Waking up with the Monarchs: February 9 - LA Kings Insider

Saturday’s script wasn’t completely different from that of several Kings games over the last five or six weeks in that the Monarchs certainly played well enough to capture two points but received no luck and had to fight from behind after allowing several opportunistic goals. After a sluggish opening 10 minutes, Manchester got their legs underneath them and began seeing the quality of their looks improve. The Bruins took a 1-0 lead late in the first period on a power play goal before the Monarchs tied the game in the second on a fine individual effort by Nic Deslauriers on a play in which he was assessed a high sticking double minor by tapping in a shot of his that had trickled past Niklas Svedberg. Speaking with reporters after the game, Mark Morris argued that Deslauriers’ stick ricocheted off the post and hit a Providence defender in the face after he had shoved Deslauriers to begin the sequence. As a result, Manchester couldn’t build on the momentum it had generated in tying the game. Though puck possession and zone time disproportionately favored the Monarchs over the final 40 minutes, the opportunistic Bruins scored from close range during a scrum in front of Jones late in the second period and built a two-goal lead during a gap in coverage when a glut of bodies gravitated towards the right wing boards as the puck was freed loose to Mike Moore, who outwaited Martin Jones and scored from a low angle. The goal came shortly after an attractive would-be game-tying Linden Vey three-on-two goal was disallowed when Niklas Svedberg slid across the crease and provided enough energy to shove a wriggling net off its moorings. Consistent pressure afforded Manchester several more quality looks, including one on a Tanner Pearson one-timer that was kicked out by Svedberg late in the game, but the final horn ended the comeback attempt in a home loss to a Providence team that was without its top scorer in Nick Johnson and its top defensive scorer in Joe Morrow, a quality blue line prospect acquired in the Tyler Seguin trade. The Monarchs were the better team in virtually every aspect of the game other than the final tally, though the Bruins deserved credit for providing bodies, tips and screens in front of Jones, who faced sporadic action and wasn’t really afforded an easy night in the crease.

Having seen Nic Deslauriers play in person, there’s certainly valid justification behind the hype and interested surrounding the converted defenseman who turns 23 years old in two weeks. He has clearly filled out; listed at 6-foot-1 and 230 pounds on the AHL site, his upper-body strength is apparent when speaking with him in person. On Saturday he was one of the best skaters on the ice, if not the best. In addition to posting a goal and an assist while registering six shots on goal, there’s an aggressive, fearless streak inherent in the way he plays. He was involved in the game’s first scrum and several ensuing scrums, and was a player, along with Andy Andreoff, who was more than willing to take a hit to make a play. He had skated opposite Tanner Pearson on the Linden Vey line while Tyler Toffoli had been in Los Angeles, and he responded very well with a move to Nick Shore’s line, where he skated opposite Zach O’Brien. He drives to the net, hits the net with regularity, and possesses power forward instincts that create match-up challenges for the opposition.

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The Pearson-Vey-Toffoli line’s chemistry didn’t return immediately, though by the end of the game the trio had generated a handful of quality looks. The group produced one of the better earlier chances in the game when Pearson found Vey in the high slot, though the center’s shot off the pass was snapped high over the net. Svedberg also knocked the puck down with a fine glove save on a Pearson opportunity midway through the third period and turned aside his one-timer late in the game. There were second opportunities to be had on pucks that bounced off the Providence goalie, though it was a case of pucks and bodies not converging on the same spot at the same time.

Andrew Bodnarchuk did a good job of dictating the pace of the game and helped generate a heavy, aggressive push into the attacking end over the final two periods. A fine skater that was able to reach a high top speed on several occasions, the 25-year-old with five NHL games to his credit appeared as though he wouldn’t be out of place if given the opportunity to add to that total. He’s also an excellent follow on Twitter.

Verizon Wireless Arena

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Jake Muzzin

#6 | 6′ 3″ | 216 lb | Age: 27

Born: Feb 21, 1989
Birthplace: Woodstock, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Left


Muzzin was drafted in 2007 by the Pittsburgh Penguins, before signing to the Kings in 2010. He has since become the first Woodstock, Ontario professional athlete to win a major sports trophy.

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.

Tyler Toffoli

#73 | 6′ 1″ | 200 lb | Age: 24

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


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.

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.