Comfort growing, Ehrhoff returns to Pittsburgh - LA Kings Insider

On Friday, Christian Ehrhoff will play in Consol Energy Center for the first time since the 2014-15 season, when he appeared in 49 games for the Penguins and totaled three goals and 14 points before his season was derailed by a pair of concussions. He didn’t appear in the Pittsburgh’s first round defeat to the New York Rangers.

Ehrhoff, who had signed a one-year contract with Pittsburgh in 2014 after the remaining seven years of his 10-year, $40-million contract were snipped in a compliance buyout by Buffalo the prior off-season due to concerns about term and potential cap recapture penalties, signed a one-year, $1.5-million contract in August despite overtures from other NHL teams.

With indications that his comfort in Los Angeles is growing – learned both through his own words and his play on the ice – the 33-year-old has become an important veteran figure on a blue line that is younger than in previous seasons. He has goals in two of the last three games after having scored on Tuesday in Columbus and against Pittsburgh the previous Saturday.

“The last little while has been a lot better,” he said. “I didn’t have a good start to the season. I think I’ve played better and am getting more comfortable, and especially the D-zone stuff that has been a big change for me has come along, I think. I just have to keep going and get consistent with it, and then it’s trending in the right direction.

The change comes from more aggressive play in the defensive zone.

“We try to cut off plays as quickly as possible to not give the other team time to cycle or spend time in the D-zone,” he said. “Before for me, it was more staying on the D-side and cutting off certain areas in the D-zone, but here it’s a lot more aggressive, and being on the guy right away and trying to cut off any time and space. That has been definitely an adjustment for me.”

Ehrhoff will face a former team on consecutive nights when the Kings travel to face the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday.

Christian Ehrhoff, on returning to Pittsburgh:
It’s always special to come back to a place where you lived, and my youngest daughter was born here, so Pittsburgh will always be a special place for our family. Like you said, I was only here one year, and last year I had a tough, tough year with the second half just being injured. But it’s always nice to come back.

Ehrhoff, on a “different” off-season:
It definitely was different. The off-season was different. It took me a lot longer to get into shape. Usually you take off three weeks after a season and it gets fairly quick, you’re catching up, you’re getting back into shape. But I was basically hurt since the end of January, and then coming back in the off-season, working my way back felt a lot harder this summer. That was definitely something I hadn’t experienced before.

Ehrhoff, on whether he felt better as the off-season progressed:
Yeah, that’s when I got basically symptom-free, and I came back after. I skated for a few more days and got cleared by the doctors before I went back home to Germany.

Ehrhoff, on whether it was reassuring that there were no effects from Mike Ribeiro’s hit in October:
This season, yeah, it’s definitely worrying at first, but that cleared up pretty quickly towards the end of the night. It was definitely nice to not have something again and to go right back in.

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.
Adrian Kempe

#9 | 6′ 2″ | 195 lb | Age: 21

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

Bio

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

Alex Iafallo

#19 | 6′ | 185 lb | Age: 23

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

Bio

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

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.

VIEW ANZE KOPITAR POSTS
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.

VIEW DREW DOUGHTY POSTS
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.

VIEW JEFF CARTER POSTS
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.

VIEW JONATHAN QUICK POSTS