Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Milan Lucic is a bear of man. Everything about him is oversized, from his 6-foot-3, 228-pound frame and the force of his personality to the way he plays hockey – mean and on the edge.
Some NHL players just fill space in a dressing room. When Lucic walks in, he radiates a natural ebullience, and it is contagious. And so the fit for Lucic – going from Boston, where he played the first eight seasons of his career, to the Los Angeles Kings – has been seamless.
Lucic makes his first return to Boston Tuesday, when the Kings start a season-high seven-game road trip. They’re comfortably atop the Pacific Division and plotting another long playoff run.
For Lucic, the timing really couldn’t be better. He’s been with the Kings for five months now, long enough to distance himself from his days in Boston, during which the Bruins won a memorable Stanley Cup in 2011. But he’s also looking forward to renewing acquaintances with old friends and the Boston staff, many of whom he plans to see before the teams hit the ice.
His return to Beantown may be a big deal in hockey circles, but, as he says in an interview, “I never asked to get traded.”
from Milan Lucic at The Players' Tribune,
is is how naive I was when I got to Boston. Are you ready for this?
We had this really nice guy who worked for the team and handled all the road travel. He was in his early 70s. His name was Johnny, and he was just awesome. I was a 19-year-old kid in my first training camp. I didn’t know what the hell was going on. I didn’t know about NHL travel. I knew about WHL buses. So Johnny had my back. He was kind of like a cool grandfather to me.
One day after practice, I was sitting in the locker room talking to one of my teammates, and I was like, “Johnny’s a real nice guy, eh?”
He goes, “Johnny who?”
“You know, the road guy. Johnny. Can’t remember his last name.”
“You mean Johnny friggin’ Bucyk?!”
“Is that his name? Sorry, man. Still trying to learn everybody.”
from Eric Stephens of the OC Register,
The first sign came early on, when the captain who doesn’t shoot the puck did. The next sign came when the skilled defenseman put the hit on the star center, took one to draw a penalty and then let loose his own powerful shot.
Ryan Getzlaf did the former, and Hampus Lindholm came up with the latter. Those were two high points of many for the Ducks in a one-sided 4-2 win over the Kings on Thursday night.
A stunned sellout crowd of 18,230 at Staples Center watched as the Pacific Division-leading Kings were throttled by a Ducks team that hasn’t relinquished one bit of momentum it gained from the Christmas holiday break to the All-Star break.
“Sometimes you have a feeling the way the guys practice the day before,” Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. “The way they’re just carrying themselves around the rink, you know that they were going to be really into the game.
“Our guys were really into the game today and I thought it showed. I thought we played really well.”
NEW YORK (January 30, 2016) – The National Hockey League (NHL®) today announced the selection of the Los Angeles Kings, STAPLES Center and the city of Los Angeles as hosts of the 2017 National Hockey League All-Star celebration. The League’s mid-season showcase will take place Saturday, January 28 and Sunday, January 29 and will include the NHL All-Star Skills Competition™ and the NHL All-Star Game.
The 2017 NHL All-Star Game will be the third time the NHL All-Star activities will take place in Los Angeles. The Kings previously hosted the NHL All-Star Game in 1981 and 2002. Further details on the 2017 NHL All-Star celebration, including ticket information, special events and television broadcasting information will be released at a later date.
LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles Kings Hall of Fame Television Play-by-Play Broadcaster Bob Miller will take a medical leave of absence, the Kings announced today.
Miller is slated to undergo heart bypass surgery. The date of the surgery has not yet been determined. The timeline for Miller’s return to the TV booth also is undetermined.
“It is unfortunate that I have to miss Kings telecasts but I have to get this taken care of as soon as possible,” said Miller. “I know the telecasts will be in good hands and I hope to return to the TV booth as soon as my health allows.”
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
"I'm working really hard to get my game back to where I want it to be, there's still a lot of things I can do better," said Lecavalier, whose four goals have come in his past six games. "It's only been nine games, I want to finish the season strong and try to get better with the puck and without the puck. There are still things I can improve on and I want to do that."
It was smart of Kings GM Dean Lombardi to make the deal with the Flyers happen almost two months before the trade deadline, allowing more time for Lecavalier and defenseman Luke Schenn -- who also came over in the deal -- to become acclimated to their new team. Sometimes trade deadline additions just never quite fit in, but these guys are getting ample time to do so.
In the meantime, some have wondered if Lecavalier should change his mind on retirement given how he's playing right now.
No chance, said Lecavalier. He gave his word to the Kings, and in his heart and mind he's ready to go out after this season. After all, the trade wouldn't have happened otherwise.
Here is the explanation.
from Lisa Dillman of the LA Times,
First, the controversy and some choice words afterward from Kings left wing Milan Lucic. Lucic was ejected from the game, at 6:55 of the third period for taking a swing and connecting with Coyotes defenseman Kevin Connauton.
Lucic said he feared his wrist was broken, at first. He said his whole hand went numb and he couldn't feel his hand, explaining his reaction to the slash.
“Thankfully, X-rays came back negative,” he said. “If I don't react, I don't think he even calls a penalty. The same guy [referee] Brad Meier, I think this is the fourth time he's kicked me out of a game.
“It's always the same thing with him. Guys can take liberties on me and it's not a penalty. If I do something, I'm automatically kicked out of the game. It's just unfortunate it is that way with him. Just gotta move on and not get frustrated by the referees in the game.”
more on the Kings 3-2 loss to the Arizona Coyotes...
Watch the Lucic confrontation below...
"A couple of weeks ago, I thought his game was really good, lots of shots. Quality shots.
"Since we got in a busy schedule, I think his energy level went way down, so his detail dropped off. When his detail drops off, his skill does not come to the forefront.
"I've told guys: 'Hey, I'm taking minutes away.' When we've got extra guys, taking minutes away means guys move down or up. Get your game back and you can play. It's just an honest approach with him."
-Darryl Sutter, head coach of the LA Kings on Marian Gaborik. More on Gaborik from Lisa Dillman of the LA Times.
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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