Tag: Alec Martinez

Colorado Avalanche versus the Los Angeles Kings

Get your game notes: Kings at Avalanche


Tonight on NBCSN, it’s the Colorado Avalanche hosting the Los Angeles Kings at 9 p.m. ET. Following are some game notes, as compiled by the NHL on NBC research team:


• Champs still on the outside: The Kings played well over the past month, posting a 10-3-1 record since February 7th, the date their season-high 8-game win streak began (but they are just 2-3-1 since the streak ended). However, LA is still outside the playoff picture because the 4 teams ahead of them in the race (VAN/CGY in the Pacific, and MIN/WPG in the Wild Card) have also performed well in that span of time:

• Since the 1967-68 expansion, only 3 teams have missed the playoffs the season
after winning the Cup, with Carolina in 2006-07 being the most recent to do so (also 1969-70 Canadiens, 1995-96 Devils).

• What does Vegas think? Entering the season, LA had 10-1 odds to repeat as Cup champions. Now, with 17 games remaining, LA isn’t even in the playoff picture, but the Kings’ odds to win the Stanley Cup remain unchanged at 10-1 (per Vegas Insider and Bovada).

• The Kings are familiar with having an uncertain playoff standing entering the stretch run. In each of the past 3 seasons, they have not clinched a playoff spot until the very end of the season.

• LA’s schedule: Though LA has many games remaining against the teams they are chasing (3 vs. VAN, 1 vs. CGY, 1 vs. MIN), its schedule is road-heavy to close the season (11 away/6 home, including tonight). The Kings have only won one-third of their road games this season (10-14-6 record).

• Semyon’s status: Avs starting goalie Semyon Varlamov is expected to participate in the morning skate today after exiting late in the 3rd period with a lower-body injury in the Avs’ 3-2 win over the Wild on Sunday. Coach Patrick Roy said he might have suffered from cramping. He is questionable for tonight’s game.

• Varlamov had been on a tear for COL, earning the NHL’s Second Star of the Week yesterday following his 3-0-0, 0.69 GAA, .981 SV% total in wins vs. PIT, at CBJ, and at MIN.

• He has also made 22 consecutive starts dating back to Jan. 15, the longest stretch of his career and the 2nd longest active streak in the NHL (Devan Dubnyk has made 24 straight starts for MIN).

• As a precaution, Calvin Pickard was recalled yesterday from Lake Erie (AHL), and would start should Varlamov not be fit to play. Pickard is coming off a 34-save shutout in the minors on Sunday, and set a club record with his 52nd career victory in a Lake Erie uniform.

• Pickard filled in earlier in the season when Varlamov was sidelined with a groin injury, going 6-6-3 with a 2.18 GAA and .936 SV% in his 15 games.

• Colorado staying alive: After a loss to the Rangers on Feb. 12, the Avs had dropped 4 straight in regulation and found themselves nearing playoff irrelevance. Roy set a goal for the team, saying: “We don’t have to look at the standings…it’s 95 [points]” (now would need 24 pts in the final 16 gms)

• The Avs have gone 8-3-0 since that losing streak, including 3 straight wins entering tonight, but are still 7 pts out of the 2nd Wild Card (WPG). They must also pass 3 teams if they want to play past early April.


• LA has struggled to get consistent goal-scoring from key veteran forwards of late.

• Captain Dustin Brown has seen his goal production decline in every season since scoring 28 goals in 2010-11. He has just 10 in 65 games this season (on pace for his lowest total since his rookie season in 2003-04), including 8 straight without a goal. Brown has addressed the urgency of the Kings’ current position: “I mean, given the situation we’re in, we have to get better…This group over the years have proven when we need to play really well, we can. Unfortunately, we need to figure out a way to not put ourselves in these situations.”

• Conn Smythe-winner Justin Williams ranks 4th on the team with 16 goals, but he only has 1 goal and 3 points in his last 13 games.

• Anze Kopitar, who has led the Kings in scoring 7 years in a row, only has 2 goals in his last 20 games (though he does have 12 assists in that span).

• Trade deadline acquisition Andrej Sekera has played in 5 gms for LA. He has 0 pts while averaging 18:54 TOI.

• Alec Martinez (concussion) remains out indefinitely after taking a hard hit from Cedric Paquette on Feb. 7 in Tampa Bay. He has missed the last 13 games and has been skating in a no-contact jersey.

• Jonathan Quick ranks 3rd in the NHL with 55 starts this season. He was in net for the 1-0 OTL to PIT on Saturday, stopping 17 of 18 shots in the game.

• In the first Kings-Avs meeting this season (Feb. 18 at COL), Quick stopped 42 shots in a 4-1 LA win.

• Career vs. COL: Quick is 10-4-1 with a 2.43 GAA.


