Connect with us

LA Kings

Kings vs Predators Game 48 Plus/Minuses: Byfield Shines & Copley Falters

Here are some plus and minuses from the roller coaster ride of a game.



The Los Angeles Kings' 5-3 loss against the Nashville Predators was one of the weirdest games they've played all season.

Pheonix Copley set a franchise record for the fastest goalie to be pulled after he was yanked just 39 seconds in off the back of two goals on three shots.

The Kings then took the game over, eventually leading 3-2 heading into the third period. Before then collapsing in the third period to lose 5-3.

Here are some plus and minuses from the roller coaster ride of a game.

+ Quinton Byfield:

This is two games in a row Quinton Byfield ends up in the plus column and for good reason. It's not just because of his goal either, which I'll get to later, but his overall play.

Since moving to the first line a few weeks ago, he's been a different player. He's been more engaged, played with more pace and looked more confident. And, in the last two games, he's looked more poised too.

He got involved early, with a big hit on William Carrier highlighting the first period for him and really began to shine in the second. 

He was using his body well and driving offense for his line. All of this led to a go-ahead goal late in the second. A nifty power-play tally, where he showed composure and skill in front to bury. 

Both Jim Fox and Derek Armstrong on Bally Sports West keyed in on the same thing for this goal. That is, Byfield slowing the game down, not trying to go 100 miles per hour all the time. He was calm when he got the puck in a dangerous area and made the most of his opportunity.

He carried this play into the third, even as the team collapsed around him. The best chance for the Kings in the third came from Byfield's stick. This time picking the puck up from below the goal line, Byfield drove the net and fed Kevin Fiala backdoor. Fiala had an open net but fumbled the puck and couldn't recover. Nothing came of the play, but it was still a great one from Byfield.

We haven't seen a true breakout from Byfield yet, but his recent play makes it seem as though one is around the corner. 

– Pheonix Copley

There isn't much to say about Copley really. After he was pulled Thursday, Todd McLellan stuck with Copley and it backfired. The first goal against, a tipped shot from the point, wasn't on him. But the second goal against was bad really bad.

A spin around backhand that didn't leave the ice should never beat an NHL goalie.

With only 39 seconds of ice time it's difficult to analyze his game too much. But it appears the bubble has popped on Copley, giving the Kings some serious question marks in net.

+ Jonathan Quick

Getting a plus in a losing effort as a goalie isn't easy, but Jonathan Quick deserves it. His job wasn't easy, coming in to relieve Copley for a second straight game, down two goals. But he played well.

He gave the Kings a chance to win and didn't let in any really soft goals. The Predator's fourth goal wasn't great but wasn't terrible either. Maybe it's indicative of the Kings' dire goaltending situation, but I think that's enough to give Quick a plus.

He also came up with some big saves, particularly in the second.

Quick's received a lot of criticism this season, rightfully so, but I think he deserves some credit for his performance. 

The stats don't show a good game, but to the eye test, he looked better than he has in recent games. He didn't look like he was fighting the puck and wasn't scrambling to make saves. I wouldn't commit to Quick being back, but he looked improved.

– The Penalty Kill

The Kings had to kill just one penalty on Saturday, and couldn't.

McLellan has talked a lot this season about the importance of getting a timely kill this season and needed one late in a one-goal game. Against a high-flying power play like the Dallas Stars or Edmonton Oilers, you could forgive the Kings for not coming up big. But against a Predators team who was 1 for their last 25, you can't.

Poor penalty-killing undid the Kings last season and is doing the same now. Their penalty kill was 28th in the league heading into this game and showed exactly why they're a bottom-five.

Copyright © 2023 National Hockey Now. Not affiliated or endorsed by the Los Angeles Kings or the NHL.