Kings coach Darryl Sutter had this to say about defenseman Robyn Regehr playing despite a broken nose: “He got hit in the nose again. It’s broke, so he can’t re-broke it.”
The Kings have scored only three goals during their first-round playoffs series against St. Louis, and the Blues have scored four. The Kings trail the best-of-7 series 2-1 going into Game 4 on Monday night at Staples Center. “There’s all kinds of things that happen within the game,” Kings defenseman Robyn Regehr said. “Some people call it the game within the game. Call it whatever you want. It’s a tough series. It’s been a hard-fought series, a low-scoring, tight series. There’s all kinds of stuff that’s happening out there. As an individual, you want to win as many as those little battles. … I enjoy it, yeah.”
The Kings won’t win the Western Conference or the Pacific Division. The best they can do is finish fourth in the conference and second in the division. But with only three regular-season games remaining before they begin their Stanley Cup championship defense, it would be difficult to find a team playing better then the Kings are at the moment.
The evolution of Kings defenseman Drew Doughty continued Saturday night at Staples Center. The numbers might not reflect it, but years from now Doughty might very well look back on the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season as a turning point in his career.
Doughty went into the Kings’ game against the rival Ducks with four goals and 14 assists in 41 games, off the pace for last season’s 10 goals and 26 assists in 77 games. He admitted it bothered him to see his production slow to only a trickle.
Drew Doughty figures he’s been paired with every Kings defenseman at one point or another this season except Slava Voynov. He’s played with Robyn Regehr steadily since Regehr was acquired in a trade earlier this month from the Buffalo Sabres. Doughty talked Saturday about their union and how their strengths mesh. Doughty talked about the player he’s likely to form a shut-down tandem with for the upcoming playoffs.
“Robyn’s kind of strictly defense,” he said. “He’s not going to jump up in the play. It gives me the opportunity to jump up every time I can. He’s always back there, solid. For the most part, I noticed he’s going to make the simple play. He’s not going to make that saucer pass over a stick or anything like that. He’s either going to go straight up to a winger (with a pass) or over to me. I want the puck in my hands as much as I can have it, and if he’s going to keep giving it to me, I love that. So far, we’ve worked really well together and I think as we get used to play with each other we’re going to get better and better.”
Here’s what Kings winger Jeff Carter said Saturday about new teammate, Robyn Regehr, a veteran defenseman acquired in a trade last Monday from the Buffalo Sabres: “I think I only played against him a few times. When I came to the West, he went to the East. I mean, he’s just a hard-nosed big, strong guy. He’s almost like a bully out there. He’s always in your face. Every time you turn around, he’s there. It’s great for us back there.”
Darryl Sutter talked about the play of newly-acquired defenseman Robyn Regehr, the hot streak of winger Justin Williams and his goaltending rotation in the wake of Jonathan Bernier’s shutout Thursday night of the Minnesota Wild. Here’s the coach’s analysis:
Robyn Regehr had an assist and was a plus-two with six hits and two blocked shots in his first 18 minutes, 25 seconds with the Kings on Thursday night. The veteran made an impact in his debut after Monday’s trade from the Buffalo Sabres. He later admitted he felt a good deal of nervous energy at the start of a 3-0 victory over the Minnesota Wild.
Justin Williams skated along the right wing early in the Kings’ 3-0 homecoming victory over the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night at Staples Center. Head down, legs churning, arms pumping, he carried the puck a long way before anyone noticed him.
Williams unleashed an uncontested shot from the right faceoff circle that hit the back of the night only 1 minute, 29 seconds into the game.
The Kings didn’t chase Jarome Iginla before the trade deadline, and he eventually went from the Calgary Flames to the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Kings also didn’t pursue Jaromir Jagr or a half-dozen other players who were dealt before Wednesday’s deadline. Why not? Kings general manager Dean Lombardi didn’t want to break up the Stanley Cup champions in order to rent a player for the short haul. The move he did make, adding veteran defenseman Robyn Regehr from the Buffalo Sabres for second-round draft picks in 2014 and ’15, was designed to bolster the Kings’ blue line for the long term.
Here’s more about Lombardi’s thinking from Lombardi himself: