It’s almost like the Kings want traffic in front of Mike Smith or something


A collection of quotes from the Kings following yesterday’s 2-0 Game 4 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes, from LA Kings Insider Rich Hammond

Matt Greene: “We just have to get more traffic in front of Smith.”

Dustin Penner: “You talk about screen, tip, rebound, and we didn’t get enough of that tonight. We let him see too many pucks, and we didn’t get enough second chances.’’

Anze Kopitar: “We have to get some bodies in front of the net and make it tough on Smith.’’

Safe to say the Kings’ goal coming into this series was to make Smith’s life uncomfortable. They did it extremely well through Games 1-3, using their big bodies (most notably Dwight King) to put traffic at the top of the blue ice while showing an amazing level of restraint in post-whistle scrums.

On Sunday, the Kings were hardly in Smith’s kitchen at all.

You do have to wonder if Phoenix’s lobbying (Smith’s in particular) finally worked in Game 4. Justin Williams was whistled on a rather innocuous interference play, a penalty that led to Shane Doan’s game-winning tally.

Afterward, Williams told reporters that the officials “told me to stay away from the goalie,” and that he was “obviously not trying to interfere with [Smith].”

In terms of maintaining and limiting traffic, it was clear Phoenix played a much tighter, defensive game, as explained by’s Cory Masisak:

Eventually the shots started coming from farther away, and Smith had relatively easy stops to make after Phoenix grabbed a one-goal and then a two-tally advantage. Even in the third period when the Kings attempted 31 shots, only 13 reached Smith and most were pretty harmless.

“Depends where those shots are coming from,” [Dave] Tippett said. “If they’re coming from outside, that’s one thing. If they’re coming from right in the guts of the ice, that’s another. We didn’t give up near as many chances tonight as we gave up earlier.

“The bend, don’t break — we have to play a certain way if we’re going to have success. It starts with competing, you know, blocking shots, things like that.

For one game, at least, the Coyotes didn’t break. Now they have to do it for three more.

Derek Roy continues his career in Switzerland

Alex Tanguay, Derek Roy
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Derek Roy will continue his pro career overseas, as he has signed a contract with Bern in the Swiss League.

Roy attended training camp on a professional tryout with the Washington Capitals, but he was unable to claim a spot on their roster.

The 32-year-old had some great years in the NHL, but since the 2011-12 season Roy had suited up for six different teams (excluding his PTO with the Caps).

His best season came in 2007-08 when he scored 32 goals and 81 points in 78 games with the Buffalo Sabres.

Roy will leave the NHL with 189 goals and 524 points in 738 career games.

He will join former NHLers Cory Conacher, Andrew Ebbett, Chuck Kobasew, Simon Moser and Sean Bergenheim in Bern.


Sabres place Lehner on IR; Recall Lieuwen

Connor Brown, Robin Lehner
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They’re just one game into their regular season, but the Buffalo Sabres have already had to shift things around in their crease.

The Sabres announced that they have placed starting goaltender Robin Lehner on injured reserve after he was knocked out of Thursday’s game with a lower-body injury.

In a corresponding move, the club has recalled Nathan Lieuwen from their AHL affiliate in Rochester.

The 24-year-old didn’t play in the NHL last season, but he did have a 1-4-0 record with a 2.98 goals-against-average and a .906 save percentage in seven games during the 2013-14 season.

Lieuwen was Buffalo’s sixth round pick, 167th overall, in the 2011 draft.

The Sabres also announced that they have loaned defenseman Jake McCabe and goaltender Linus Ullmark to the Rochester Americans (AHL).

McCabe was a healthy scratch in Thursday’s game against Ottawa, while Ullmark is being activated off I.R. after having double hip surgery during the off-season.