After taking an awkward fall on Saturday, LA Kings defenseman Alex Edler is anticipated to miss a significant amount of time.
When he was signed in the offseason, Alex Edler looked to be, if nothing else, a key veteran presence for the LA Kings. The 35-year-old, however, has shown that he is more valuable than just his experience as the longtime Vancouver Canuck has proven to be a solid defensive force as part of a young defensive corps. Heck, he showcased his offensive abilities with his first goal as a King last week.
On Saturday, however, Edler took an awkward fall into the boards and, after being helped off the ice without putting any pressure on his left foot, an ominous feeling arose among Kings fans.
It is rarely promising when a player puts no pressure on one of their feet. While we don’t have a concrete answer to how much time he will be sidelined for, it is clear that Edler will not be back in the Kings lineup anytime soon. This came after Todd McLellan‘s postgame interview when the head coach gave the media a better idea of the veteran’s foreseeable future.
When asked if Edler’s injury was week-to-week, McLellan responded succinctly.
“No. Longer than that. It’s going to be long-term,” he said.
The incident occurred just under three minutes into the Kings game against the Minnesota Wild. Edler and Wild right-winger Brandon Duhaime both chased after the puck in the corner when the latter dished a heavy, clean hit to the Kings blueliner. Edler remained down for a few moments before being helped off the ice.
In 26 games this season, Edler had one goal and ten assists for the Kings. He was also a plus-8 while registering 42 blocked shots and 43 hits. The Swedish blueliner has also averaged 18:26 of ice time this season. Overall, while most are dreading the verdict on the severity of his injury, Edler’s absence will not be easy to fill. The Kings still have fellow veteran Olli Maatta but also Austin Strand and recently reacquired Christian Wolanin from Ontario as options.
In fairness, though, the five remaining blueliners on Saturday night did an admirable job in Edler’s absence on Saturday, limiting the red-hot Wild to just one goal on 31 shots. In the end, the Kings snapped Minnesota’s eight-game winning streak with a hard-fought 2-1 victory.
Overall, the Kings’ head coach was thrilled with his defensemen’s efforts in the wake of Edler’s injury:
“That’s a big, strong, talented, organized, confident team,” McLellan noted. [Edler’s] arguably been our best defenseman while Drew [Doughty] was out and you lose him a [few minutes] into the game and Drew’s still finding his game and in the penalty box. Not an easy task for four relatively young defensemen and they did a tremendous job.”
Minnesota’s lone goal — courtesy of Marcus Foligno — came on a power play with the aforementioned Doughty in the sin bin. The goal came at 13:11 of the second period. The Wild’s momentum, however, was short-lived as Phillip Danault put the Kings on the board just 1:18 later to tie it — on a goal assisted by Doughty.
On another positive note, Brendan Lemieux, in his first game back from a five-game suspension, scored the eventual game-winner, helping the Kings to back-to-back wins.
As for Edler, his absence will serve as a test of will for the Kings who are coming off victories against the two of the hottest teams in the NHL. But, the test against the league’s best only continues as the silver-and-black now embark on a four-game eastern road swing, beginning on Tuesday night against the reigning back-to-back Stanley Cup champion, Tampa Bay Lightning.
Be sure to stay tuned for more information.