Kukla's Korner Hockey
“The first thing that comes to my mind is our power play was struggling a little bit and we all know what he could do on the power play. And just with that shot, poise, everything he can make a power play unit better and definitely help us.”
-Anze Kopitar of the LA Kings on how Ilya Kovalchuk could help the Kings. More on the Kings from Helene Elliott at the Fabulous Forum.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
The Kings flirted with a playoff spot last season before crumbling down the stretch. They weren’t ready and they knew it. They learned from that, said Brown, the team’s impressive young captain.
“I think the one difference is that, last year, we hoped to win a game. This year, we’re going into a game knowing we’re going to win,” said Brown. “When you have that kind of confidence and belief system, not just from one or two guys but from 15 to 20 guys, that’s when you can see success.”
That’s the key, Smyth said, truly believing it.
“We believe in this locker room,” said Smyth. “When you believe something, it starts to trickle through your lineup. It gives us confidence to progress. Even though we are young, there’s some great experience on this team to help out, as well.”
much more on the Kings…
from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,
Multiple sources have indicated to The Hockey News the Thrashers have had significant trade talks with the Los Angeles Kings concerning moving Kovalchuk there in recent days. They reportedly presented the Kings with a shopping list of what it would take to get Kovalchuk and it’s believed that while the Kings would be very interested in adding a scorer of Kovalchuk’s ability to their group of young stars, the asking price is currently more than GM Dean Lombardi is willing to surrender.
Pierre LeBrun of ESPN responds to an email from a fan of the Kings who is worried the team will mortgage the future to trade for a player like Kovalchuk….
Some excellent points here, my friend. It’s along the lines of what Dean Lombardi and I were actually discussing Sunday in one of those conversations where the Kings GM talked about the CBA, building a team, when to go for it, etc. He’s a lot of fun to listen to when he gets into the big-picture stuff. He was careful not to get into anything specific regarding Kovalchuk. But reading between the lines, I think what you are saying is exactly what he’s debating internally: are the Kings ready for this kind of impact move, with no guarantee that Kovalchuk will stay past July 1?
When reached him again Monday night, Lombardi said “yes” when I asked him if he had decided his team was ready for a noteworthy addition ahead of March 3. That doesn’t mean it’ll be Kovalchuk, but it means the Kings believe they are ready to add. He has the cap room and a blessing from ownership.
many more questions and answers from Pierre…
via Rich Hammond of LA Kings Insider,
Was there a little gamesmanship in Toronto this morning? The Leafs had the practice ice first this morning, and when they left, the Zamboni came out to resurface. The driver stopped though, and came off the ice before the job was even half finished.
Why? Because Leafs coach Ron Wilson does his daily media session next to the rink, and apparently the noise from the Zamboni is too loud. So as the Kings filed onto the ice, they had to stand around and wait for Wilson to finish, so that the Zamboni could then come back out.
More than a little peeved, the Kings banged their sticks on the ice and glass in order to create as much noise as possible. Finally, Wilson finished, the Zamboni returned and Kings practice started after a 15-minute delay. Only in Canada, eh?
from Mark Zwolinski of the Toronto Star,
The Maple Leafs are on the verge of a fifth consecutive non-playoff season, and they have yet to draft a player over that span with the instant, high-level success that Drew Doughty will bring on Tuesday night when the Los Angeles Kings make a rare visit to Toronto.
Doughty, from London, Ont., the second overall pick in the 2008 draft, comes to Toronto with a stellar resumé, and as much promise as any teenage defenceman to stick in the NHL since Bobby Orr.
“Well, I’ve been around a long time,” Kings coach Terry Murray said Sunday. “I remember Ray Bourque coming into the league as an 18-year-old and he was a force for the Boston Bruins right from his first year. I watched Paul Coffey over his career and I coached him in Philadelphia, and he was great as a teenager. I had Scott Stevens as an 18-year-old in Washington, and going back to when I was a player, I can remember (Orr) as a teenager and no one was as good as him. ... That’s a special group of players and Drew belongs in that class.”
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi said Friday his harsh evaluation of Jack Johnson’s old flaws in an interview on the blog frozenroyalty.net was intended to lend perspective to the defenseman’s progress, not to disparage Johnson or the University of Michigan.
In the interview, conducted by Gann Matsuda and published as part of a series, Lombardi said Johnson “never had any coaching” at Michigan and was “awful as a hockey player” before he joined the Kings and refined his game enough to be chosen for the U.S. Olympic team at the Vancouver Games….
Lombardi said he meant to give Matsuda background information on Johnson’s evolution and didn’t expect those comments to be published. “The whole article was completely out of context,” Lombardi said.
Matsuda said Lombardi never designated that part of the conversation as off the record. Lombardi did not dispute that.
note 01/25/10, I received a note from the folks at Hockeytalk.biz and they wanted to point out Gann Matsuda works for them and not Frozen Royalty.
from Helene Elliott at the Fabulous Forum,
Kings defenseman Jack Johnson reacted angrily Thursday to comments made by General Manager Dean Lombardi in an interview posted on the blog frozenroyalty.net in which Lombardi said Michigan—where Johnson played college hockey—is “the worst” in terms of coaching players and called Johnson “awful as a hockey player” when he played for the Wolverines.
He also criticized Michigan Coach Red Berenson and said Johnson was unable to accept criticism after playing at Michigan and for the U.S. national team development program.
The interview, part of a series, can be found here.
“I’m a Michigan man. I’m very proud of it. I wouldn’t want to have it any other way,” Johnson said after the Kings’ 4-3 shootout victory over the Buffalo Sabres at Staples Center.
from Rich Hammond of LA Kings Insider,
...I also talked to Kings head equipment manager Darren Granger and Terry Murray about the new socks, which the Kings have been wearing for approximately 10 days.
Question: How many players are wearing the new socks? Is it an optional thing for them?
GRANGER: “Obviously, it’s their decision about what they want to do. I think we have five right now. We had one player that was pretty exposed, where he was vulnerable to be cut, so he was sort of the reason it got started. That and, obviously, the injuries around the league. It’s been something that we’ve been trying to find for a couple years now, and now we’ve finally got a couple companies making them.”
Question: What does the sock do for them? It prevents them from being cut, right?
GRANGER: “The yellow part that you see is Kevlar, which is cut-resistant. Obviously if it’s punctured, like a stabbing motion, it’s going to go right through it. But what we’re trying to do is reduce the slashing of the skate, or like Cam Ward’s injury, where somebody slides into you, that type of thing….
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
In six seasons Dustin Brown has seen the Kings’ playoff hopes disintegrate slowly. He has seen their hopes crumble quickly. He has seen them so bad they made plans for April vacations in December.
The Kings’ captain is seeing something different this season, something he can’t name. Resilience. Determination, maybe. A knowledge that success is within their reach and worth the unrelenting effort it demands.
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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