Last night Andy Andreoff scored his first NHL goal and point in the Los Angeles Kings 1-0 win over the Arizona Coyotes. The goal was a long time coming for both Andreoff and Kings fans who have been waiting for the young forward to finally break through since his debut with the club in October.
A former 2011 3rd round pick of Los Angeles, Andreoff is in his rookie season with the Kings and has played in only 15 games so far. Coming out of training camp this season it was expected that Andreoff would challenge for ice time on the Kings third and fourth lines. That hasn’t happened, however, as Andreoff has done little with the limited minutes he’s received so far this season.
Kings fans hope that last night’s goal by Andreoff will be the spark he needs as he’s finally got the first point monkey off his back. Every young player wants to prove they belong in the NHL when they finally get the call up and when a player struggles early, like Andreoff has, it’s always a concern that player may lose his confidence and regress. Having to wait 15 games to not only get his first goal, but also first point, had to feel like an eternity for Andreoff who stated that he “blacked out” when it finally happened.
Kings Andy Andreoff on 1st NHL marker “I’m happy to get (first goal) out of the way. Kinda blacked out when I scored” pic.twitter.com/ROBgZ81jaH
— Dennis Bernstein (@DennisTFP) March 17, 2015
Andreoff is currently in the lineup due to Jarret Stoll being sidelined following a hit from Derek Dorsett in last Thursday’s game versus the Vancouver Canucks. Stoll’s status is day-to-day at this time, and while the extent of the injury hasn’t been released, it doesn’t appear to be serious. Andreoff needs to make more of this opportunity than his previous chances this season if he’s going to prove he belongs at the NHL level.
The Kings are in the middle of a playoff push and can’t afford to have a weak link in the lineup. Andreoff hasn’t been asked to do a lot this season, but at this point every team needs all four lines playing well if they expect to clinch a spot.
The last two games Andreoff has shown the improved play you would hope to see from a rookie this time of year. Of the 15 games Andreoff has played this season, only three times has he had multiple shots in a games, but two of those were the last two games. His improved play over the last week is reflective in his Corsi numbers. This season Andreoff has been a negative Corsi player at 49.5% for the season. Over the last week, while filling in for Stoll, Andreoff’s Corsi has risen to 54.3%. For a team like the Kings, who are normally one of the best Corsi teams, this is hopefully a sign that Andreoff is learning to play their system better.
We don’t know how much longer Stoll will be out of the Kings lineup, but until he returns we can hopefully look forward to more improvement from Andreoff.