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Off Day Watch, 2/6: Presidents’ Trophy Winners at Work

Believe it or not, LA once did sniff a Presidents’ Trophy of their own. Plus, news and updates.

NHL: Los Angeles Kings at Washington Capitals Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Watching highlights of the league-leading Capitals as they torched the Kings for five goals on Sunday, I was left with a question. And no, my question was not “is Grubauer a brick wall because he wears skinny jeans?”

My question was about that Presidents’ Trophy, which Washington is on track to win for the second straight season. We all know that LA has one solitary division title to their name, but have they ever won a Presidents’ Trophy... or come close? That’s a no; since the Trophy came into existence in 1985-86, they’ve only had one real shot, and that was in 1990-91. The Smythe-winning Kings finished four back of the Chicago Blackhawks. As far as I know, that’s also the latest in a season they’ve led the league standings; on March 13, the Kings had a one-point lead in the overall NHL standings.

NHL Standings on March 13, 1991 (via ShrpSports)

Team (WALES) W-L-T Pts Team (CAMPBELL) W-L-T Pts
Team (WALES) W-L-T Pts Team (CAMPBELL) W-L-T Pts
Boston 39-22-9 87 Los Angeles 41-21-9 91
Montreal 36-26-10 82 Chicago 42-22-6 90
NY Rangers 34-26-12 80 St. Louis 40-20-10 90
Pittsburgh 36-30-5 77 Calgary 41-23-7 89
Philadelphia 32-31-9 73 Detroit 32-33-8 72
New Jersey 29-30-12 70 Edmonton 33-33-5 71
Buffalo 26-28-17 69 Minnesota 25-33-13 63
Washington 31-33-6 68 Winnipeg 24-39-11 59
Hartford 29-33-9 67 Vancouver 25-41-8 58
NY Islanders 23-40-9 55 Toronto 20-43-9 49
Quebec 14-45-12 40 (as of March 13, 1991)
http://www.shrpsports.com/nhl/stand.php?link=Y&season=1991&divcnf=cnf&month=Mar&date=13

They also had the league’s best goal differential that season. I know: regular season excellence and the Kings, hand in hand!

HIGHLIGHTS TO WATCH (or not)

KINGS WATCH

  • Not much new on the injury watch. Sounds like Jordan Nolan won’t be playing until after the bye week, while Paul LaDue probably won’t be playing tomorrow despite the five goals allowed. [LA Kings Insider]
  • Wayne Gretzky is now friends with Anze Kopitar, proving that everyone wants to be friends with Anze Kopitar. [NHL]
  • Jonathan Quick is back practicing in full gear, which happens to be new gear.
  • BONUS: Darryl Sutter quote.

WORLDWIDE WATCH

  • Your three stars of the week: Sebastian Aho, Mikael Granlund, and hey, Peter Budaj! [NHL]
  • A remarkably detailed look at the other game from last weekend, if you want to stop thinking about a 5-0 loss for a while. [Broad Street Hockey]
  • Wait, there’s good news about Bobby Ryan’s contract? [Silver Seven Sens]

WATCH THIS

Sights and sounds from All-Star Weekend? Don’t mind if we do.

GAME TO WATCH

Slim pickings today, but Buffalo-New Jersey is a free streaming game on the NHL website if you want to scout potential trade targets.