My ears are still ringing from the silence from the numbed home crowd at Staples Center. This was a game you didn’t need anyone mic’ed up for, as you could easily hear in-game chatter between the players. Alas, the opening game of this five-game home stand was a complete dud. So, without further ado here is the...
This was as sure of a bet as you could possibly imagined if you were putting some money down on the Nashville Predators. Coming off a 3-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks, the Preds weren’t about to leave Southern California empty handed. With Colton Sissons scoring a goal and an assist and Pekka Rinne making 25 saves, Nashville cruised to a 3-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings.
As far as streaks go, Nashville has earned points in nine consecutive visits to Staples Center, while the Kings have now lost 14 of their last 16 games. The Kings are assured of finishing with their worst full season point total since the 2008-09 campaign.
In the lone bright note, Kings’ rookie Austin Wagner tied the game early in the second period with his 10th goal, and rookie defenseman Matt Roy picked up his first NHL point on the play.
** - Time to Editorialize
Willie Desjardins has some nerve trying to spin Austin Wagner’s play into a motivating push, saying: “We’ve got to get more young guys going.” On a night where Jonny Brodzinski and Sean Walker watched from the press box, Wagner played just 9:21 despite scoring early. How in the world can you get the young guys going when you scratch them and don’t even give your only goal scorer ten minutes on ice? Willie D., you’re a walking contradiction. How about you think about scratching your waiver wire favorite Brendan Leipsic again, or the human pylon Dion Phaneuf (sorry Dion, I’ll always love you)? This way, Willie, you can get the young guys going. Have you ever thought about sitting Jeff Carter or Tyler Toffoli? Have you seen their production lately? We have:
Jeff Carter: The last time he scored was January 15th vs. the Wild. That’s 18 games over a two-month span. His shooting percentage is horrid, at around seven percent. It hasn’t been that low since the 2006-07 season (9.9 percent).
Tyler Toffoli: He hasn’t scored since February 11th. That’s a 15 game stretch. He has a 6.2 shooting percentage. That’s the lowest of his career.
Wouldn’t you rather give a young guy a chance to get going instead of watching Carter age in front of you and seeing Toffoli’s ego disintegrate at center ice? Or maybe it’s because you cannot fathom creating an offensive scheme that can produce more that 185 goals in an 82-game schedule.
There’s a dozen games left, Willie. If you want to get more young guys going, go look in the mirror and see the reason why they aren’t. A dozen games left...get it together Willie.
The Game 70 Scoring
Preds 1. Kings 0.
Preds 1. Kings 1.
Preds 2. Kings 1.
Preds 3. Kings 1.
Next: The Florida Panthers visit the Kings in a Saturday afternoon matinee.
“[Austin Wagner’s] made a good statement. He got another one again tonight. Cliffy went in hard on that, made a good hit. Puck turned, the two guys were battling, and that’s how you score, when you battle. That line seems to do it every night, and if you look at them, they’re getting rewarded. I think we can learn from that line, how hard they play every shift. [Reporter: Is he one of the young guys that has particularly stuck out to you?] He has throughout the year. We missed him when he was out of the lineup. He’s got good speed, and every game he brings that and he adds to it. Something you need is those young guys going, and we’ve got to get more young guys going.”