Matt Luff scored his first NHL goal against the St. Louis Blues… and let us tell you, it was a beauty.
The 6-foot-2, 21-year-old rookie was competing in his sixth NHL game after being called up from the Ontario Reign. He impressed the Kings during his rookie camp in 2016, and was signed to a three-year entry-level contract.
The goal came with just over eight minutes left in the second period and gave the LA Kings the lead.
“I just kind of blacked out and shot my shot and it went in,” Luff said.
Shooters shoot, right?
Peterson, who recorded his first career shutout the same night, knew right away Luff had scored due to his goofy celebration.
“I didn’t really actually realize it was him until the celebration,” Petersen said. “You know he always has some kind of goofy celebration so I knew right away from that.”
Luff admits he’s been trying to cool it on the celebrations, but this goal was just too exciting.
“I usually have the worst celebrations, but I wasn’t thinking about it. I think I just threw my arm in the air and jumped into Kempe so that’s about it,” Luff said.
Can you blame him? That’s a hug we’d like to be a part of.
Luff admits he feels a weight has been lifted off his shoulders, as it’s always a relief to get the first one out of the way.
“I think I settled in a little bit. I think I still have got to compete and get to the net and get to the dirty areas to keep scoring and keep using my linemates and I think we’ll be good,” Luff said.
Coach Willie Desjardins admits it was a good night for the youngsters.
“It was a great night for ’em. Cal’s been very good for us, all the way through. It was good for Luff. When I sent him down last time, I talked to him about working harder, and he came back and he’s worked harder,” Dejardins said.
All the hard work Luff and Petersen have put in has paid off, and we bet the two of them will remember that game for while.
“I gave him a hug on the ice and I couldn’t have picked a better day for it to happen with him getting a shutout,” Luff said. “He’s probably one of the best kids so I’m happy it happened to him.”
Here’s to the first of many!