Kyle Clifford was moved to the L.A. Kings’ top line, with Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown, according to Helene Elliott of the L.A. Times, as the defending Stanley Cup champs shuffled the lines Monday.
The Kings skated in Edmonton on Monday, a day after their attempted comeback against the Chicago Blackhawks fell one goal short.
The Kings, who take on the Oilers tomorrow, have continued to play inconsistent hockey since the start of the 2013 lockout-shortened season. Traveling to Alberta, the Kings had won three of their seven games to date in the month of February, and are 14th in the Western Conference standings.
Meanwhile, the Oilers received good news on the injury front.
Teemu Hartikainen, who left Saturday’s game against the Colorado Avalanche with a reported shoulder injury, expects to be in the lineup against the Kings Tuesday, according to the Edmonton Journal.
“I got a bad hit from a bad angle that pushed my shoulder down. It hurt during the game and yesterday, but it feels pretty good now,” said Hartikainen.
“Everything looks OK. I can shoot. I can pass. I don’t feel anything when I’m on the ice. I think I’m good to go.”
The Los Angeles Kings aren’t just losing through three games. They’re getting embarrassed on a nightly basis.
Vancouver didn’t really need to exert all that much effort in dropping the Kings to 0-3-0, as the Canucks cruised to a 3-0 win on Tuesday.
Los Angeles has now been outscored by a troubling combined score of 12-2, losing every game by at least three goals.
It’s more than reasonable to say “it’s just three games.” Still, the Kings may rue these losses as much any other surprise 0-3-0 team, as all three of these losses have come at home.
Just look at the team at the other end of the rink. The Vancouver Canucks are already seven standings points ahead of the Kings, as they’ve gone 3-0-1 despite playing three of their first four contests on the road.
Maybe that provides a modicum of solace for the Kings … perhaps the Canucks are more competitive than expected? Amid plenty of doubts, Ryan Miller continued a strong start to his season, earning his 36th career shutout.
One way or another, Los Angeles needs to wake up.
They’ll wrap up a five game-homestand by hosting the Minnesota Wild on Friday and Colorado Avalanche on Sunday. If they’re still at a goose egg then, they might look at this opening stretch as the run that torpedoed their hopeful rebound from last season’s rough run.
Misery loves company, so at least there’s this:
This hasn’t been the best night for St. Louis sports fans.
Obviously, the MLB’s Cardinals getting bounced from the playoffs is a bigger deal, but the Blues face bad news, too.
While they’re currently leading the Calgary Flames by a score of 4-3, they’ll need to hang on without Kevin Shattenkirk, whose night is over thanks to a lower-body injury.
There’s no word yet on how severe the issue might be.
Naturally, the Blues must hope that it’s minor, as Shattenkirk is one of the NHL’s truly underrated assets on the blueline.
Stephanie (@MyRegularFace) tracked down a moment when the injury may have happened:
It’s not all rosy for the Flames, either, as Lance Bouma suffered an injury as well.