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Off-Day Watch 3/12: Carl Grundstrom shines in debut

Two goals for the NHL rookie are a pretty good start to a career.

Los Angeles Kings v Arizona Coyotes Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

In what continues to be a lost season, the bright spots for the Kings have been in the growth of their younger players. Alex Iafallo stepping up to play an even more well-rounded game in his sophomore campaign. Jack Campbell and Cal Petersen both showing they can hold their own in net. Rookies like Matt Luff and Austin Wagner showing what they can offer in terms of scoring and speed, and Matt Roy and Sean Walker getting comfortable on the blue line.

And now, Carl Grundstrom has joined the party. Acquired as one of the parts of the Jake Muzzin trade, Grundstrom put up three goals and seven assists in 13 games with the Ontario Reign before being recalled by the Kings.

From his very first game, he showed off exactly why the Kings were so excited to acquire him. Grundstrom plays a hard-nosed game and they’re hoping he develops into a true power forward. He’s already earning the trust of Willie Desjardins, playing 18:15 against the Ducks. While he’s only been credited with two shots on net, those both have turned into goals. Statistically, though he’s getting a majority of his starts in the offensive zone (66.67%), he’s been on the ice for more scoring chances for the Kings than against (16 for, six against) and has a 64.91% Corsi-For over both games.

Two games is a small sample size, but watching Grundstrom through the rest of this season to see where he fits in with the Kings of the future will be something fun to keep an eye on.

Kings Things

The Ontario Reign, facing down a lost season just like their parent club, have turned on the jets as of late, trying to finish the season strong. They’ve won six of their last eight and will take on the Colorado Eagles in back-to-back games starting tonight. [Reign Insider]

There are just so many Brodzinskis, you guys. [The Athletic]

The Kings parted ways with Brantt Myhres, who worked as a confidential ear for players, but it’s easy to see why more teams should hire people like Myhres to support their athletes. [The Athletic]

Bad news for Kale Clague:

Good news for Jaret Anderson-Dolan:

Former Kings Things

The Washington Capitals Facetimed Justin Williams after they won the Stanley Cup. [Russian Machine Never Breaks]

And Williams, of course, is widely seen to be one of the main factors in the Hurricanes’ success this season. [NHL]

Jake Muzzin is finally settling in with the Leafs. [The Athletic]

And Nic Dowd has been reunited with college teammate Nick Jensen on the Capitals. [The Athletic]

Speaking of Nic Dowd, with bonus Carl Hagelin:

Elsewhere

Katie Guay was the first woman to officiate a Division I men’s hockey game. She’s also patrolled the ice at the Beanpot. Will the NHL be next? [Washington Post]

Are the Pittsburgh Penguins in trouble? General Manager Jim Rutherford doesn’t think so. [NHL]

A full-team effort helped replace skates for players of Les Canadiennes who had their gear stolen before a playoff game. [Eyes on the Prize]

Zach Hyman—hockey player, children’s author, esports entrepreneur, all-around very nice young man—feels like someone I would have made up inside my own head. [The Athletic]

The secret to the surprising turn-around in the Carolina Hurricanes’ net? New goalie coach Mike Bales. [ESPN]

A look at the women’s hockey teams vying to come out on top of the 2019 NCAA tournament. [The Ice Garden]

Red Wings prospect Givani Smith took time to meet with a teenaged hockey player who endured racial slurs while playing. [Winging it in Motown]

Two former Chicago Blackhawks, one in the prime years of his career and one in the twilight, have found success and love for the game in Belfast. [The Athletic]

ESPN’s Katie Nolan wades into the beef between the rest of the NHL mascots and Gritty:

Evening Entertainment

Pittsburgh versus Washington is always good for a fun time if you want to watch two teams who hate each other very much. Will anyone be alive by the end? That one kicks off at 4:00 pm Pacific time and airs on NBCSN. For a later game, San Jose versus Winnipeg should be good viewing, too, as you watch two of the Western Conference powerhouses go up against one another. That one’s on at 5:00 pm Pacific and airs on ESPN+ and also streams via the NHL’s streaming service.