-Many analysts and prognosticators who attempted to find order out of unpredictability lit into the Calgary Flames over the off-season. They were near-universal picks to finish at the bottom of the Pacific Division and amongst the teams with the fewest points in the National Hockey League. One adage often used throughout sports is that a team is never as good or as bad as those on the outside believe they are, and the Flames, though at the outset of finding direction through a dedicated and arduous rebuilding process and still the longest of long shots to make the playoffs, will not resemble anything close to being a pushover. Led by Bob Hartley, Calgary will win games by maintaining a raised compete level throughout the season and outworking their opponents, as they did while winning a healthy amount of individual puck battles and moving their feet well in a 3-2 win Monday night. They also scored three times on the power play, which comes as a bit of an anomaly after Los Angeles had leapt to the top three shorthanded units in the league by virtue of 14 consecutive successful penalty kills, dating back to October 11.

-The Kings have now averaged five shorthanded situations against per game over the last three games. After killing off five penalties in the win over Dallas on Saturday, the Kings were shorthanded six times against Calgary, and versus a team that entered Monday night averaging 3.29 goals per game and welcomed its most skilled player, Mike Cammalleri, back to the lineup, Los Angeles’ lack of discipline allowed a team with inferior personnel to hang in the game after the Kings had done a good job asserting themselves during the opening 20 minutes. If a team such as the Flames is allowed multiple opportunities to make an impact in a narrow game, they’ll take advantage.

Noah Graham / National Hockey League

-It’s natural to sympathize with a player who gets whistled for a key third period penalty that leads to a game-winning goal with under a minute to play in regulation; when that player is alternate captain Anze Kopitar, who has never produced more than 32 penalty minutes in a season and is among the most responsible players in the league with his stick, it’s tough to hear him answer questions after the game and shoulder heavy responsibility for an important moment in a tight loss. I generally don’t review plays that aren’t available for repeat viewing – the only extra look I received of his penalty was the one replay shown shortly after it was assessed – but it seemed like Kopitar went for a stick check on Dennis Wideman and caught him around the hands or mid-section. Though it defies the lack of enforcement generally associated with borderline calls during the final five minutes of a hockey game, if a player uses his stick on the midsection of another player from behind, it will always run the risk of having a penalty called. Again, I don’t have the benefit of an additional replay, but my initial reaction to the play was that Wideman did a good job of selling the stick contact. The PK had a key chance to redeem itself with a late kill – as has been repeated, it’s not always about how many penalties are killed, but rather the timing of the kills – but was unable to do so, courtesy of a hard, low shot by emerging young defenseman TJ Brodie that would have generated a rebound had it not kissed the inside of the post before beating Jonathan Quick for the game-winner.

-Sean Monahan – he’s not really going to be sent back to junior hockey, is he? No, he’s not. The young forward was at his best in tight quarters and showed remarkable strength and poise for a 19-year-old. A teammate of Tyler Toffoli’s with the Ottawa 67’s, Monahan’s time on ice of 21:11 (!) surpassed his previous high by four minutes and 40 seconds. He received an even six minutes of power play time.

Noah Graham / National Hockey League

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Alec martinez

#27 | 6′ 1″ | 210 lb | Age: 29

Born: July 26, 1987
Birthplace: Rochester Hills, MI, USA
Position: D
Handedness: Left

Bio

Bio: Martinez was drafted by the LA Kings in the 2007 Draft, while playing for Miami University. He has since become a two-time Stanley Cup champion and the 17th man in Stanley Cup playoff history to score the Cup-winning goal in overtime.

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Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

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

Bio

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.

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Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

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

Bio

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.

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Tyler Toffoli

#73 | 6′ 1″ | 200 lb | Age: 24

Born: April 24, 1992
Birthplace: Scarborough, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

Toffoli is a Canadian professional ice hockey forward, drafted by the Kings in the second round of the 2010 Draft. Toffoli scored his first career NHL goal in his second game in a 4–0 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes in 2013. He was also named the 2012–13 AHL All-Rookie Team.
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Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

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

Bio

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.

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Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

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

Bio

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.

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