Slava Voynov: Road Warrior
They certainly haven’t left opponents with their jaws to the floor when entering enemy territory but the Los Angeles Kings have been dominant on the road nonetheless. But despite a 9-3-2 record away from Staples Center, the Kings are less effective offensively than they are on home ice. No matter. The silver-and-black use their defensive prowess to get things done.
The last time the Kings lost on the road was the unfortunate night of November 12 in Buffalo when Jonathan Quick went down to injury before the silver-and-black fell to the Sabres in overtime. The last time the Kings lost in regulation on the road was back on October 29 to the Coyotes. Both dates seem so long ago in a way, mostly because the Kings have been so dominant away from home since then, despite their lack of scoring.
While it has been a collective effort for the Kings to win on the road, some individual performances stand out more than others. One of those individuals who has played exceptionally well on the road is defenseman Slava Voynov.
Through 14 road games, the Russian blueliner leads the Kings with five assists, eight points and a +4 rating. He has also manned the most ice time away from Staples Center averaging 22:02 per game. Voynov’s average of 2:28 of ice time while shorthanded also speaks volumes for not only himself but the Los Angeles’s penalty-killing unit overall. He may not lead his team in said category but Voynov is right up there, contributing to the drown-out of the opposing team’s fans when they’re sure that they’re team is going to score on the power play.
Also, Voynov has taken a faceoff on the road so far and won it. It may not mean much being a defenseman but away from Staples, the Russian has a 100 per cent efficiency at the faceoff dot.
Entering Montreal on Tuesday against a team they haven’t beaten since 2003, the Los Angeles Kings are looking for all the help they can get – and Slava Voynov can certainly provide that. Of course, the past is the past as the Kings would rather focus on facing a team which has won five-straight instead of how they fared against them in previous years.
Going to the Bell Centre on Tuesday, the Kings have earned points in 14 of their last 15 and while they hope to continue that streak, they also hope to extend their winning streak to four games – and while the load won’t fall solely on his shoulders, Slava Voynov will be expected to contribute in a big way being the road warrior he has proven to be thus far.