Leafs at Kings: A Winter Victory!

By NyLaKy
In Blogs
Jan 13th, 2015
1 Comment

As if the annual winter slump wasn’t depressing enough for Kings fans, poor Tanner Pearson broke his leg, Tyler Toffoli reminded us all that he’s really not that far removed from high school by getting diagnosed with mononucleosis, and the absence of Robyn Regehr is sort of beginning to seem like a genuine loss.

The Kings faced off against the high-flying Toronto Maple Leafs with a defense corps that included Jeff Schultz, a second line centered by Jarret Stoll, and a fourth line that dressed both Jordan Nolan and Andy Andreoff. Confidence was at an all time high!

Since Sutter still hates cute story lines (and also maybe his recent GAA), Quick sat in favor of Martin Jones, denying us all the Bernier versus Quick battle that everyone still talks about but nobody actually cares about.

After spewing off sound bites for weeks about how this team has always responded well to adversity and had the personnel to get the job done no matter what players were out, the Kings finally proved it.

Just 37 seconds into the game, this happened:

kopileafs1

The two teams played a little while longer just for kicks while those good people in Toronto reviewed the play and begrudgingly admitted that the puck did, in fact, enter the net.

The first period continued on a positive trajectory. Toronto was held to one shot on goal in the first 16 minutes and just three total through 20 minutes. Drew Doughty also crushed Mike Santorelli, the standout hit of the night.

Though Toronto elevated their game some in the next two periods, that elusive “defending” skill decided to show its face for the Kings. It was a low-shooting, low-excitement game that felt much needed after the Kings recent flair for dramatic almost-comebacks.

Doughty and Dustin Brown seemed to take the depleted roster challenge quite personally, both turning in impressive performances. Kyle Clifford won his first fight in something like four years (how is this dude JUST now 24????), the fourth line of Andreoff and Nolan were noticeable, Martin Jones made stellar saves when called upon to earn his 7th shutout in 26 starts (a stat I’m going to continue to find insane), Mike Richards saved a sure tying goal, and Anze Kopitar got hit in the face with the puck, momentarily rendering all of this irrelevant and panicking the Twittersphere.

Not to worry, for he returned and helped seal the game for the Kings, setting up Marian Gaborik for one of the prettier empty-net goals you’ll see.

The Kings shut out the Leafs for the first time since 1988, two years prior to the birth of Jones. The standings points allowed the team to jump from 8th to 5th in the conference, because the West is weird like that.

Who needs Toffoli and Pearson, anyway?

Just kidding, get well soon.

1 Comment to “Leafs at Kings: A Winter Victory!”

  1. […] Martin Jones had a great game against the Maple Leafs. Tonight, both he and Jonathan Quick saw ice time and finished with save percentages below .800. […]

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