Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Mark Whicker of the OC Register,
There will be much written and said about the Kings as playoff newbies but they’re better prepared for this than you think.
Four have won Stanley Cups: Rob Scuderi (Pittsburgh), Justin Williams (Carolina), Fredrik Modin (Tampa Bay) and Sean O’Donnell (Ducks).
In the room there are 488 man-games of postseason experience, including 87 by O’Donnell and 81 by Smyth.
Drew Doughty, Dustin Brown and Jack Johnson haven’t gotten past the vernal equinox in the NHL, but they breathed the pressurized air of the Olympics.
“You’ve got to be on top of the things in the playoffs because there’s no room for error,” Smyth said Thursday morning. “It comes down to whether you can outplay and outwork the guy in front of you. If enough guys do that, you’ll be successful.
“If we get into the playoffs it will be a huge accomplishment. No question that we would have taken this position at the start of the year.”
from Rich Hammond of LA Kings Insider,
After today’s morning skate, Terry Murray was asked what his message was to the team today. There is plenty of subtext to today’s game, with the ever-tight playoff race, the Kings’ four-game winless streak and their seven-game winless streak against the Nashville Predators. The Kings held a morning skate today, which isn’t typical before the second of back-to-back games. Also not typical is the fact that 14 skaters, and all three goalies, participated, a larger-than-normal number for any optional skate. Afterward, Murray talked about his message to the team…
MURRAY: “This is part of a process that you go through, and I’ve seen it with other teams that I’ve coached. We’re a little bit on that `afraid to win’ side right now, where your game is a little out of sync and the hesitancy is there in the early part of the game. As we go into later in the game and we’re down by a goal, two goals, now we start to play the way that we have shown most of the year.
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Kings will go “Back in Black” for the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs as the team will wear their popular Alternate Jerseys for all post-season games at STAPLES Center, the club announced today. The Kings are also encouraging fans to go “Back in Black” for the remaining five games at STAPLES Center as the 2009-10 regular season comes to a conclusion.
“The Stanley Cup Playoffs are a tremendous opportunity and the ideal setting for our fans to show everyone what the L.A. Kings already believe – our fans represent the most loyal and enthusiastic fan base in Southern California,” said Kings President, Business Operations Luc Robitaille.
from Rich Hammond of LA Kings Insider, I
s it too early in his career to start the “Doughty for Norris” campaign? Drew Doughty is only 20, in his second NHL season, but he enters tonight’s games tied for third in the NHL among scoring defensemen, with 53 points in 71 games. Doughty’s plus-17 rating is 14th among defensemen and his average ice time (24:56) is 12th.
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
It’s time to worry.
Not to panic, but to be concerned that since the Olympic break the Kings have lacked the drive and cohesion that had fueled their turnaround season and now bear an unpleasant resemblance to the bad, old Kings who would stumble through March and be done by early April.
Despite preparing with two vigorous practice days, the Kings were lifeless Thursday during a 3-0 loss to the Blackhawks, who had played the previous night at Anaheim. The loss, the team’s third in four games and first home shutout loss since Feb. 12, 2009, dropped the Kings’ record since the Olympics to 3-4-1.
“There was not much good out there tonight,” Coach Terry Murray said.
via Elliotte Friemdan tweet,
Modin to LA for conditional pick
Jeff Halpern of Tampa goes to the Kings per Bob McKenzie on TSN.
added 1:45pm, via Elliotte Friedman tweet,
Halpern deal is for Purcell and a 3rd—according to Tim Wharnsby
“If something gets close, Dean (Lombardi) will bring me into it and talk about it and ask my opinion. That has not happened. I love our team right now. I love our chemistry, and that is so important in this game today. The locker room is very tight and cohesive. They play hard for each other. We’ve gotten to a point right now in our season, and it has come through team play….”
-LA King Coach Terry Murray when asked about any trades that are brewing. More from Rich Hammond of LA Kings Insider.
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
To march with Team USA on Friday in the opening ceremony, Kings defenseman Jack Johnson awoke at 5 a.m. on a day between games, jumped on a charter flight from LAX to Bellingham, Wash., and hired a car and driver for the 50-mile trip to Vancouver.
Johnson wouldn’t say what he paid to charter the six-seat plane for himself, his parents and his little brother. To him, the experience is priceless.
“I had to take extreme measures to get here, but it was worth every bit of it,” said Johnson, the lone NHL player in the procession.
via the Washington Post,
With 12 wins in a row, the Capitals have the longest such streak since the New Jersey Devils won 13 straight in the 2000-01 season, and Washington is two victories away from the third-longest streak ever. Here are the longest single-season winning streaks in NHL history:
17 games: 1992-93 Pittsburgh Penguins
15 games: 1981-82 New York Islanders
14 games: 1929-30 Boston Bruins
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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