Arthur Kaliyev spoke with the media on Wednesday after scoring in his LA Kings debut the previous night.
Overall, it was a game the LA Kings probably want to forget.
Tuesday night was a lackluster one, to say the least, for the Kings as they returned from a five-day layoff, skating to a 3-1 defeat at the hands of their crosstown rivals, the Anaheim Ducks. On what was supposed to be a celebration of the team’s much-anticipated debut of the Reverse Retro uniforms, the Kings couldn’t seem to get anything flowing.
With the quality chances few and far between — again, to say the least — the Kings were missing passes, tripping themselves and being heavily out-shot — 43 to 21 when all was said and done — en route to a somewhat-forgettable loss.
But, it wasn’t all bad for the silver-and… err, forum-blue-and-gold.
One of the most anticipated prospects in recent memory, Arthur Kaliyev made his NHL debut on Tuesday, going as far as scoring his first NHL goal. Despite the loss, the 19-year-old couldn’t help but smile after the game, as he reflected on his experiences to the media.
“A really special moment,” Kaliyev said. “First one, you never forget one of those moments, getting your first goal. Yeah, those are pretty good games. A lot of nerves.
“I thought, overall, I tried to play my best out there and picked up a 3-on-1 goal.”
As nervous he was — and as anyone making their debut would be — Kaliyev took the game in stride, becoming gradually calmer as the night went on.
“Just trying to get involved more and try to be more up to speed,” the former Hamilton Bulldog added. “I think every shift got better as the game went on.”
As is tradition in the NHL, a player scoring their first goal gets the puck as a special keepsake. Kaliyev was no exception to this, being asked if someone grabbed the puck.
“Yeah, for sure,” the 19-year-old said. “I think someone grabbed it. I don’t know who but yeah.”
The game wasn’t one of their best. That much is obvious. Instead, let us focus on the highlights of the Kings’ defeat on Tuesday, specifically regarding Arthur Kaliyev.
With his tally on Tuesday, Kaliyev became just the 20th King to score in his NHL debut and also the ninth youngest King to score his first goal. Additionally, at 19 years, 221 days, he became the 20th youngest player to appear in his debut as a King and just the 23rd player in his teens to appear in a game as a King.
Some other positive notes for the Kings from Tuesday was Cal Petersen. The Notre Dame alum stopped a season-high 40 saves and is now tied for eighth-overall (with, among others, Jonathan Quick) for most saves in a single game this season.
For Arthur Kaliyev, though, this may very well be the start of something special. Then again, let’s not put the cart before the horse just yet. Kaliyev had a strong debut, and let’s hope he builds on that on Friday night in Sin City when the Kings square off against the Vegas Golden Knights.