Tag: Drew Doughty

Tyler Toffoli, Gabriel Landeskog, Brad Stuart

Back from the brink, Kings still ‘have a lot of work left to do’


Exactly two weeks ago, the Los Angeles Kings woke up in 12th place in the Western Conference. The defending Stanley Cup champions had won just four times since Christmas, were languishing five points back of a playoff spot, and even the most handsome of hockey bloggers had finally started to doubt them.

Yada, yada, yada, the Kings woke up this morning in a playoff spot. They’ve won six straight and, per Sports Club Stats, have seen their chances of qualifying for the postseason jump from 25.3 percent to 68.8 percent. As for those handsome hockey bloggers? They’re picking on the Ducks and Sharks now.

“We weren’t playing even close to our capability,” said defenseman Drew Doughty, per the Associated Press. “We’re seeing what we can do when everyone starts to perform. We’re happy with the way we’re playing now. But we can’t get ahead of ourselves. We need to keep winning. We have a lot of work left to do.”

Indeed they do, starting Saturday in Santa Clara, outdoors against their better-be-motivated rivals from San Jose.

What’s more, the Kings have played 31 homes games, compared to just 26 on the road, meaning their remaining schedule is heavy on away dates. And lest we forget, this is not a team that’s been good on the road this season (8-12-6).

The March 2 trade deadline also looms. Will GM Dean Lombardi add a defenseman? (Jeff Petry? Andrej Sekera? Roman Polak?) We only ask, because playing Doughty 30 minutes a night might not be the best way to get him fresh for the playoffs. With no Slava Voynov, he’s averaged almost four minutes more than he did last season.

The Kings know they aren’t out of the woods yet. When asked about the excitement of playing the Sharks in front of 70,000 fans Saturday at Levi’s Stadium, goalie Jonathan Quick made that point clear.

“You’re playing for two points,” he said, per L.A. Kings Insider. “I think we’re tied with them right now in the standings. That’s the only thing you’re excited about. It’s going to be a playoff-type game. We know we’re fighting for a spot.”

Video: Kings stretch streak to six with win over Avs

Jeff Carter

Colorado captain Gabriel Landeskog opened the scoring with his 14th of the season at 3:09 of the first period; however, it was all L.A. after that.

Jeff Carter tied it 1-1 at 1:16 of the second and Tyler Toffoli scored the eventual game winner at 6:24 of the middle frame as the L.A. Kings defeated the Colorado Avalanche 4-1 Wednesday night.

Drew Doughty had a pair of assists in the win.

“With the way the schedule is and the way the season is and the importance of every game, you need something out of everybody,” said Kings’ coach Darryl Sutter. “It’s really hard to play guys who have only got five or six goals. We need more out of [them]. If they’re going to play teen-minutes as forwards, you have to get more out of them, and what you’re seeing is some balance out of our forward group.”

L.A. has now won six straight while out-scoring opponents 23-12 during the win streak. The Kings now have the same point total as the San Jose Sharks (66) for the second wild card spot in the Western Conference.

Jonathan Quick made 42 saves in the win including 18 in the second period.

Semyon Varlamov stopped 21 shots in the loss.

“I can’t complain,” said Avs coach Patrick Roy. “I understand it’s frustrating because that was a big game for us. At the same time, I’m very happy with the effort. I’m very happy with how we competed. I’m very happy with how hard we worked, back checked [and] our fore-check was there.

“We got a lot of shots [and] we had a lot of traffic in front of the net. I thought we did a lot of good things. Nothing to show for it tonight, but I think this is how we have to play.”

Carter added his second of the night into an empty net. Dustin Brown had the other Kings’ goal.

Tonight marked the first of three games between the two clubs. They’ll meet again on March 10 in Denver.

Update: We missed the part where Ovechkin said Getzlaf might be jealous because ‘he don’t have hair’


Earlier, we passed along Alex Ovechkin’s denial of Ryan Getzlaf’s diving accusations, but (regrettably) didn’t see that Ovechkin suggested Getzlaf’s comments might’ve come from follicle envy.

From the Washington Post:

After Ovechkin buried the Anaheim Ducks in a 5-3 win beneath his second four-point game of the season, his counterpart captain, Ryan Getzlaf, accused him of diving. Did Ovechkin have an answer?

“No response,” Ovechkin said, before then offering one. “Maybe he’s just jealous. I have hair, he don’t have hair. We can start talking about it all day long. I think it was comment because he was disappointed they lost. Again, it is what it is.”

You don’t normally hear players go after other players’ hair — or, lack of it — but I think Drew Doughty opened the floodgates during All-Star weekend in Columbus when he ripped on Kevin Shattenkirk’s salad during the Fantasy Draft.

As such, everything is f-hair game now.