The locker room was much more upbeat today after the Kings 4-3 SO victory over previously unbeaten Minnesota. The squad skated for about an hour and then boarded a flight up north to Canada at 2 p.m.
KINGS ON A TWO-GAME ROAD TRIP
The Los Angeles Kings begin a brief two-game road trip with Thursday’s match-up against the Calgary Flames. After Thursday’s contest, the Kings will play in Vancouver Friday before returning home to STAPLES Center Tuesday to open a four-game homestand. So far the Kings are 1-1-0 in back-to-backs, winning the first game of the season vs. Anaheim, 4-1 at the O2 in London. The following night, the Kings fell to the Ducks by that same 4-1 score.
GO-TO GUYS IN THE SHOOTOUT
Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown continue to dominate opponents in the shootout. Kopitar is now 6-for-10 all-time in shootouts, while Brown is now 5-for-9. Of Kopitar’s six shootout markers, two have been the game-winner. Michael Cammalleri also converted last night in the shoot out, scoring on the second attempt, which turned out to be the game winner.
Petteri Nummelin tallied for the Wild while Pavol Demitra was stoned by Kings goaltender, J-S Aubin on the Wild’s second attempt, putting the Kings up 2-1 when Kopitar converted to seal the win.
On Wednesday, Aubin reflected on the shootout.
“The moves that we do in the shootout are incredible,” he said of Brown, Cammalleri and Kopitar. “We have good shooters, good breakaway shooters, and we feel comfortable going into shootouts because we know we will score goals and it is up to us (goaltenders) to make saves at the right times to give us the wins.”
Aubin did just that last night stopping Demitra to give the Kings a chance. Though that stop was memorable, the talk of the game was the move that Kopitar made in the shootout to clinch the shootout, 3-1.
“It is such a tough move, unless you know he is going to do it, there is not much you can do to stop it,” Aubin said. “I told Kopi after the game, ‘if you ever do that on me in practice I will crack you over the head.’
“It is just a great move.”
And to think, Alexander Frolov, one of the Kings most potent scorers, did not even participate in the shootout.
SPEAKING OF FROLOV…
Frolov is in the midst of a three-game assist streak. He has four helpers total during that span. Frolov led the Kings with 35 goals last season and was second with 71 points, with his 36 assists of a year ago a career high.
MORE ON AUBIN
Aubin made 28 saves in his Kings debut last night to get his first win with Los Angeles, in his 200th career game.
Interview with Jean-Sebastien Aubin
“It is great,” Aubin said of the win. “You always want to start well. Except for the third goal, I think I played pretty well. It had been a month since I played and I had not played a full game yet, so I felt very good.
“It was important for me to come off strong.”
A big discussion amongst the media today was the plus/minus of defenseman Rob Blake, whom ranks last in the NHL at -9.
Blake discussed the issue with the LA Daily News’ Matthew Kredell.
“Anytime you're minus, you're not playing well,” he said. “That kind of goes hand in hand. I don't read into it much. At this stage of my career, stats aren't really important to me. If we're winning and I'm minus-10, it's not a big deal. The important part is trying to get this team to focus on what we have to do to win and be a playoff-contending team.''