It's been an up-and-down season, figuratively, for Tyler Toffoli. He started off his season with ten effective games for the AHL's Manchester Monarchs, earning him a call-up to the Los Angeles Kings. Toffoli was wildly effective early on, starting off his stint with eight points and three game-winning goals in his first seven games. He slowed down a bit after that but continued to mix in electrifying games with his mediocre ones, including key contributions in victories over St. Louis and San Jose in December. His name was even thrown around as a contender for the Calder Trophy.
Then, the goals dried up. After an eleven-game scoreless streak his season is now, literally, up-and-down. Up to LA... down to Manchester. Here's the official release from the Kings' website:
The Los Angeles Kings have assigned forward Tyler Toffoli to the American Hockey League’s Manchester Monarchs, Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi announced today.
Toffoli has appeared in 33 games for the Kings this season and has 17 points (9-8=17) and a plus-14 rating.
The move, honestly, isn't surprising. Toffoli's effectiveness had gone down as of late, but not as dramatically as his ice time did under Darryl Sutter in January.
|DATE||OPPONENT||RESULT||TIME ON ICE|
|Thu 1/2||STL||L 0-5||15:42|
|Sat 1/4||VAN||W 3-1||13:05|
|Tue 1/7||MIN||L 1-2 (SO)||11:06|
|Thu 1/9||BOS||W 4-2||9:49|
|Sat 1/11||DET||L 1-3||10:51|
|Mon 1/13||VAN||W 1-0||6:11|
So, not surprising. Especially after playing six minutes in a game where Los Angeles really needed goals and got a huge amount of power play time. It is still pretty disappointing, especially since Toffoli's far from the only player who can't seem to find the back of the net. He is, of course, the only one who can get demoted without consequence, so he gets to be this month's scapegoat.
Meanwhile, the Kings will have to figure out how to score without a guy who helped drive their November and December hot streaks. Regardless of his recent slump, replacing him in the lineup with Matt Frattin or Colin Fraser is a sizable offensive downgrade. Hopefully we see him back up in Los Angeles sooner, rather than later.
We'll see if Dean Lombardi has something up his sleeve to address the recent lack of goals; this move clears a roster spot, and if Matt Greene does have a concussion, he could find himself on the IR. Either way, there will be more analysis to come on this move.