Pearson contributes; Sutter looks for LW consistency - LA Kings Insider

Rookie forward Tanner Pearson has set career highs in ice time in three of his last four games, a stretch that has contained fine performances against Montreal, Calgary and Phoenix.

He scored his second career goal in Monday’s loss to the Coyotes, a first period snipe during a two-on-two rush as part of 14:15 of ice time.

“I don’t really know if the first one (at the New York Islanders on November 14) went in or not, and there was no real full call on if it crossed the line or not,” he said, referencing the game-winner in his NHL debut. “This one actually hit the back of the net which was nice, and to get it at home was pretty cool, too.”

The goal, as Darryl Sutter describes it, is for Pearson to hit the level of consistency that justifies his continued minutes. He doesn’t see Pearson as an individual left wing, but as a consortium of position-linked players that need to provide quality minutes.

“You play here, you can’t take shifts off,” Sutter said. “Look at the other night. Kinger gets hit in the face, so we have to shorten the bench in a hurry on the left side, and we get scored on. You have to be consistent. You need four lines, you need four left wingers, you need four centermen, you need four right wingers to be consistent every shift. Whether it’s Dustin Brown or Tanner Pearson, it doesn’t matter.”

In the two recent games in which Brown was scratched due to a minor lower-body injury, Pearson skated opposite Tyler Toffoli on a line centered by Jarret Stoll.

“Especially with Brownie being out, it kind of gives me a bit of an opportunity,” Pearson said. “But I think as each game has gone on the confidence has gone up. I think that’s such a big thing and then getting chemistry with your linemates. Playing with Stolly is pretty easy and then playing with Toff is kind of natural by now. I’ve had a lot of help along the way, but hopefully we can keep on going up.”

That a pair of rookies flank a centerman with a quality effort is an appropriate fit, according to Sutter.

“Jarret’s work ethic clearly inspires guys that he plays with. If you don’t work your tail off and you play with Stolly, it stands out,” he said. “Again, it doesn’t matter who plays with him. That is always what he pulls in. His number one is ‘work.’”

Tanner Pearson, on his goal against Phoenix:
I think Toff tried to pass it to Stolly and it was a bit ahead of him into the defenseman’s skates and Stolly just kind of tied him up. It was just sitting there and so it was kind of off to the races and I knew I had someone coming on me quickly. So I knew I had to get the shot off fast and I just decided to go upstairs with it.

Pearson, on scoring at Staples Center:
You’re on the road and you kind of quiet the building down and you don’t realize how loud Staples Center can get until you score your goal and experience it.

Pearson, on Jarret Stoll’s leadership:
Yeah, especially how Toff and I being the rookies on the team and he’s been there. He’s trying to do his best to let us know where to be in certain spots and keep us in the big game and keep us focused. He’s done a good job of that.

Pearson, on playing with Stoll:
He’s a really good two-way center. He works really, really hard and he’s going to be at the right spots at the right time. He’s going to make the game easier for us, which is nice.

Pearson, on Stoll being a role model for younger players:
I think it shows from when I was here in the summer time and he’s in the gym every day and doing his thing, and showing what being an NHL player is all about. He’s definitely a good role model and hopefully I can keep up to him.

Rules for Blog Commenting
  • - No profanity, slurs or other offensive language. Replacing letters with symbols does not turn expletives into non-expletives.
  • - Personal attacks against other blog commenters, and/or blatant attempts to antagonize other commenters, are not tolerated. Respectful disagreement is encouraged. Posts that continually express the same singular opinion will be deleted.
  • - Comments that incite political, religious or similar debates will be deleted.
  • - Please do not discuss, or post links to, websites that illegally stream NHL games.
  • - Posting under multiple user names is not allowed. Do not type in all caps. All violations are subject to comment deletion and/or banning of commenters, per the discretion of the blog administrator.
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.