When someone asked Darryl Sutter about the team’s lack of scoring punch and whether it needed “another finisher” perhaps through a trade before the April 3 deadline, the Kings’ coach responded in typically stern fashion. “You’re way out of line asking coaches questions like that,” Sutter said. There was no follow-up question from the guy,
One of the cooler things about winning a championship is getting the chance to visit with the President of the United States at the White House. It’s the Kings’ turn Tuesday. They got the official invitation Thursday. They will be joined by the Galaxy of the MLS, their AEG brethren in a ceremony at 10:35 a.m. (PDT). Both teams will then participate in a clinic with some kids on the South Lawn of the White House.
The Kings took Wednesday off after victories Monday and Tuesday over the Phoenix Coyotes. They are back on the ice Thursday to face the Dallas Stars at Staples Center. It’ll be the first opponent the Kings have played other than the Coyotes and the San Jose Sharks in the Kings’ last six games, a break for them and their beat reporters.
The Kings (17-10-2) awoke Wednesday to find themselves still in fourth place in the Western Conference standings. By winning the first three games on their five-game homestand, they opened some distance between themselves and the trailing teams in the West. They were six points clear of the Sharks (12-10-6).
I asked Darryl Sutter whether he liked Tyler Toffoli’s backcheck that resulted in a penalty shot for the San Jose Sharks’ Tommy Wingels in the second period of the Kings’ victory Saturday. Sometimes you ask questions you already know the answers to. Lawyers do it. So do sportswriters. This was one of those cases.
Here’s the set-up: the Kings jumped on the listless San Jose Sharks from the start and took a 5-2 victory from them Saturday night at Staples Center. Here’s the response from Sharks coach Todd McLellan, courtesy of NHL.com’s Curtis Zupke:
Jake Muzzin, a rookie defenseman, said Friday he was only too happy to support a fallen teammate Thursday. He was a little confused about the NHL’s overall message after he was penalized for fighting while wearing a protecitve visor after teammate Colin Fraser was decked on a hard check by the San Jose Sharks’ Andrew Desjardins, however.
As a player who wears a visor, Muzzin is doing what the league would like him to do to protect himself from serious eye injuries. As a player who defended a teammate, he’s violating a rule by fighting while wearing a visor. Muzzin expressed confusion.
It’s simplistic to say rookie defenseman Jake Muzzin cost the Kings a game Thursday night in San Jose. Muzzin certainly put the Kings in jeopardy by retaliating after the Sharks’ Andrew Desjardins leveled Colin Fraser with a hard shoulder check behind the net in the second period. The Sharks scored two power-play goals after Fraser was penalized, riding that momentum to an eventual 4-3 victory.
However, there was no one in the Kings’ dressing room Friday who faulted Muzzin.
The Kings complete their two-game trip with their first game of the lockout-shortened season against the Sharks on Thursday night in San Jose. The Kings (14-9-2) are fifth in the Western Conference standings and the Sharks (11-8-6) are 10th. They are separated by only two points, however. Jeff Carter leads the Kings with 17 goals and Anze Kopitar has a team-leading 15 assists. Patrick Marleau has 13 goals for the Sharks and Joe Thornton had a club-high 20 assists. The teams play again Saturday at Staples Center. The Kings are 9-2-1 at home, but only 5-7-1 on the road. They began their trip with a 5-2 loss Tuesday to the Phoenix Coyotes in Glendale, Ariz.