Tyler Toffoli didn’t score in the Kings’ 5-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Saturday night, but he made quite an impression in his NHL debut. He played 13 minutes, 20 seconds and recorded one shot on net. He missed the net a couple of other times, including once on a pretty set-up from linemate Jeff Carter. He also made a terrific back-check, slashing the stick of the Sharks’ Tommy Wingels to give Wingels a penalty shot. Jonathan Bernier saved Wingels’ shot, pulling Toffoli off the hook.
“My first shift I just wanted to go out there and get pucks on net and just keep it simple,” the 20-year-old Toffoli said. “After that, things just went pretty smooth and it was a blast. I didn’t want to relax at all. I just wanted to keep going and play the best game of my life, and knowing it’ll be the only first game in the NHL I’m going to play, so it was a lot of fun and I think I played well and, hopefully, there’s many more to come.”
Asked what Kings coach Darryl Sutter and Bernier said to him after the penalty shot, Toffoli said, “They just said it was a good backcheck and they got a penalty shot, so good thing Bernier saved it. But it was just a good backcheck and after that things just went a little more smooth and I just played more simple and played a good game.”
Asked about a couple of missed scoring chances in his debut, Toffoli said, “I should have buried at least two. Jitters kind of got me a bit. I was gripping the stick a little tight, but, hopefully, the next game I can bear down.”