• Captain Gabriel Landeskog has helped keep the Avs playoff hopes alive. After 2 points, including the game-winning goal, on Sunday vs. MIN, Landeskog now has 9 goals and 6 assists in his last 12 games, a significant improvement on his play before this stretch:

• He was the 2nd overall pick in 2011, and became the youngest captain in NHL history (19 years, 286 days) when the Avs gave him the “C” in the 2012 offseason.

• 23-year-old Tyson Barrie (2009 3rd-round pick by COL) leads the team in assists (33) and is 3rd on the team in points (43) – both are career-highs.

• Though he went without a point against MIN, Barrie still has 12 points (4G-8A) in his last 10 games.

• The oldest member of the Avalanche – 37-year-old Jarome Iginla – shares the team lead in scoring with Landeskog (46 pts) after a 2 assist game vs. MIN. That performance extended his point streak to 3 games (2G-2A).

• The Avs announced Friday that 2013 1st overall pick (and last season’s rookie of the year) Nathan MacKinnon had a fractured foot and would miss 6-8 weeks, making him out for at least the rest of the regular season.

• The Avs acquired Jordan Caron and a draft pick at the deadline for Maxime Talbot and Paul Carey. Caron was the 25th overall pick in 2009 by the B’s. The 24-year-old has 0 points in his 3 games with COL, playing on the 2nd line with Iginla and Matt Duchene.

Kings place Martinez on IR

Alec Martinez
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The Los Angeles Kings placed defenseman Alec Martinez on IR on Thursday. The move is retroactive to Feb. 9, as the Kings note.

One can assume that the transaction was made, in part, to make room for newly acquired blueliner Andrej Sekera. The Kings face the Ottawa Senators tonight, but Sekera hasn’t gotten into action just yet.

The fact that it’s a move retroactive to Feb. 9 means that the Kings have nice flexibility regarding when they can activate Martinez (whenever he’s good to go). When he gets back in the fold and Sekera becomes comfortable, the Kings has the potential to be that much more of a frightening playoff opponent.

Speaking of Sekera, it sounds like he could debut for Los Angeles on Friday:

Kings sign Clifford to five-year, $8 million extension

Kyle Clifford

Just one day after re-upping with Jordan Nolan on a three-year deal, Los Angeles has locked in another of its resident tough guys.

Forward Kyle Clifford, who leads the team with eight fighting majors this season, has agreed to a five-year, $8 million extension,  per Sportsnet. Clifford, 24, has spent his entire professional career with the Kings after being selected 35th overall at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, and is on his way to surpassing his career-high in points (previously 17) this season, with 10 through 57 games.

A gritty forward that was a key contributor to last year’s playoff run — Clifford had seven points in 24 games and assisted on Alec Martinez’s Cup-winning goal — Clifford was in the last of a two-year, $2.15 million deal with a $1.075M cap hit.

While Clifford won’t get much of an annual raise on this new deal — his average annual value is now $1.6 million — it does give the 24-year-old some long-term security and gives L.A. a really nice cap hit, which is important given its lack of available space moving forward.

Report: Kings to call up d-man Forbort

Anaheim Ducks v Los Angeles Kings

The Los Angeles Kings will call up defenseman Derek Forbort from AHL Manchester tomorrow, according to Mayor’s Manor.

Forbort was the 15th overall pick in the 2010 draft, but has yet to make his NHL debut. He has two goals and nine assists in 46 games this season for Manchester.

The Kings host the Flames Thursday. It’s not clear if Forbort will play in that game or sit in the press box as a healthy seventh d-man; however, it’s worth pointing out that Alec Martinez remains day-to-day with concussion-like symptoms and veteran Robyn Regehr apparently had to battle through the effects of food poisoning last night in Columbus.

Brayden McNabb and Jamie McBain played limited minutes as a third pair against the Jackets.

Kings win consecutive games for first time in seven weeks

Jeff Carter

It’s been a while since the L.A. Kings stringed together consecutive wins.

In fact, the last time the Kings won two games in a row? Before the NHL shut down for the holiday break, back on Dec. 18 and 20 — against the St. Louis Blues and Arizona Coyotes.

Then, on Monday, the Kings, without Alec Martinez due to a concussion, held on to defeat the Columbus Blue Jackets by a final score of 4-3. Dustin Brown scored the winner less than two minutes into the third period, for just his ninth goal of the season.

Jonathan Quick made 23 saves for the win.

And there you go. The Kings, defending Stanley Cup champions but currently out of a playoff position in the Western Conference, with only three victories in their last 10 games and salary cap issues, winners of two in a row for the first time in seven weeks.

Since the spring of 2012, the Kings have proved any and all doubters wrong. That year, they just barely squeaked into the playoffs, but promptly eliminated the Vancouver Canucks in the opening round and went on to dominate the post-season for the Stanley Cup.

They’ve since gone to the Western Conference finals in 2013, and won their second Stanley Cup in three years last June.

But their struggles so far during the 2014-15 campaign has suddenly created doubt around the Kings.

Their win Monday pushed them three points back of the Calgary Flames for the final Wild Card spot in the West, with the Flames still to play later in the same evening.