Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,
Kings fans are lamenting the Ben Scrivens trade and pondering the potential of young Martin Jones.
It’s understandable, given the time of year. Every goal is over-analyzed, every loss magnified. And there’s been enough of both to call Quick’s play into question.
Outside of the first periods in Games 2 and 3, Quick has not been sharp. His positioning has been overly aggressive. His glove hand hasn’t been fast enough. His focus has been broken more than once by San Jose’s crease-crashing forwards.
Struggling? Sure. But you gotta dance with the one what brung ya....
You can read what you want into the coach’s decision to yank Andersen after Cody Eakin’s dagger — that felt like a move geared more toward waking up his team than stopping the bleeding — but Anaheim’s stopper wasn’t good enough last night. And when you’ve got options at hand like Boudreau does, they have to be weighed with the series at a tipping point.
If he truly believes that Andersen is suffering a crisis of confidence, then there’s no way Boudreau can come back with him in Game 5.
But is Hiller really an upgrade? Remember, this is a guy who Boudreau didn’t trust to start the series because he limped into the postseason with a 6-9-3 mark in his final 18 appearances....
more on both the Kings and Ducks...
from Rich Hammond of the Los Angeles Register,
How does a strength become a weakness, seemingly in a matter of days? That’s the riddle the Kings are trying to solve in this first-round series against San Jose, and they’re running out of time.
The Kings, who allowed the fewest number of goals in the NHL in the regular season, have given up 17 in this series, and face a 3-0 deficit going into Thursday night’s Game 4 at Staples Center.
“Anything is possible,” Kings center Mike Richards said Wednesday. “If you’re still playing hockey, you still have a chance. You just can’t look at the mountain and expect to do it all at once. … You can’t win four unless you win one.”
Can the Kings slow the Sharks? Consider that the Kings haven’t allowed more than 17 goals in any three-game span since early in the 2007-08 season, when they allowed 18. The Kings also allowed 17 goals in Games 4-6 of the 2010 first round against Vancouver and lost all three games and the series.
What’s the problem? Well, it’s more of a flood than a leaky faucet. Goalie Jonathan Quick has been OK, but not great. The defense has been flat-footed at times. The forwards have turned the puck over excessively.
LA Kings mascot takes down the Sharks mascot...
Bailey may be facing a fine/suspension!
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
This team has stayed largely intact for five or six years, led by a core that has grown up together and lifted the Stanley Cup together but now must consider the possibility it will be broken up in order to fix the weaknesses that led to this stunning playoff deficit.
General Manager Dean Lombardi carefully lifted this team out of the rubble of failure and away from the negative influences of a losing culture, nurturing a group he assembled by emphasizing scouting and deliberate player development. He was rewarded with a team that formed a strong bond and exhibited good, self-policing chemistry.
Key players Kopitar, Dustin Brown, Jonathan Quick, Drew Doughty and Voynov were the product of drafting and development. So were role players Trevor Lewis, Dwight King, and, more recently, Jake Muzzin. Using draft picks and new assets, Lombardi traded for Justin Williams, Jarret Stoll, Jeff Carter and Mike Richards. Later, he added Robyn Regehr. Willie Mitchell was a smart free-agent signing.
But while it's great that they get along and sacrifice for each other, their struggles against the Sharks suggest this mix needs some stirring and new ingredients.
from Rich Hammond of the Los Angeles Register,
Are the Kings finished, or merely setting up a blockbuster Hollywood sequel?
Losing consecutive playoff games by an aggregate score of 13-5 doesn’t lend itself to many positives, but there is one for the Kings: They were in this exact same hole 12 months ago, then leapt out of it.
Last year, the Kings returned from St. Louis down 2-0 in their first-round series, then won four consecutive games and advanced. Now, after two shockingly poor efforts, the Kings trail San Jose 2-0 in this first-round series, and face a veritable do-or-die Game 3 on Tuesday night at Staples Center.
“We’ll play better (in Game 3),” Coach Darryl Sutter said Monday afternoon, after fewer than half the Kings skated. “It’s not like there was a death in the family or something.”
from Lisa Dillman of the LA Times,
"It obviously stinks sitting here talking after another lopsided loss, but they did what they set out to do," Kings forward Justin Williams said. "Now it is response time. Now we’re coming back to our rink. We won the first two in our arena last year and they came back and won the next two in theirs. We’re looking to repeat that but we have to start with one.
"Every playoff series run through the playoffs is different and has a different feel. We need to get back. We have one day in between to get ourselves together, regroup, refresh and put this one behind us and take a step in the right direction and have some push back."
The Sharks set a playoff record for most goals at home, and another for consecutive goals in a playoff game.
Those are the dry facts, which can't quite capture how dramatically the game turned and how the Sharks got the Kings to unravel in such rapid fashion, starting with their gritty fourth line as Mike Brown and Raffi Torres scored their first two goals.
I don't know what is more surprising, the great play of the Sharks or the poor play of the Kings.
It is no secret that 10 p.m. EST starts for games are the bane of the the east coast hockey fans existence - especially if their team is the one scheduled to play that late on the left coast.
Last night may have been a night to stay up to watch the battle of California though as the San Jose Sharks erupted with seven goals, putting 40 shots on goal, against the Kings.
You sort of get the feeling Sutter did not want to be at this post-game press conference.
The Sharks had a 5-0 lead after 2 peiods, Quick was pulled to start the 3rd period and then the Kings scored 3 goals to make it a game but did lose 6-3.
via the NHL,
Daniel Clarke Bouchard from Montreal has two astounding talents - he's a piano prodigy and a goalie!
See Daniel perform on ELLEN and get the surprise of a lifetime from his favorite and player - LA Kings goalie Jonathan Quick.
Watch the segment below...
from Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider,
Blood was leaking out of the bottom of Matt Greene’s skate in the third period in Saturday night’s loss in Vancouver as a result of a shot that caught him at a pressure spot near his shin.
“I just got hit with a puck and just got cut. That’s’ it,” said Greene, who noted that it wasn’t the first time he had bled from a similar type of play.
“It’s just a pressure cut. It’s fine. It happens.”
more including a picture of the incident...
Below, wath how Greene received the cut...
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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