Kevin Westgarth, the Kings resident heavyweight this season, played in the final seven regular season games – where the Kings went 3-4.
One of those loses was to the Sharks on April 4th.
For the season, Westgarth suited up in four of the six games between the two teams and LA was 1-3 in those games. When he was a healthy scratch the Kings were 2-0 versus San Jose.
Now, the Kings performance in those games can’t be simplified down to the fact that (more often than not) they won with him on the sidelines and lost with him in there. After all, he had an ‘even’ plus-minus rating (going E, +1, E, -1). And in the game they won he had 13 shifts, totalling 7:30 of ice time – his second highest of the season series.
So, after practice today I asked Murray if he has Westgarth penciled in to play the entire series…
“No, probably not,” said Murray. “He might play in the early part of the series and as you move into the deeper part of it, then you need to take a look at the line-up. And that is probably when minutes will diminish for that role.”
For better or worse, by comparison, Ratias Ivanans played in just one of the Kings six post-season games versus Vancouver last season, getting 5:48 of ice time in the first game against the Canucks.
That came after he had played in 61 regular season games for the Kings last season, six more than Westgarth’s 56 this year.
This will be just one of the many games-within-the games to be played out over the next two weeks.
NoCal, SoCal…and Westie.