Injured superstar defenseman Drew Doughty is set to see a team doctor tonight and the Kings expect him to travel with the team on their upcoming 3-game road trip. You may remember that he was injured in the first minute of play against the Philadelphia Flyers a week and a half ago when Zac Rinaldo lit him up with a clean, open-ice check. In keeping with tradition, the team announced it as an “upper body injury.” Since, there have been reports that say it was a slightly separated shoulder.
Doughty has been skating with the team over the last few days, but has not been cleared for contact yet. Tonight’s meeting with the team doctor will hopefully change that.
It’s not like the Kings have been hurting without Doughty in the lineup. After eventually winning beat the Flyers in overtime, the Kings were perfect on their recent three game homestand. By perfect, we mean more than just unbeaten. The team hasn’t given up a goal since that Flyers game as Jonathan Quick has dropped three straight shutouts.
Clearly, the key to the Kings success is getting that Doughty guy out of the lineup and replacing him with rookie Slava Voynov, right? Any way you cut it, the Kings have been one of the stronger team in the early going and they’re only going to get better when Doughty gets back into the lineup.
That sound you just heard was a groan from the other 14 teams in the Western Conference.
Teuvo Teravainen has played both center and right wing over the course of his brief NHL career.
Now, he’s got a new position — left wing — and a pair of shiny new linemates to boot.
Teravainen will open the year playing alongside captain Jonathan Toews and right wing Marian Hossa, per the Sun-Times.
The move could be a boon for the young Finn. Several ex-Chicago wingers thrived playing alongside Toews and Hossa, most notably Brandon Saad and Patrick Sharp.
It’ll be interesting to see what kind of production Teravainen, who just turned 21 last month, can manufacture on Chicago’s top line. His numbers from last year weren’t spectacular (nine points in 34 games), but he did a solid job of racking up points en route to the Stanley Cup, with 10 in 18 games.
It’ll also be interesting to see how long he sticks with Toews and Hossa.
Head coach Joel Quenneville has been known as a frequent user of the line blender, often switching up his combos at at moment’s notice.
That said, Quenneville is hoping to find some stability with this new-look group.
“[Teuvo will] play there to start the season,” he said. “Hopefully, all year.”
Pretty cool story out of Texas, where Mattias Janmark, the 22-year-old rookie that’s played a grand total of nine games in North America, has defied the odds to make the Stars’ opening-night roster.
“It’s a great story,” Dallas GM Jim Nill said, per the Morning News. “We really only planned to have him here for maybe two preseason games and then send him back. But he just kept being one of the best players out there, and he changed our minds.
“It’s a great example of what you can do if you just play hard.”
Nill acquired Janmark, 22, from Detroit at last year’s deadline as part of the Erik Cole trade. Nill was familiar with the Swedish forward from his time with the Wings — he was part of the front office team that drafted Janmark in ’13 — but didn’t think the deal would pay such immediate dividends.
As for Janmark, he didn’t even think he’d be in North America this year.
He has a contract with SHL club Frolunda, where he scored 36 points in 55 games last year. Given he’s barely played in the AHL — a few games with Grand Rapids, a few with Texas — Janmark figured he’d be back in Europe this season.
His strong play in the exhibition season changed all that. Janmark beat out two of Dallas’ touted prospects — former AHL rookie of the year Curtis McKenzie, and ’12 first-rounder Radek Faksa — for a roster spot, and showed good chemistry with third-line center Cody Eakin.
Janmark also performed well on a line with Jason Spezza and Ales Hemsky.