Tyler Toffoli's play comes through loud, clear in Kings' win over Rangers

Jack Harris, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Hockey

LOS ANGELES -- Not even Jarret Stoll knew what Tyler Toffoli was saying.


"No clue," said Stoll, the former Los Angeles Kings player and current FS West intermission analysts. "Sorry Toff."

Toffoli had gone off-script during Tuesday's first intermission report, having been pulled aside to describe the sharp-angle goal Dustin Brown had scored with 10 seconds remaining in the opening period, a tally that concluded an eight-shot, 33-second sequence in the Kings' 3-1 win over the New York Rangers at Staples Center.

"It was a bit of a Spumoni shift there," Toffoli said, half-smiling at a term rooted so deep in hockey lore, few players even know what it means.

"No idea," a puzzled Drew Doughty said.


"Not myself," Blake Lizotte said with a chuckle when asked if he uses the term, which, when searched on the internet, returns images of Italian ice cream.

Defenseman Matt Roy finally filled in the blanks. In short, Spumoni -- derived from the bear-fighting scene in the 2008 film "Semi-Pro" -- has been co-opted into a hockey code word for a long shift stuck in one end of the ice. Toffoli summed it up using layman's lexicon.

"Nuts," he said. "It's crazy."

Whatever the meaning, the Kings benefited from it Tuesday night, riding Toffoli's bounce-back performance to their first win in five games.


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