Sutter says Kings need better goaltending


After Thursday night’s 5-2 loss to Dallas — the fourth time this year they’ve allowed five or more goals in a defeat — Los Angeles Kings head coach Darryl Sutter minced no words in explaining what needed improvement.

“Giving up four goals a game, you can’t win,” he told LA Kings Insider. “We need better goaltending.”

The goalie on the hook last night was Jonathan Quick, who allowed four goals on 22 shots before Stars forward Antoine Roussel potted the fifth into an empty net.

The loss brought Quick’s numbers on the year to 7-7-2 with a 2.59 GAA and .895 save percentage.

When asked again about the goaltending — this time, if he’s surprised it’s still an issue 22 games into the season — Sutter kept to his message.

“I’m saying we didn’t get good enough goaltending tonight,” he replied.

Quick wasn’t offering much explanation following the game — “I didn’t stop them, and usually when you don’t stop the pucks, they go in the net,” he said — and wasn’t completely at fault for the loss, as Sutter said the team also needed to be better defensively.

But that’s not diminishing the fact L.A. now has the NHL’s eighth-worst save percentage (.896), something else Sutter brought up after the Dallas game.

“It’s a stat that tells the truth,” he said. “That’s one stat that doesn’t lie, right? [Kari] Lehtonen tonight was at about a .940 or so. That’s a stat that always holds true. Goals against, save percentage — it’s a big thing.”

It’s fair to say that, if it weren’t for some solid play from Jonathan Bernier (5-1-0 this year with a .916 save percentage and 1.93 GAA), the Kings’ goaltending situation would be a concern.

But it’s hard to sayanything is a concern, because L.A. is on a roll. They’ve won seven of nine and sit fifth in the Western Conference, leading many to believe Sutter isn’t really critiquing the “goaltending” — he’s critiquing Quick.


Kings’ Sutter: Quick, Bernier ‘competing’ to see who plays next

Is it time for the Kings to trade Bernier?

Jason Demers tweets #FreeTorres, gets mocked

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks - Game One

Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.

We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.

It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”

Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)

Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.

So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”

… You get the idea.

The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.

The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.

Bruins list Chara on IR, for now

Zdeno Chara

Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.

It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.

The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.

As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.

Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?

The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.

This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.