Kukla's Korner Hockey
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Kings have signed forward Kyle Clifford to a five-year contract extension, Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi announced today.
The 24-year-old Clifford (born on Jan. 13, 1991) is a 6-2, 208-pound native of Ayr, Ontario, has appeared in 333 career NHL regular season games, all with the Kings, totaling 58 points (25-33=58) and 462 penalty minutes.
This season, Clifford has tallied 10 points (3-7=10) a plus-1 rating and a team-leading 66 penalty minutes. Clifford appeared in his 300th NHL game, Dec. 2 vs. BOS.
A second round (35th overall) selection of the Kings at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, Clifford has been a part of both Stanley Cup runs with Los Angeles in 2012 and 2014. He has played in 47 career postseason games, registering 14 points (4-10=14) and 56 penalty minutes, including assisting on the Stanley Cup clinching goal scored by Alec Martinez in Game 5 against the New York Rangers.
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Kings have signed forward Jordan Nolan to a three-year contract extension, Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi announced today.
The 25-year-old Nolan (born on June 23, 1989) is a 6-3, 226-pound native of Garden River, First Nation, Ontario, who has appeared in 170 career NHL regular season games, all with the Kings, totaling 24 points (14-10=24) and 155 penalty minutes.
from Lisa Dillman of the LA Times,
For the Kings, it is back to scoreboard watching and heavy lifting. They've won a season-high seven consecutive games to regain a measure of control over their fate with 24 games remaining in the regular season. Their winning streak is their most-successful run since they won eight games in a row last season, from Feb. 6 to March 10.
“We have 14 road games and 12 division games, so I wouldn't put too much emphasis on where we are right now,” Coach Darryl Sutter said. “In fact, I'm going to put money on it that we have more points this year at this time than we did last year after this.”
Sutter knows his numbers.
After 58 games last season, the Kings had 66 points. They have 68 through 58 games this season and are three points behind second-place Vancouver in the Pacific Division.
from Rory Boylen of Sportsnet,
The NHL’s Stadium Series swung through California for the second time, with the Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks facing off in what was the most important outdoor game yet. This one had very real playoff implications, with both teams hanging on the playoff bubble.
And just like the first outdoor California game, the second one was a huge success. The 70,205 in attendance made up the third-largest crowd for an NHL outdoor game. Here are some of the best photos from the 2-1 Los Angeles victory.
continue for some great pictures from the outdoor game
Here are the game highlights...
from David Pollak of the Mercury News,
An NHL idea that may have seemed like a gimmick when it was launched in 2003 has turned into a special event. Nearly three-fourths of a million people have turned out for 14 similar games in the United States and Canada.
"I can't say we would have predicted it," NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said, "but we were confident it would be well-received by our fans."
Daly thinks of it as an opportunity for fans to celebrate hockey on a grander scale, "in an environment that is really, in some respects, endemic to the sport."
Yet it goes beyond a chance to see the game in an updated, high-tech version of where it all began.
There's something about outdoor hockey that gets to the romanticized character of the relationship between the game and the frigid climate of Canada where it became popular before spreading south into the U.S.
NEW YORK (February 18, 2015) – On Saturday, Feb. 21, the 2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™ outdoor matchup between the host San Jose Sharks® against the Los Angeles Kings® at Levi’s® Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. will feature a pre-game celebration of the growth of hockey in the Bay Area and throughout California and a salute to Sharks alumni. The outdoor game also will feature performances by rock legend and Bay Area native John Fogerty, Grammy Award-winning artist Melissa Etheridge, singer-songwriter Kris Allen, and Symphony Silicon Valley. The game and performances will be broadcast live nationally on NBCSN in the U.S., and on CBC and TVA2 in Canada at 7:00 p.m. PT/10:00 p.m. ET, with pre-game coverage set for 6:30 p.m. PT. SiriusXM Satellite Radio will provide radio coverage.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Just like we all thought would happen, right? For all the hand-wringing in Los Angeles this season -- especially by Kings management themselves -- it looks like the band is ready to take the stage at the normal hour.
The Kings edged a very good Tampa Bay Lightning team 3-2 on Tuesday night for their fifth consecutive win, and if you're the Vancouver Canucks (67 points), Calgary Flames (67 points) or San Jose Sharks (66 points), you'd better check your rearview mirror and take notice of the muscle car speeding toward you with a pair of Stanley Cup rings attached to the front bumper. The Kings are charging late in the season just like everyone has waited all season for them to do, and it's downright exciting to watch.
read on for more topics from the ESPN crew...
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Every year, the Los Angeles Kings hit the road for close to two weeks around the time when the Grammy Awards take over the Staples Centre. And every year, their task is essentially the same: Tread enough water to stay competitive, because all the Kings ever really have to do is make the playoffs, and then good things usually follow....
But this season is starting to look different – and maybe even a little desperate. The Kings, who went into Monday night’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets five points back of the final playoff spot (LA did win), look as if they are the ones who are wearing down – as if the cumulative effect of all that playoff hockey is finally catching up to them.
The road has been especially unkind. Last year, the Kings had the sixth-best road record in the league (23-14-4), which was identical to their home record. This year, they are 16-6-6 at home but 6-12-6 on the road. So they need to put together a winning streak in order to gain ground on the Calgary Flames, who are currently holding on to the second wild-card playoff spot in the West.
Reasons for the Kings’ struggles are varied.
No. 1 centre Anze Kopitar is not playing to the level he was a year ago, and his right-hand man from the 2014 playoffs, Marian Gaborik, has been injured and inconsistent, patterns that have followed him throughout his career. For the first month of the season, the Kings were carried by their That ’70s Line – Jeff Carter flanked by Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson, all of whom had sweater numbers in the 70s. But they have cooled off since October; Pearson is out, likely for the rest of the regular season, and Toffoli is just back after recovering from mononucleosis.
Matinez won't return to the game, upper-body injury.
from Mark Whicker of the LA Daily News,
Clearly, Buffalo would demand silver and gold for Myers. It would gravely pain Bob Murray, the general manager, to give up Vatanen and Nick Ritchie, the power forward who was last year’s No. 1 draft choice. Centers Rickard Rakell and William Karlsson would be candidates too, as would incipient free agent Matt Beleskey.
But there comes a time to stop postponing the future. Especially when Myers would still be part of that future.
The Ducks won the Cup in 2007 They have won two playoff series since. Their two essential players, Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, are right in the sweet spot, both turning 30 in May.///
So Lombardi would be wildly disinclined to trade Justin Williams, the Conn Smythe winner. But Williams becomes a free agent this summer, as does Jarret Stoll. Given that Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson are tomorrow’s offense, and that everyone else either makes too much money or isn’t that trade-valuable, what else do you do?
The other scenario, hatched in Toronto, has the Kings getting Maple Leafs’ captain Dion Phaneuf for Richards in a big salary swap. Phaneuf played for Darryl Sutter in Calgary. Nothing else about it makes sense.
Give the Kings a week of wins and you can see another Stanley Cup coming to shore. But you’d rather be the team that trades because it wants to, not because it must.
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.
Email Paul anytime at email@example.com