Sloppy, slow, and unprepared – no, I’m not talking about the sorority girl who sits behind you in English. The Phoenix Coyotes struggled to keep up with the Kings at Staples Center Monday night, dropping 4-0 to the defending Stanley Cup champs. The undeniable “Stanley Cup Hangover” seemed to take hold of the Kings like the first night in Cancun for spring break, but LA has managed to put together a decent streak of points, goals, and most importantly: wins.
Kings’ newcomer Tyler Toffoli shined again Monday at Staples, scoring one of the Kings’ four goals and looking like a seasoned veteran instead of a rookie out on the ice. Calm, cool, collected and a big help to his teammates, Toffoli is hopefully here to stay in LA and if so, will be a young force to be reckoned with as the season progresses. Jake Muzzin, another relatively newcomer who was brought up to fill the big spot left by Matt Greene, also scored his sixth goal of the season on the power play. Drewiske and Richardson were both healthy scratches.
Things began to get chippy when LA went up 1-0, with a number of minor fisticuffs breaking out in front of Phoenix goalie Mike Smith, the biggest one happening in the first period between Ekman-Larsson and Jarrett Stoll. Games against Phoenix always allow nostalgia from last year’s playoffs to surface again, and the blood boiling between these two teams will likely never cease. Jeff Carter and Anze Kopitar wrapped up the game with 2 more goals, and Toffoli assisted on Carter’s goal for another well-deserved point. The Coyotes would change goalies, putting in former King Jason LaBarbera, but it would prove to be futile as LA blanked the Desert Dogs 4-0.
LA will welcome Phoenix again tonight to wrap up back-to-back games.