Simon Gagne told a Philadelphia reporter after Tuesday’s trade from the Kings to the Flyers: “My game shape is good even though I haven’t played in two weeks. I’m still riding the bike and keeping myself in shape … for another team.”
Dean Lombardi, the Kings’ general manager, talked Tuesday about his decision to trade forward Simon Gagne to the Philadelphia Flyers for a conditional draft pick. Here’s some of what Lombardi said went into the move:
The Kings on Tuesday swapped unproductive forward Simon Gagne for a conditional pick in the upcoming draft from the Philadelphia Flyers. Gagne played only 11 of the Kings’ 17 games this season, and did not have a goal. He had five assists and two penalty minutes and was the odd-man out of the lineup recently. Gagne has played 772 games during his career with the Kings, Flyers and the Tampa Bay Lightning.
If the Flyers make the playoffs, the Kings with get a third-round pick. If the Flyers don’t qualify for the postseason, the Kings will receive a fourth-round selection.
Kings coach Darryl Sutter is a difficult man to please. He wasn’t about to say their 5-2 victory Monday over the Ducks was their best-played game of the season. Here’s what he did say, however: “We struggled for the first half of the game. I think Jordan Nolan’s fight (with the Ducks’ Sheldon Souray) gave us a little energy, and (Slava) Voynov’s goal in the third was huge. Not tonight, it wasn’t (the Kings’ best game of the season). We played good in Edmonton and Calgary, too.”
Here’s the money quote, courtesy of Kings defenseman Drew Doughty, after Monday’s 5-2 win over the Ducks at Staples Center: “We constantly kept saying how important these two points were, division game, team that’s in second place and team that’s hot. That was the first time, in the third period, I felt like we were clicking like we did last year.”
Might there be a rivalry here?
Play picked up considerably during the second period, with the Ducks’ Andrew Cogliano scoring after only 13 seconds. Dustin Penner countered with his first goal of the season fo the Kings at 3:16. Saku Koivu gave the Ducks a 2-1 lead with a power-play goal at 5:51. Dustin Brown rallied the Kings once more with a laser that banked in off the crossbar at 17:53. Oh, and there was a pretty good scrap early in the period between the Kings’ Jordan Nolan and the Ducks’ Sheldon Souray.
Here’s what happened in the first period:
The Kings have won three consecutive games and five of their last to improve their overall record to 8-6-2. The Ducks have won six in a row and 10 of their last 11 and are 13-2-1. Anze Kopitar leads the Kings with 12 points (five goals, seven assists) and Jeff Carter (nine goals, two assists) and Mike Richards (four goals, seven assists) each have 11 points. Ryan Getzlaf leads the Ducks with 17 points (six goals, 11 assists), and 42-year-old Teemu Selanne has 16 points (five goals, 11 assists). The Ducks won the first game between the teams 7-4 on Feb. 2 in Anaheim.
Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau had this to say about facing the rejuvenated Kings on Monday night at Staples Center: “To me, that’s the ultimate test. They’re playing like they played in the playoffs last year. I watch every one of their games, and they’re just flat-out good. (Goalie Jonathan) Quick is good, and he’s playing like he’s the Conn Smythe Trophy winner. We’ll see how we do against them. They’re as good a test as you’re going to find in this game today.”