Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Eric Stephens of the OC Register,
The first sign came early on, when the captain who doesn’t shoot the puck did. The next sign came when the skilled defenseman put the hit on the star center, took one to draw a penalty and then let loose his own powerful shot.
Ryan Getzlaf did the former, and Hampus Lindholm came up with the latter. Those were two high points of many for the Ducks in a one-sided 4-2 win over the Kings on Thursday night.
A stunned sellout crowd of 18,230 at Staples Center watched as the Pacific Division-leading Kings were throttled by a Ducks team that hasn’t relinquished one bit of momentum it gained from the Christmas holiday break to the All-Star break.
“Sometimes you have a feeling the way the guys practice the day before,” Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. “The way they’re just carrying themselves around the rink, you know that they were going to be really into the game.
“Our guys were really into the game today and I thought it showed. I thought we played really well.”
NEW YORK (January 30, 2016) – The National Hockey League (NHL®) today announced the selection of the Los Angeles Kings, STAPLES Center and the city of Los Angeles as hosts of the 2017 National Hockey League All-Star celebration. The League’s mid-season showcase will take place Saturday, January 28 and Sunday, January 29 and will include the NHL All-Star Skills Competition™ and the NHL All-Star Game.
The 2017 NHL All-Star Game will be the third time the NHL All-Star activities will take place in Los Angeles. The Kings previously hosted the NHL All-Star Game in 1981 and 2002. Further details on the 2017 NHL All-Star celebration, including ticket information, special events and television broadcasting information will be released at a later date.
LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles Kings Hall of Fame Television Play-by-Play Broadcaster Bob Miller will take a medical leave of absence, the Kings announced today.
Miller is slated to undergo heart bypass surgery. The date of the surgery has not yet been determined. The timeline for Miller’s return to the TV booth also is undetermined.
“It is unfortunate that I have to miss Kings telecasts but I have to get this taken care of as soon as possible,” said Miller. “I know the telecasts will be in good hands and I hope to return to the TV booth as soon as my health allows.”
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
"I'm working really hard to get my game back to where I want it to be, there's still a lot of things I can do better," said Lecavalier, whose four goals have come in his past six games. "It's only been nine games, I want to finish the season strong and try to get better with the puck and without the puck. There are still things I can improve on and I want to do that."
It was smart of Kings GM Dean Lombardi to make the deal with the Flyers happen almost two months before the trade deadline, allowing more time for Lecavalier and defenseman Luke Schenn -- who also came over in the deal -- to become acclimated to their new team. Sometimes trade deadline additions just never quite fit in, but these guys are getting ample time to do so.
In the meantime, some have wondered if Lecavalier should change his mind on retirement given how he's playing right now.
No chance, said Lecavalier. He gave his word to the Kings, and in his heart and mind he's ready to go out after this season. After all, the trade wouldn't have happened otherwise.
Here is the explanation.
from Lisa Dillman of the LA Times,
First, the controversy and some choice words afterward from Kings left wing Milan Lucic. Lucic was ejected from the game, at 6:55 of the third period for taking a swing and connecting with Coyotes defenseman Kevin Connauton.
Lucic said he feared his wrist was broken, at first. He said his whole hand went numb and he couldn't feel his hand, explaining his reaction to the slash.
“Thankfully, X-rays came back negative,” he said. “If I don't react, I don't think he even calls a penalty. The same guy [referee] Brad Meier, I think this is the fourth time he's kicked me out of a game.
“It's always the same thing with him. Guys can take liberties on me and it's not a penalty. If I do something, I'm automatically kicked out of the game. It's just unfortunate it is that way with him. Just gotta move on and not get frustrated by the referees in the game.”
more on the Kings 3-2 loss to the Arizona Coyotes...
Watch the Lucic confrontation below...
"A couple of weeks ago, I thought his game was really good, lots of shots. Quality shots.
"Since we got in a busy schedule, I think his energy level went way down, so his detail dropped off. When his detail drops off, his skill does not come to the forefront.
"I've told guys: 'Hey, I'm taking minutes away.' When we've got extra guys, taking minutes away means guys move down or up. Get your game back and you can play. It's just an honest approach with him."
-Darryl Sutter, head coach of the LA Kings on Marian Gaborik. More on Gaborik from Lisa Dillman of the LA Times.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Los Angeles general manager Dean Lombardi said via email that he had his initial planning meeting with Kings cap whiz Jeff Solomon on Wednesday to start looking at what's ahead for them.
"We are back at the drawing board now with Kopitar being done," Lombardi said.
If the Kings can't make it work with Lucic, so be it, the winger says he'll go into the free-agent market with an open mind and expect the unexpected.
But he stressed again that he hopes to make it work contract-wise in L.A.
It feels right with the Kings. And maybe that's because he's gone from a Boston team that contended for years and won a Cup in 2011, to another contender. It's all about winning and that's all Lucic knows in his DNA.
"I think it's made it so much easier on myself, coming into a place where the team already is an established winner expected to do well," Lucic said.
from Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider,
There are five forwards on this Los Angeles Kings team who average over a minute per game in both power play and shorthanded play this season: Anze Kopitar, Jeff Carter, Tyler Toffoli, Dustin Brown and Tanner Pearson.
Four of the five players have earned at least 20 points this season. And then there is Brown, the fifth, who has produced lukewarm numbers since potting 18 goals in 46 games in 2012-13. Through 44 games this season, Brown, who has played a team-best 139 consecutive games, has four goals and 14 points.
“Brownie is now where it’s about winning,” Darryl Sutter said. “He accepts his role … but he’s got to perform at a high level in that role. As I said, if you want it to last for a long time, then you’ve got to play really well in that role.”
That role has been to provide hard energy – “We need him in a real strong checking role and a physical role,” Sutter said – and he has mostly done so in his all-situational play. His five-on-five possession rates are the best they’ve ever been, and 2:55 of his 16:10 of ice time has been spent on special teams. The Kings rank sixth on the power play and 10th on the penalty kill.
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.
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