works till Christmas. Martinez might be able to excell if he can move into that #2 spot on his natural side and let the coaches iron out his flaws.

    Problem is Geen cannot play 2nd pairing minutes or coverages for long without getting exposed no matter how much the coaches work with him. I wouldn’t mind the McNugget twins locking down the 3rd pairing. McBain would basically give us the same optimal 3rd pairing coverage Martinez has given us the last few years, only switched so that the puckmovers is on the opposite side.

    McBain might be a good possibilty. My main concern is if McBain can handle those minutes and coverages. It will be interesting to see if we cover Martinez on the 2nd pairing by acqiring another Green type who can take those coverages.

    • Player X says:

      I agree that Greene isn’t an option for 2nd pairing all situation minutes. McBain only needs to be steady, and safe, letting his offense chances develop due to the system play; he doesn’t need to lead rushes like a Doughty, but he does need to stop rushes like a Doughty. I think the left side could use a vicious hitter, like a Regehr, or even someone with guile and an edge like Mitchell had, Schultz is viable but he’s just not crazy or mean. I want both.

      • Dominick says:

        Agreed. We might very well see McNabb there or possibly Loverde (although i doubt that) if we start out the season with injuries. Miller seemed like a no brainer till we traded for Lucic (for one season).

        Make the McNuggets our 2nd pairing option.

        • Player X says:

          Tell me about Loverde, why’d you pick him? I have completely convinced myself we need to load up attack and nastiness on the left D because Lucic, King, Pearson, those guys are fucking monsters on the forecheck. Pearson beat the hell outta Seabrook in that series, there is a highlight film out there waiting to be made of Pearson on Seabrook in that series, the cup year 2014. So with those guys leading the way that’s a freight train coming through man, we need somebody who can move the puck on the left side because there’s going to be room.
          if you answer, start us a new chain below with a new comment. The only single thing I don’t like about the format for my site is the way the comments go on endlessly. I think I can reset it somewhere but I don’t dare tinker at this point…

  2. Neil says:

    You know me..iam big on chemistry!!!….Kings were rolling…the chemistry was good with McBain….Team was Winning!!!….Good story!!!!

    • Player X says:

      Welcome Neil.

      Yeah man chemistry counts, huh? I mean you cannot define it but you can tell what it is when you see it. This was a moment in time, the team was playing great too overall, but these 2 guys together, at the very least, did not disrupt that. So the Kings can play pretty dang good with that pairing, and I’m excited about it. Still problems in other areas but this is a freebie almost, the familiarity/chemistry is huge.

  3. LA_1968 says:

    Yeah, he’s not a stud defender to begin with and then turn him backwards, and not just at our point, but on his wall, behind his net and he’s really guessing and antzy.

    So we put him at 2R again to start the year, assuming VV is going to come back around new year. That’s a long time and not good. But who is going to eat the 2L minutes? Hehe. McNabb is a 15 minute guy. I dream Forbort could do it but that is fanasy island.

    So not only are we weakened at 2R but we’re really weakened at 2L, even more.

    See you around.

    • Player X says:

      Welcome 68, salute.
      I think I’d be happy with the right as is, with the addition of a beast on the left to spell Mc3 and McMartinez. Like I can take a softie attack from Greene and Mc5, if those guys blocks shots and stay inside. I can take the loss of Voynov, another way to say it, if I had a Voynov or Mitchell on the left instead. Brett Burns body and skills, but not his brain. I’d also like to load up on the left side defense with guys that can attack, like Mc3, because our left wings are so powerful that there’s going to be room on that side. And, whoever is playing right side defense for, let’s say the Hawks, that guy is going to get his ass kicked by those forwards and I want defensemen with the puck flying up into that open ice. So, I want puck movers on the left because of the wingers on the left this year.

      Hope you come back to see this, thanks for visiting.

      • LA_1968 says:

        Nice take. I’m glad to see you’re relatively optimistic. I don’t know if McNabb is up to the offensive attack but I hope I’m wrong. He gets some assists. So you’re thinking game 1 is going to be Amart-Mc5? You could be very right. Perhaps to take us til new year when I guess Voynov returns. If the entire team is going to play then I guess it will hold til then.

        My pleasure visiting. Will do it again!

  4. Mik3ysfv says:

    Hope all is well with you, ‘X.

    • Mik3ysfv says:

      What’d you think of the Schenn pick up?

      • Player X says:

        I am loving it so far. You?
        Good to see you, I hang out at the Kings Insider page mostly. The tone over there has changed, they got rid of the idiots that cause trouble, it’s now very pleasant and lots good, smart talk.
        Hope you’re well, Go Kings!!

        • Mik3ysfv says:

          Love the trade. The more time he spends with John Stevens, the better it will look.
          Yeah, don’t recognize too many names anymore at LAKI.
          Been all over for work, CO, WV, OH, CT…
          Lost four close family members the last two years, so that’s a minus. Other than that, just rolling with the punches.

          • Player X says:

            So sorry for the pain recently. Hope that you find the relief in watching hockey as I did, try to stay in the moment Mik.

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