Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Lisa Dillman of the LA Times,
You could say the view up the mountain isn't quite as dire for the Kings as it was two years ago.
Degree of dire.
That might be nitpicking
The Kings are facing another massive deficit after the San Jose Sharks beat them, 3-2, on Wednesday night at SAP Center in Game 4 of their first-round playoff series. San Jose leads the best-of-seven series, three games to one.
Next up for the Kings: An elimination game on their home ice at Staples Center on Friday night. The Kings staged a comeback for the ages in 2014 against the Sharks after losing the first three games in the first round.
Game highlights can be watchec below...
from Mark Purdy of the Mercury News,
"They weren't going to go away lightly," said Sharks defenseman Justin Braun about the Kings. "They got one more bounce than us at the end of the night. It's going to be like this the rest of the series."
In hindsight, the Sharks did not really lose Monday's game because of the overtime goal. After the first period ended 1-1, the Kings handed five power plays to a Sharks unit that has been among the league's best all season. But the Sharks went 0 for 5 on this night. They had good looks at the net but could not convert.
Most frustrating were two extra-man situations for the Sharks in the final six minutes.
"That last one, especially, we felt like we were going to get it," said Sharks centerman Joe Thornton, who scored his team's only goal of the night just 30 seconds after the opening faceoff.
Watch the game highlights below...
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
The San Jose Sharks lead the Los Angeles Kings 2-0 in their first-round playoff series, with Game 3 set for Monday, 10:30 p.m. ET, at what should be a hopping SAP Center. Five observations about what we've seen so far and why this series is worth watching:
1. Jumbo's a beast: There's a reason 36-year-old Joe Thornton should be on a few Selke Trophy ballots this season. Just watch the first two games of this series and you see again the two-way beast the veteran center has become over the past few seasons after making his name in his younger years as an offensive star. Thornton's defensive awareness has been on full display through two games, thwarting many a Kings' offensive attempt. It reminds me so much of the way Steve Yzerman changed his game under Scotty Bowman in his later years.
from Elliott Teaford of the LA Daily News,
Now what? Now what do the Kings try after being outplayed and falling behind the San Jose Sharks two games to none in their best-of-7 first-round playoff series? What must they do to rally, to build confidence and momentum and get back into the series?
The Sharks’ best players have been their best players during the first two games, a 4-3 victory Thursday in Game 1 and a 2-1 win Saturday in Game 2. Joe Pavelski, the Sharks’ top goal-scorer in the regular season with 38, has a team-leading four points (three goals, one assist) so far.
The same cannot be said of the Kings’ top players. Right wing Tyler Toffoli, their leading goal-scorer with 31 during the regular season, has failed to record a point in two games. Center Anze Kopitar, their top scorer with 74 points, has one assist so far.
Our execution wasn’t very good. As you saw 5-on-5 we weren’t able to get a goal, and not only that, not enough quality chances and we’re not making it hard enough on them in the defensive zone. We’re not getting enough traffic, we’re not getting enough second-chance opportunities. We’ve got to start playing our game and right now we’re not playing our game at all. We’ve got to stop playing with frustration and start using our emotion in the right way because frustration is a waste of emotion and we’ve got to go out there with determination and start playing our game.
-Milan Lucic of the LA Kings after the 2-1 loss to the Sharks. More quotes from Lucic and other LA players by Lindsay Czarnecki at LA Kings Insider.
from Kevin Kurz of CSNBayArea,
Any NHL player that finds himself in the fortunate situation of being up two-games-to-none in a playoff series will quickly declare that it’s far from over.
The Sharks that have been around for at least the past three seasons, like Joe Pavelski, certainly know that’s the case, and we don’t have to repeat the history here at this point.
“It means it’s a good start. That’s all it means,” Pavelski said.
Sharks coach Pete DeBoer quickly shot down any suggestion that he would have to guard against his club feeling overconfident after another hard-fought, one-goal win on Saturday night, 2-1 over the Kings. The goals came from Pavelski and Logan Couture, and Martin Jones was strong in net.
“The core group, they’ve seen almost everything,” DeBoer said. “I don’t think overconfidence is going to be an issue. We’ve got a lot of respect for L.A. and we know they’re a long way from done.
“I also know that our group, we’ve still got other levels to get to, and I think we can even play better than we have.”
