Los Angeles Kings v Columbus Blue Jackets

Kings’ Quick dealing with ‘ups and downs’


L.A. Kings goalie Jonathan Quick, the Conn Smythe Trophy winner from last year’s Stanley Cup playoffs, is taking his last loss to heart.

The Kings had just tied Sunday’s game against the Detroit Red Wings with 53 seconds remaining in the third period. Just 48 seconds later, Quick surrendered the winning goal with only five seconds left in regulation. So far, Quick is 3-4-2 on the season and the Kings, the defending Stanley Cup champs, are 14th in the Western Conference as of Friday morning.

“You’re going to have some ups and down and you’re going to give up goals that you’re going to want back. … It’s how you handle it,” Quick said to the L.A. Times on Thursday.

Meanwhile, back-up Jonathan Bernier was solid in the Kings’ 4-1 win over the stumbling St. Louis Blues on Monday.

So, now it would appear as though head coach Darryl Sutter has a decision to make, as the Kings host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday.

Sutter, as L.A. Times Kings’ beat reporter Lisa Dillman pointed out, wouldn’t name his starter Thursday.

But Sutter does need one of his goalies to get on a winning streak, and he is expecting more of Quick. The Kings hit the quarter mark of the season Friday, and they are five points out of a playoff spot.

The Kings are also hoping for more out of defenseman Drew Doughty.

The 23-year-old Doughty has four assists in 11 games, and is a minus-seven in the last five games.

“He has to clearly play better in his own zone,” Sutter told the L.A. Daily News.

“That’s not really a surprise. When the team has only given up three or four more goals in terms of for and against and you have three or four players that are significantly off – that’s not a team issue.”


Measure of revenge? Red Wings bottle Lightning

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In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.

For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.

Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.

Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.

They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.

Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.

Hands of gold: Connor McDavid scores his first NHL goal


Taking three games to score your first NHL goal isn’t a big deal, unless you’re someone like Connor McDavid.

The mega-hyped wunderkind must feel relieved to finally find the net, as he tied tonight’s Edmonton Oilers – Dallas Stars skirmish with a 2-2 deflection goal, which you can watch above this post’s headline.

To no surprise, there were plenty of reactions, including Pierre LeBrun’s tweet (which inspired part of this headline).

Of course, there were the inevitable Wayne Gretzky comparisons:

Interesting thing you might not consider: Stars fans will have to stomach this one even more frequently than that time Patrik Stefan biffed that empty-netter (also against the Oilers):

McDavid may have also delivered his first questionable check, too: