Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Sometimes we talk in terms of Superman and Kryptonite when we're talking about the effect the Montreal Canadiens have on the Boston Bruins. The same dynamic is at play when the St. Louis Blues visit the Los Angeles Kings.
The Blues jumped out to a 3-0 first-period lead at Staples Center Thursday night only to have the Kings outscore them 6-1 the rest of the way en route to a wild 6-4 win. According to the Kings' PR staff, the win was the sixth in a row for the Kings over the Blues on home ice.
The Blues have not won in Los Angeles since March 2011. More importantly for a Kings team just hanging around in the Pacific Division, the win marked an explosive night for the team's top players as Anze Kopitar had a five-point night (1 goal, four assists) and Marian Gaborik extended his goal-scoring streak to three games with a pair. He has five goals and one assist over that period. Both Gaborik and Kopitar have been beset by injuries and their production has been uncharacteristically tepid through the first 30 games of the season. If Thursday is any indication, though, look out Blues and look out Western Conference.
read on for Custance on Mike Green and the Capitals, LeBrun on Saku Koivu and Strang on the Jets...
On St. Louis capitalizing on momentum:
I didn’t really see it like that. I think that we’ve got to get a save in there somewhere. It’s frustrating.
On the team having been strong at protecting leads:
It’s not the same team. It’s quite a bit different team on the back end, and I’ve said all along we need great goaltending.
LA Kings head coach Darryl Sutter after losing 5-2 to the St. Louis Blues, via Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider.
"things aren't coming easy for us--have to find a way to get some wins here. You look at the standings, we're behind the eight ball"
"hasn't been an easy year at all and we need to find ways to grind it out, start getting wins & start feeling good about ourselves"
-Milan Lucic of the Boston Bruins after losing 3-2 to the Nashville Predators in a shootout. Quotes via the Boston Bruins twitter account.
Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider has pictures and a fan poll too and at this point 39% of the voters strongly dislike the look.
Watch below as Luc Robitaille points out some of the finer details of the just released LA Kings Stadium Series sweater and pants.
note, the video below is autoplay....
“I’ve been through this in the past, everybody has. In the beginning, we were winning games and I wasn’t worried as much. Now we’re not winning as many games.
“I think everybody will tell you on the team that it’s really not about the personal production. As long as we’re winning games, it doesn’t really matter who gets it done. Yes, in order for us to win games, I realize that I’ve got to be the guy.”
-Anze Kopitar of the Los Angeles Kings. More on Kopitar, who has 1 goal in his last 13 games, from Lisa Dillman of the LA Times.
from Nathan Fenno of the LA Times,
A Los Angeles Superior Court judge ruled Monday that there’s enough evidence for the felony domestic violence case against Kings defenseman Slava Voynov to proceed.
The lone witness during the preliminary hearing, Redondo Beach Police Officer Gregory Wiist, testified that Voynov’s wife, Marta Varlamova, was distraught when he met her at Little Company of Mary Hospital in Torrance after the alleged incident in the early hours of Oct. 20.
Wiist said that Varlamova told him during two recorded interviews that Voynov punched her in the face during a Halloween party, then the alleged altercation continued at their home.
“He threw her to the ground multiple times,” Wiist said. “On the ground, he repeatedly kicked her all over her body in addition to choking her approximately three times.”
added 4:19pm, from Rich Hammond of the OC Register,
Voyonov faces a count of corporal injury to spouse with great bodily injury and, if convicted, faces a maximum sentence of nine years in state prison. Voynov, a Russian citizen, also might face deportation.
Judge Hector M. Guzman ordered Voynov to stand trial after he listened to lengthy, detailed testimony from Officer Gregory Wiist of the Redondo Beach Police Department. Wiist testified that he interviewed Voynov’s wife, Marta Varlamova, after an incident at the couple’s Redondo Beach home on Oct. 19.
One of Voynov’s attorney’s Craig Renetzky, made two requests to the court: that the case be dismissed or that the charge be reduced to a misdemeanor. Both were denied by Guzman, who ordered Voynov to return to court Dec. 29 for arraignment.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
The rope-a-dope thing gets old after a while. Because one of these times it might burn them. One doesn't imagine that general manager Dean Lombardi is overly pleased. The veteran GM has done a lot of research over the past few years, talking to executives and former players from championship teams in other sports, trying to give his Kings every edge in maintaining their top-level ways. This is a franchise that wants to be a dynasty-in-the-making.
This wasn't the opening three months the GM had in mind. Lombardi hasn't been with the Kings on this road trip, instead he's been with his AHL club Manchester over the past two weeks getting a close eye on his prospects. No doubt he's liked what he's seen down there, as the Monarchs have the second-best record in the AHL led by a number of kids who are going to be good NHLers, like center Nick Shore, 22, who might get a look up top before the season is out.
How the rest of this season plays out for the Kings will determine just how many roster spots open up for some of those youngsters in Manchester.
Does Lombardi start re-tooling with youth just a bit this summer or does his veteran, championship core once again give him proof not to tinker too much?
from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,
If the Stanley Cup playoffs were to begin right now, the Los Angeles Kings would be in them by the skin of their teeth. They would have limped into the post-season with four losses in their past five. They would enter the tournament with their most productive players in terrible slumps – Anze Kopitar with one goal in his past 13 and Jeff Carter with one in his past 12. Nobody is talking about Drew Doughty as a candidate for the Norris Trophy and Marian Gaborik has alternated between being injured and ineffective.
They’d be preparing to play one of the league’s hottest teams, one that has nine wins in it’s past 10. That team would be the Chicago Blackhawks and we all know what happened when they faced each other last spring.
So how do you feel if you’re the Kings? Are you worried that, yet again, you’re spinning your wheels a third of the way through the season and your top players are not producing? Or do you take solace in the fact that your team defies all the conventional beliefs in hockey and actually does have a switch that it seems to be able to flip at its leisure?
By Mike Shackil,
The 2013-14 NHL regular season will be remembered fondly as the first full season following the acrimonious lockout the year before. The Los Angeles Kings were able to win the Stanley Cup, winning three seven-game series in the Western Conference portion of the playoffs before beating the New York Rangers in five games.
One of the other greatest moments of the 2013-14 regular season was the introduction of the Stadium Series. Several regular season games last season took place at outdoor venues, an event that historically only took place on January 1st for the Winter Classic. And, thankfully, this year that tradition will return with Los Angeles facing off against the first team they disposed of in last year’s playoffs: the San Jose Sharks.
Pittsburgh, PA – St. Louis Blues forward T.J. Oshie and Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick will be coming to a breakfast table near you. Starting today, “Oshie O’s” cereal and “Quick Crunch” cereal will be available for a limited time.
“Oshie O’s” is a Honey Nut Toasted Oats cereal that comes packaged in a 14oz. Limited Edition Collectors box featuring a custom illustration of T.J. Fans can order the cereal at www.oshiecereal.com. “Oshie O’s” t-shirts are also available for a limited time.
added 6:15pm, added official release from the Kings below...
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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