I think the storm that hit LA Friday night but failed to bring us the Weekend of Rainy Doom was similar to Marco Sturm’s time with the Kings: fanfare on the Doppler Radar, gets here and whoa, just flew out. An aside: Did pour Friday night, but in my neck of LA, it cleared up quick.
Marco Sturm’s second stint with the Kings, a two-game effort resulting in 1 shot, 1 assist and a +1, was shorter than his first earlier this season (15 games, 4 goals, 4 assists, +5). Just released from the clutches of the injured reserve Wednesday, he was put on waivers Friday and picked up by the Washington Capitals Saturday morning. Like the Kings, the Caps need forward help, and they were willing to bite the bullet on Sturm’s contract — a factor that Kings GM Dean Lombardi probably thought would keep Sturm from being picked up.
Sturm’s placement on the waiver wire was in case of a trade this weekend (for those of you not up to speed, the NHL deadline is Monday), but it was a gamble that backfired in two ways. First, someone did pick him up. Second, Sturm’s possible replacement in the lineup, Andrei Loktionov — who was demoted to the minors to make room for Sturm this week — injured his left shoulder in a minor league game with Manchester Friday. His status will be known possibly today, but the word “season ending” has been passed around already.
Loktionov had 7 points in games. His second stint with the Kings came after Sturm went down with injury — and when the Kings started to pick up steam last month. And while I think it’s an unlikely scenario, he could’ve been a trade bait option if Lombardi found the right candidate.
I mean, he’s not Brayden Schenn.
A few days ago I would have said the Kings would likely stand pat for the trade deadline, only bringing back Loktionov or another Monarchs player and that Sturm would be this year’s edition of Fredrik Modin. Debatable on which would be more effective, Modin or Sturm.
Now? Today or Monday could be interesting.
But don’t hold your breath.
By the way, what happened to Fredrik Modin, you ask? He has 10 points and is a -11 in an injury-plagued season with Atlanta.
Enough. Let’s look at the last contest.
The Kings’ afternoon game Saturday against the out-of-contention Colorado Avalanche seemed easier than it looked on paper: the Kings rolled out to a 4-0 lead and it looked like Jonathan Quick would earn his seventh shutout of the season. Colorado was held to 17 shots and was peppered with 42 shots from the Kings. The Kings also controlled the faceoff circle (39 faceoffs going to LA, 24 for the Avs).
Then the Avs rallied. Rallied enough to scare the Kings, who held on to eke out a 4-3 win. The last seven minutes were pure Avalanche, who buried three pucks in the net and made it a game. Only bad penalties hampered their momentum.
Afterwards, LA defenseman Drew Doughty sounded like a guy in two places at once. “We were pretty happy with the game we played. We dominated pretty much the whole thing, but obviously, we’re not happy with our lapse at the end. Good teams shut games down and we didn’t do that.”
While the Kings got the most important task done — winning — it’s one of those games that makes you shake your head and doubt. Detroit rolls into town Monday; let’s see which LA Kings team shows up for the match.