I Was There #10: Toffoli's first goal - LA Kings Insider

Throughout the next month, LAKI will be reviewing the top 10 moments of the Los Angeles Kings season as a recurring feature entitled “I Was There.”

KingsCast is almost finished with a similar endeavor, complete with screen grabs, video highlights and commentary. Alex Kinkopf’s #TopTen list is recommended as a great chronicle of the 2012-13 season, and I’ll continue to link KingsCast articles to the corresponding spots on my own list.

I didn’t want to make this list about the best “games” or “stretches of play” of the season. Instead, with the exception of the banner raising ceremony and White House visit – which will both be included – this is more of a depiction of the 10 best plays and moments of the season as judged by on-ice aesthetics and whether it will generate any lasting impact. I’ll also include a list of honorable mentions once this project is complete.

I Was There #10: Tyler Toffoli scores his first goal

Before we had even settled on Tyler Toffoli’s nickname (and learned his NSFW nickname), he had already scored twice and was more often than not flashing glimpses of the player the Kings expect him to develop into.

Toffoli registered one shot on net, missed four shots and had one blocked in his NHL debut in a 5-2 win over San Jose on March 16. Two nights later he scored his first career goal and added an assist for a multi-point effort in a 4-0 win over Phoenix. He was named the game’s third star in his second NHL game.

Here he is, taking whatever frustrations he had out on Mike Smith’s Gatorade bottle:

Aesthetic beauty: Moderate-to-high. It’s a power play goal, and Toffoli is unmarked to Smith’s right. The most impressive part of the way the play developed was Toffoli’s patience and hand-eye coordination as he waited for the puck to bounce to him after Jeff Carter had deflected it in his direction during a puck battle with Michael Stone. So, to recap, there was strong positioning, a bouncing puck, a top-shelf finish, and Jim Fox saying, “Can you say…sniper!?” Not a bad first week on the job for the then-20-year-old rookie.

Lasting impact: TBD. Obviously Toffoli will always remember this one. Whether this truly becomes an “I Was There” moment won’t be revealed until we get a better picture of the player Toffoli grows into. At the time, it was an important insurance goal that backed Jonathan Quick’s 27-save shutout and followed several near-misses from the previous four periods he had played in the NHL. Though Toffoli got Smith to slam his stick on the ice, Smith isn’t exactly known for his calm, balanced reactions.

KingsCast #10: Lasorda snubs Johnson

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Adrian Kempe

#9 | 6′ 2″ | 195 lb | Age: 21

Born: September 13, 1996
Birthplace: Kramfors, SWE
Position: LW
Handedness: Left


Kempe was selected by the Kings in the first round (29th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.

Alex Iafallo

#19 | 6′ | 185 lb | Age: 23

Born: December 21, 1993
Birthplace: Eden, NY, USA
Position: C
Handedness: Left


Iafallo was signed by the Kings as an unrestricted free agent on April 18, 2017.

Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left


As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right


Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right


Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left


Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.