Three takeaways from LA Kings’ 3-2 win vs the Devils
After dropping three straight, the LA Kings began their road trip with a win over the New Jersey Devils on Sunday.
The LA Kings went into New Jersey hoping to snap a three-game losing skid. While it wasn’t the prettiest of games, it managed to get the job done. The Kings will hope to use this win to build off as they continue their road trip.
NJD: Jesper Bratt (12), Assists: Damon Severson (12)
LAK: Alex Iafallo (12), Unassisted
NJD: Jesper Bratt (13), Assists: Jack Hughes (13), Damon Severson (13)
LAK: Viktor Arvidsson (10), Assists: Trevor Moore (14)
LAK: Carl Grundstrom (6), Assists: Dustin Brown (12), Tobias Bjornfot (6)
Shots on goal:
Three things that stood out:
1. Mikey Anderson’s fantastic performance
I’d be lying if I told you this had been a perfect season for Mikey Anderson with the LA Kings.
He’s struggled at times. He’s been solely responsible for some goals, been rough position-wise, and questioned whether he is the correct guy to play alongside Drew Doughty. However, he’s picked it up over the last few games and had arguably his best game of the season last night.
Anderson was strong on the puck and used his stick to break up plays well in front of the net.
He finished the game with a 66.89 expected goals percentage (xG%) and allowed just 0.29 expected goals against (xGA).
If he can build off this performance, it’d be huge for a thin Kings blue line.
2. Is Bjornfot ready for the NHL?
Tobias Bjornfot played over half of the season in 2020-21 and has played the majority of this season as well, but with each game, I start to think he should spend some time in Ontario with the Reign.
Bjornfot’s defensive tactics aren’t great, which showed again on the game’s first goal last night. He allowed Jesper Bratt on a breakaway, and he scored.
EZ PZ for Jesper Bratt 🥱 @NJDevils pic.twitter.com/J3GRshQOJd
— B/R Open Ice (@BR_OpenIce) January 24, 2022
It’s not like Bjornfot is a critical factor to the Kings’ success, so why not send him down and let him develop in the AHL? You don’t want to ruin his confidence and potential by allowing him to struggle prematurely in the NHL.
3. Byfield gave Kings fans a scare
LA Kings fans worldwide held their breath as Quinton Byfield blocked a shot on his knee and skated slowly over to the bench.
— Ryan Sikes (@ryan_sikes10) January 24, 2022
He had already missed the first two months of the season and had to be in the AHL for over a month as he conditioned for his return to the NHL, and finally just recently made his season debut in the big leagues.
Luckily, he came back for his next shift, and it didn’t look like he was too limited to anything due to an injury, which is good news going forward.
LA gets right back at it on Monday against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.
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