Stevens on Toffoli, Pearson, returning home - LA Kings Insider

On a “rebound season” for Tyler Toffoli:
I don’t know if I would term it a ‘rebound season.’ I mean, I think his season was really affected by injury last year. I think Tyler’s always been a very opportunistic score, and I think that line with Carter, Pearson and Toffoli is a line we’ve liked back since ’14. With Jeff going down with injury this year, I think Tanner and Tyler have had some good continuity. Their centermen has changed a little bit, but our internal expectations of Tyler, that’s kind of who we think he is. We think he should be somewhere between a 25 and a 30-goal scorer and a guy that can play in all situations.

On whether aspects of Tanner Pearson’s game are overlooked because he’s not scoring regularly:
Yeah, that’s a good point, Daryl. I think Tanner can finish more than he has. He’s had some really good chances, and there are games where he’s had great looks at the net but hasn’t put the puck in the net. He is one of those guys that goals go in the net, and if you go back and look, and he won a board battle and chipped a puck out of his zone, or he got in on the forecheck and got a play sopped up, I think he does a lot of the yeoman’s work that leads to a lot of offense, and I think that’s why he fits well with Tyler – because Tyler usually puts himself in position on those pucks that get turned over that he can do something with them. I think there’s a lot of really good in Tanner’s game, and again, I think Tanner can score. There’s no question that I don’t think that he’s a perennial 20-plus goal scorer. He’s really good around the net, and he really understands the value of being at the net. There’s certainly a lot of small things in his game to lead to good things for the hockey team. [Reporter: Piggybacking off that, he’s always been a high-percentage shooter in his career. Like, the shooting percentage this year seems to be a little bit of anomaly. Everything you said, it seems that he’s doing a lot of other things well, but in terms of just the spots on the ice where he’s getting the puck or shooting or the chances he’s getting, is there any difference between this year and previous years?] I don’t have the raw numbers, but there are lots of games where we come out of those games and Tanner and say, ‘you’re getting all the looks.’ We’d like to see him finish on those looks, but I think he has been getting chances. Whether the percentage is different in terms of the total number of opportunities at different parts of the ice, we’ve liked his game. The road trip we had, going back to the beginning of the year, we thought those guys played really well – the trip that started in Columbus really I think got their game going. I think there’s been some parts of the season where his game hasn’t been as effective, but I think overall, he’s doing the types of things that are going to lead to success as long as he stays with it.

On whether tonight’s game is an extension of the road trip:
We’ve tried to approach it that way. We spent some time yesterday just talking about coming off the road. I think the tendency without even thinking about it is ‘the road trip’s over,’ and you kind of want to know [inaudible]. We put a big value on preparation yesterday and coming home and being ready to play. Minnesota’s playing well. They’re a very good team that’s going to forecheck hard and we need to be ready to go and be dialed in even though the road trip’s over. You have three games at home here, but we’d like to treat it as an extension of the road trip.

-Lead photo via Scott Rovak/NHLI

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


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.