More from Don today:
Coincidence or not, following the February 21st acquisition of forward Matt Ellis (claimed off of waivers from the Red Wings), the Kings have killed 31 of the last 33 shorthanded situations, with Ellis as one of the key players on the kill.
“I didn’t get the chance to kill penalties in Detroit, but I got the chance in practice all the time and I had a decent amount of success in the American League,” said Ellis, whose five shorthanded goals for the Grand Rapids Griffins of the AHL was among the lead leaders in the 2006-2007 season.
Ellis, who is averaging nearly 15 minutes of ice time per game, says there are many factors that go in to a successful penalty kill.
“One of the big things on the penalty kill is it’s not as much about talent level as much as it is work ethic. All of the killers on this team are willing to sacrifice the body to get in front of shots, battle hard and compete,” he said. “When you do the little things well on the PK it translates into the five-on-five because good habits are contagious. We’re starting to see some guys who aren’t shot-blockers get into the shooting lanes and do those little things – do whatever it takes to be successful.”
Quite fittingly, Ellis scored his first goal as a Los Angeles King while the team was shorthanded, as he put the finishing touches on Thursdays 4-1 win over Nashville with an empty-netter.