Jordan Nolan made a small, easily overlooked but very important play in the second period last night in Nashville, with the game tied 2-2. Nolan got the puck in the Nashville zone and started to take it to the net, but then took a look around. Nolan showed great poise as he paused, backed off the defender, then saw — or perhaps heard — Drew Doughty pinching down over his left shoulder. Nolan spotted Doughty and made a quick, accurate pass, and Doughty scored on a nice shot to give the Kings the lead.
Nolan, with 11 NHL games now under his belt, seems to be settling into that fourth-line right-wing spot. Nolan is played anywhere between 7-9 minutes per game and is skating well, showing good instincts and staying out of the penalty box. Expectations aren’t super-high for Nolan, so he has the ability to thrive in a lower-key role if he does the little things expected of him, as described in part by Darryl Sutter.
SUTTER: “We’re trying to get Jordy to take the puck to the net a little bit more, not turn the puck over in the neutral zone, not loop in the neutral zone. So, he made a good play there (on Doughty’s goal). I expect him to that. It’s basic puck possession, and not turning the puck over.’’