Skip to content

Rising Coyotes star Ekman-Larsson on Game 1: “I was terrible”

May 14, 2012, 9:32 PM EDT

Los Angeles Kings v Phoenix Coyotes - Game One Getty Images

When you think of Phoenix Coyotes star defenseman, Keith Yandle might be the first person – if any – who comes to mind. Budding phenom Oliver Ekman-Larsson is gaining on him (and other young standouts*), but sometimes lessons come tough and the Los Angeles Kings’ big guns humbled him quite a bit in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals.

Ekman-Larsson didn’t beat around the bush when Dan Rosen asked him about that performance, either.

“I was terrible,” Ekman-Larsson said. “I didn’t skate good or with the puck very well. I made some bad passes. I have to be more physical and play more with the puck. I have to make better plays and skate harder.”

Ekman-Larsson was a -3 in Game 1, although one of those minuses came on an empty-netter. Rosen assessed an “oh no” game for the man many conveniently call OEL.

Ekman-Larsson was a minus-3 over his 24-plus minutes of ice time, though one of those came when he was on the ice for Dwight King‘s empty-net goal. He got caught too high in the neutral zone when Slava Voynov found Dustin Brown with a stretch pass that led to the winning goal. And with the Coyotes just getting going on a power play midway through the third, Ekman-Larsson was called for interference on Mike Richards.

To be fair to Ekman-Larsson, interfering with Richards likely saved a dangerous shorthanded chance for Richards, one of the league’s lethal PK scoring threats alongside Brown. That might be one area where OEL could make or break the series: adjusting to one of the most dangerous shorthanded units in recent memory. Richards and Brown headline a group that is just about as offensively imposing (production-wise) as the Kings’ dicey PP unit.

Either way, the 20-year-old defenseman is mature enough to own up to a bad game. Now we’ll see if he has the skills and savvy to do something about it.

* – He’s been compared to Erik Karlsson and it’s not as crazy as that might sound.

  1. steelymcbeam6 - May 14, 2012 at 10:36 PM

    This series is going 7

    • comeonnowguys - May 15, 2012 at 11:40 AM

      Lower that by 3 games, and you’ve got it.

  2. namriverrat69 - May 14, 2012 at 10:52 PM

    Hardly

Featured video

Bettman hears the boos in Philly
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. S. Crosby (1787)
  2. D. Roy (1549)
  3. M. Ribeiro (1403)
  4. D. Cleary (1398)
  5. R. Nash (1381)
  1. V. Sobotka (1303)
  2. B. Dubinsky (1268)
  3. B. Morrow (1263)
  4. L. Stempniak (1139)
  5. P. Subban (1099)