The Los Angeles Kings received some bad news on the injury front as it is believed that forward Marian Gaborik will be out for the remainder of the regular season.
Kings head coach Darryl Sutter told the Los Angeles Times via email that the team will “hope to get him back for the playoffs”. This coming after Gaborik suffered a lower-body injury — a knee-on-knee collision, to be specific — last week when the silver-and-black visited the New York Rangers. Prior to his injury, Gaborik played in 99 consecutive games for the Kings.
In 54 games this season, the 34-year-old has 10 goals and 12 assists, but now, the silver-and-black must find a way to turn a negative into a positive.
As of now, the Kings have not called anyone up from the AHL but they do have Tanner Pearson, Nick Shore and Kyle Clifford: all players who have spent time as healthy scratches recently. Now is as good a time as any for them, in addition to others, to prove that they belong in the lineup on a regular basis.
Pearson scored the OT-winner in Manhattan in the same game Gaborik went down and even Clifford has been showing promise lately. Nick Shore hasn’t found the scoresheet in recent weeks but should see his playing time increase in the wake of Gaborik’s injury.
What this writer has admired about the Los Angeles Kings in recent years has been their incredible resolve, their resiliency. With this news coupled with Jonathan Quick remaining day-to-day, many could look at the current situation in Los Angeles and believe that the Kings will falter. However, that shouldn’t be the mindset.
Albeit a slimmer one, the Kings do still hold a first-place lead in the Pacific Division but they will need to get some traction and be consistent. After all, since Jan. 3, the Kings are just 8-8-1. Hopefully, the news on the injury front will light a spark.
The test does not begin on an auspicious note as the Kings travel to Washington to take on the league-best Capitals. We will see how they will fare.