Barry Trotz doesn’t want Evgeny Kuznetsov to play the wing. The 22-year-old’s future with the Washington Capitals is at center, so that’s where he’ll be developed. Even if there are “growing pains.”
“I absolutely see him as a center,” Trotz said, per CSN Washington. “If you watch him on the wing, to me he’s not going to be very productive with his wall play. He’s more of a distributor.
“I’ve thought about it. I put him a couple shifts on wing and it sounds like a great idea, but I think ideally, going forward our vision organizationally is to have [Nicklas] Backstrom, [Andre] Burakovsky, Kuznetsov, [Michael] Latta. That’s sort of our vision for the middle of the ice.”
Trotz added: “The teams that are very successful in this league are strong up the middle. The Los Angeles Kings won the Stanley Cup and they’ve got Mike Richards as a fourth-line centerman.”
Kuznetsov was a healthy scratch for the first time this season in Friday’s 3-2 win in Chicago, before returning to the lineup for Saturday’s 4-3 OT victory over Carolina.
Kings’ captain Dustin Brown scored his second of the season, on his 30th birthday, leading L.A. to a 3-1 victory over the Dallas Stars Tuesday night.
Trevor Lewis, who returned from an upper body injury, and Kyle Clifford had the others for the Kings. The win was the Kings’ first victory away from the Staples Center this season. L.A. is now 1-3-2 on the road.
“He’s gonna work. I talked to him last night about getting him back into the penalty killing a little bit, because that’s what his role is on our team,” Kings coach Darryl Sutter said of Lewis. “We switched Jarret (Stoll) and Mike (Richards) partway through the first period and put Mike with Kinger (Dwight King) and Brownie, and that helped us a little bit.”
“I think, and putting Jarret with Lewie and Cliffy helped us a little bit. Got to find ways to score when you’re not scoring. I mean, still the top end of your lineup’s got to score goals. Five-on-three, you’ve got to score a goal, and Gabby (Marian Gaborik) had some really good looks. If he’s sharper, he probably scores on a couple of them. It’s the way it goes.”
Shawn Horcoff had the lone goal for the Stars in the loss. Kari Lehtonen made 27 saves while seeing his record drop to 4-2-4 on the season.
Jonathan Quick improved to 6-3-2 with a 33 save performance.
There was a scary moment in the third period when Justin Williams received a high-stick from Stars defenseman Brenden Dillon.
Dillon received a double-minor for high-sticking while Williams left the game immediately.
Sutter said Williams should be OK.
“Lucky it wasn’t his eye…be careful, just see how it goes,” he said.
For the second time in as many nights the Carolina Hurricanes have a win.
The ‘Canes hung on for a 3-2 win Sunday night against the defending Stanley Cup champion L.A. Kings.
The Canes are now 2-0-0 to start November after going 0-6-2 last month.
Carolina last won back-to-back games to conclude the 2013-14 season.
The Kings meanwhile have yet to win on the road this season falling to 0-4-2 away from the Staples Center.
Victor Rask opened the scoring with his first NHL goal.
Chris Terry gave Carolina 2-0 lead early in the second period.
After Mike Richards got the Kings on the board, Elias Lindholm picked up the eventual game winner.
Alec Martinez had the other L.A. goal.
Jonathan Quick made 29 saves in the loss while Cam Ward made 27 saves for his second straight win of the season.
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
In celebration of the 75th anniversary of Batman, the ECHL Toledo Walleye’s players will all wear batman jerseys on Nov. 22. They will face the visiting Evansville IceMen, who will naturally counter with Riddler attire. The jerseys used in the game will be auctioned off and the proceeds will benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association. (Toledowalleye.com)
Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $10,000 Fantasy Hockey league for Wednesday’s NHL games. It’s just $2 to join and first prize is $1,200. Starts Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. ET. Here’s the FanDuel link.
Tyler Seguin, Brenden Dillon, Cody Eakin, and Jamie Benn are the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:
Willie Mitchell thinks advanced statistics like Corsi are “going to come and go.” (Sun-Sentinel)
Highlights from the Minnesota Wild’s 4-3 victory over the Boston Bruins:
The Islanders’ defense has excelled at joining the rush and that’s played a big role in the team’s early success. (Newsday)
Current Flyers GM Ron Hextall and former Kings assistant general manager talked about Los Angeles’ thinking when they agreed to the Mike Richards trade. (Philadelphia Inquirer)
Mats Zuccarello’s marker on Monday made him Norway’s all-time leader in goals scored. (Rangers.nhl.com on Twitter)
Brayden Schenn handed Philadelphia a 3-2 overtime victory over the Los Angeles Kings by scoring on a breakaway, but he didn’t know it at first.
It was originally ruled no goal, presumably based on the belief that Schenn pushed goaltender Jonathan Quick into the net. However, upon further review the call was reversed and the Flyers won the game.
You can see that goal below:
Quick wasn’t happy with the ruling.
“I know I was (pushed into the net),” Quick said, per LA Kings Insider. “I didn’t ‘feel.’ I know. So that should be no goal. I don’t know how that goes upstairs and still they get it wrong. I don’t know the exact ruling on that because they seem to change it every year, but usually you’re not allowed to push a goalie into the net, so I don’t know. Maybe they changed it again on us.”
The Flyers acquired Schenn from Los Angeles in the Mike Richards trade. Speaking of Richards, he’s the reason the Kings walked away with a point as he netted the game-tying goal at 5:01 of the third period.