Thoughts on Sean Durzi and the Kings’ young, precocious defense plus the Pacific Division race and more – The Athletic

The relentless, unforgiving NHL calendar is back at work. Less than 48 hours after completing The Most Important Trip (So Far) and earning five points out of six, the Kings are playing the Most Important Game (So Far).

Here are 16 thoughts and observations – a combination of what was in the rearview mirror and what lies ahead, with a deeper look into their precocious defenses.

“They’re going to be thrown into the fire,” Kings assistant coach Trent Yawney said of the youngsters. “And so far they’ve passed with flying colors.”

1. Hello Darryl.

That the Kings could move within a point of the Flames with a win against Calgary on Monday probably wasn’t on the radar a week ago. But the race for first place in the Pacific Division intensified significantly after victories against Winnipeg on Saturday and the Flames on Thursday and a penalty shoot-out loss to Edmonton on Wednesday. The Flames also lost three straight games for the first time since mid-January.

2. It’s quite a turnaround since the last time former Kings coach Darryl Sutter and the Flames were in LA. The gap between the first-seeded Flames and the then-sixth-seeded Kings was 11 points after Calgary won 3-2 on Sutter’s return to the arena, formerly known as the Staples Center, on December 2.

3. Coach Todd McLellan’s Jack Adams case is gaining momentum. Noted commentator Elliotte Friedman on Hockey Night in Canada, which aired Saturday, suggested that not enough attention was paid to the good job McLellan was doing in terms of the Kings’ effective run.

https://theathletic.com/3227441/2022/04/03/dillman-thoughts-on-sean-durzi-and-the-kings-young-precocious-defense-plus-the-pacific-division-race-and-more/?source=rss Thoughts on Sean Durzi and the Kings’ young, precocious defense plus the Pacific Division race and more – The Athletic

Jake Nichol

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