Below, watch the game highlights of the Sharks 2-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings...
added 7:56am, from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Brent Burns has been better than Drew Doughty. Martin Jones has had the upper hand on Jonathan Quick.
And Joe Pavelski, well, he's outplaying everyone.
Which leaves Anze Kopitar very much looking into the mirror for the answer to how his Los Angeles Kings are going to start digging out of a 2-0 series deficit to the San Jose Sharks.
"I definitely have to be better," Kopitar said Saturday night in a very quiet Kings dressing room after his team dropped a second straight game at Staples Center. "I take pride in leading the team. For me I know this is just not good enough. You got to bring it a lot better on Monday."
from Mark Whicker of the LA Daily News,
The Kings’ guns were blazing. Their armor was the problem.
They put up three goals and, at the end, had all the bullets they needed to win Game 1 against San Jose. Kyle Clifford missed a yawning yard of net. Tyler Toffoli had daylight and couldn’t cash in. Milan Lucic tried a difficult angle and came up empty.
But the Sharks, trying to shake their wait-till-next-year habits, answered everything the Kings mustered and hung on, through a minute-and-a-half of 5-on-6 hockey. They subdued the Kings, 4-3, to take a 1-0 lead, in a frenzied if imperfect hockey game that was nearly as loud and unlikely as that pageant we all watched here Tuesday night.
Game 1 began with the release of all the playoff energy the Kings hadn’t gotten to spend since Game 5 of the 2014 Stanley Cup Finals, when Alec Martinez picked up a rebound and fired it past Henrik Lundqvist and made a sporting fortress tremble.
Milan Lucic played that first period like an outlaw walking into a saloon. Anze Kopitar stole a puck and put the events in motion that became a goal credited to Jake Muzzin, because he held the puck long enough for Martin Jones to collapse, and then bounced if off the Sharks’ Tomas Hertl.
Game highlights can be watched below...
The Dallas Stars And Los Angeles Kings Will Play A Preseason Game At The New T-Mobile Arena In Vegas
FRISCO, Texas - The Dallas Stars announced today that the club will play a preseason game in Las Vegas, Nevada at the new T-Mobile Arena on Friday, Oct. 7, 2016 against the Los Angeles Kings as part of the club's 2016 preseason schedule. The Kings will be hosting their annual "Frozen Fury" exhibition in Las Vegas, playing the Stars on the 7th and the Colorado Avalanche on the 8th.
Ticket information for the game will be made available at a later date, as well as the remainder of the Stars preseason schedule. Fans are encouraged to register for free Stars Insider emails at DallasStars.com/Insider in order to be notified when tickets are made available for sale.
"We're thrilled to incorporate this trip to Las Vegas into our preseason schedule," said Stars President, CEO and Alternate Governor Jim Lites. "The new T-Mobile Arena is a beautiful facility and we're proud to take part in one of the first sporting events there."
from Lisa Dillman of the LA Times,
It looked bad when the Kings winger suffered a sprained left knee Feb. 12 at Madison Square Garden. The Kings were hopeful that he would be available for the playoffs, but they weren't expecting it.
A month and half later, it doesn't look good. Gaborik skated "a little bit" on his own Wednesday, according to Coach Darryl Sutter, but that is one of several steps before he is cleared to join teammates for a full practice.
With six games remaining in the regular season, the clock is more of an opponent than an ally.
"There's no way a player, unless he can play regular-season games, I have no interest playing him in the playoffs," Sutter said after practice in El Segundo. "None. We did that before. If you look back … it's very difficult to put players in.
"As you go into March there's another whole level of play. There's a whole next part too [after that]."
from Tal Pinchevsky of ESPN,
ESPN.com: You eventually got a professional tryout with the Arizona Coyotes' AHL team in Portland. How difficult was it when that didn't work out?
Bissonnette: When I got cut, that feeling of depression came back instantly. I felt I needed to act now. I think my agent called a few other teams and could have got a PTO somewhere else for more money. I just called [Kings VP of hockey operations Mike] Futa and handled it myself. At that point, another $10,000-$15,000 meant nothing to me. I needed something now. [Kings general manager] Dean [Lombardi] said, 'Absolutely, just tell him to stay the f--- off Twitter.' I said, 'Deal.'
ESPN.com: No Twitter?
Bissonnette: This organization is not big on it. I don't want to ruffle feathers, especially after what they've done for me. They've given me a second lease on my career. I'll do whatever they want.
much more including recovering from depression...
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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