Regardless of their overall performance thus far, Alex Edler has been a refreshing constant for the LA Kings this season.
With the higher-profile offseason acquisitions of Phillip Danault and Viktor Arvidsson, Alex Edler’s signing was more under the radar for the silver-and-black. In fairness, though, that was more a testament to the former two than it was a detriment to the latter. Nevertheless, Edler has taken advantage of that finite amount of fanfare, excelling as part of a solid defensive corps.
Albeit in a losing effort, Edler had a big game on Thursday against the red-hot Calgary Flames, registering an assist and, later, potting his first goal as a King — and the 100th of his career.
Following Thursday’s game, Edler spoke with the media about his goal — one of the highlight-reel variety that put the silver-and-black right back into the contest.
“It was nice to score a goal,” the blueliner modestly noted. “I don’t care too much about the number. You know, it’s been a long, long time since I scored a goal. So, that was nice but, you know, obviously, I’d much rather have the win.”
And just like that, Alex Edler has career goal No. 💯❗
— NHL (@NHL) December 3, 2021
The veteran defenseman then took those listening through the goal, which was finished off from a beautiful set-up by the aforementioned Arvidsson.
“I just saw an opportunity to beat my guy up the ice,” Edler said. “Arvy made a great play. It opened up a lot of space for me and shot it and went in.”
Led by former Kings head coach Darryl Sutter and sporting a roster that includes former Kings defensive specialist Trevor Lewis, it should come as no surprise that the Flames boast the fewest goals against in the NHL this season. So far, they have allowed just 45 goals-against — average 1.96 goals-against-per-game — leading the league in both categories. So, for Edler to score his first tally with the Kings — not to mention against goaltender Jacob Markstrom, who leads the league himself with five shutouts — is pretty special.
“They’re a good team, they played tight, they don’t make a lot of mistakes,” Edler said of the Flames. “It’s just a matter of getting a forecheck going, getting pucks to the net, and getting bodies in there.”
It may have been a milestone — especially for someone not known for his scoring prowess — but the humble Edler never hesitated to downplay his goal, giving his team’s success precedence over his individual feat. This reason, coupled with his sharp defensive prowess and his wily leadership, is why the 35-year-old has been so invaluable to the Kings thus far.
They may not count on him to light the lamp very often but Alex Edler has nonetheless been a welcomed addition to a defensive corps experiencing arguably its most important juncture with the emergence of so many greener blueliners like Tobias Bjornfot, Kale Clague, and, most recently, Sean Durzi.
Leading all Kings defensemen with nine assists, 10 points, a plus-seven rating, and 38 blocked shots, Alex Edler has really come into his own in the City of Angels, making fans forget that he was a rival for many years with the Vancouver Canucks. Heck, he’s not even shy in throwing his 6-foot-3, 212-pound frame around as his 37 hits (average of 5.40 per game) indicates.
They could be better in the standings but regardless, the LA Kings are in very good hands with Alex Edler — and that’s nothing to take lightly.