Kukla's Korner Hockey
Dustin Byfuglien with hits on Drew Doughty and Anze Kopitar in the first minute of play last night.
Byfuglien did receive a hooking penatly for the Kopitar hit.
NEW YORK (Jan. 9, 2015) -- Peter Laviolette of the Nashville Predators and Darryl Sutter of the Los Angeles Kings will serve as head coaches for the 2015 Honda NHL® All-Star Game in Columbus, the National Hockey League announced today.
Under the All-Star selection process, the head coach of the team with the highest points percentage (points earned divided by total possible points) in the NHL through games of Saturday, Jan. 10 -- the halfway point of the regular season -- earns the right to lead one of the All-Star teams.
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
Only occasionally this season has General Manager Dean Lombardi seen the Kings resemble the group that blended a strong work ethic, forbidding goaltending and staunch defense to win the Stanley Cup twice in three seasons.
"There's been pockets where it kind of looks like us. You say, 'There it is,' and then it goes the other way," he said. "Lately I think it's been better. We've seen greater pockets of it. But is it where needs to be? No."...
"We're just kind of treading water right now, not really swimming forward, not really swimming back," right wing Justin Williams said Monday. "We're just kind of there, and that's not good enough. It's not OK with us."
The fact that the Kings are not satisfied is encouraging. This group has largely been self-policing, with occasional prods from Coach Darryl Sutter.
The question is whether they have the physical and mental reserves to repeat after three long playoff runs and the unexpected loss of defenseman Slava Voynov to a league-imposed suspension. He has pleaded not guilty to a felony domestic violence charge, and his jury trial is set for March 2 — the day of the trading deadline....
Top-four defensemen like Voynov are hard to find, and the Kings are unlikely to acquire one; if they replace his salary and later get him back, they'd be over the cap and would have to make a move. Lombardi said Monday he can envision Voynov returning this season if a jury determines he's not guilty.
from Rich Hammond of the OC Register,
Kings’ opponents are averaging 28.1 shots on goal per game -- a modest number -- but the Kings have a team-wide save percentage of .913, down from .922 last season.
''We need them to be thinking that they’re in that .950 save percentage (range),’’ Coach Darryl Sutter said. ''That should be in practice, too. When you drop below .920 in this league, you just get average goaltending. It used to be .900 was good, but that’s not anymore. Teams that have both goalies in that .920-plus range, they’re at the top. That’s a high standard, but that’s real. That’s today’s game.’’
That’s not just a high standard, but a nearly impossible one. Chicago’s save percentage of .926 is a league high this season. Since the 2004 lockout, no save percentage has been higher than Ottawa’s .933 in 2013.
Sutter is well known for verbally skewering his goalies through the media and knows that Quick -- arguably the most competitive player on the team -- will use criticism as motivation. Plus, Quick’s save percentage is actually higher now (.917) than it’s been at the end of both of the last two seasons (.915, .902).
more on the Kings...
The Nashville Predators had a fairly comfortable lead over the Los Angeles Kings with a little over two minutes to go in the 3rd period.
17:59 Los Angeles Dwight King (7) ASST: Jake Muzzin (15), Anze Kopitar (20) 6-4
18:56 Los Angeles Alec Martinez (5) ASST: Drew Doughty (20), Jeff Carter (19) 6-5
19:26 Los Angeles Jeff Carter (11) ASST: Anze Kopitar (21), Alec Martinez (11) 6-6
Bet the comeback ended there when Roman Josi scored for the Predators early in OT.
from Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider,
Jake Muzzin shared an interesting viewpoint after the shootout loss in Edmonton two nights ago.
“We’ve got to come out hungrier from the get-go and desperate from the get-go. I think if we do that, we give ourselves a good chance at a hockey game,” he said. “We’ve got to get angry and get mad and bear down and get some points here.”
It was a passionate expression shared shortly after a disappointing loss, so the emotion is understandable. Of course, this team’s “park-and-ride” approach stipulates that this team lets go of wins and losses around the time it leaves the arena, so I was wondering if the team’s recent stretch – the Kings are 7-7-4 in their last 18 games – has, in fact, made the team want to work a little bit of anger into its game. I consulted with alternate captain Matt Greene.
Matt Greene, on whether the team needs to play angrier:
During the course of the game, I think a lot of guys do.
Paul Brownfield of LA Magazine with an excellent look at Darryl Sutter
Darryl Sutter via Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider,
On Ben Scrivens having to change the color of his stick tape:
It’s a rule. You have to have white tape on your stick. [Reporter: Did you just notice it then in the shootout?] No. If you check the books, he played for us.
The Los Angeles Kings pulled a little bit of gamesmanship on Oilers goalie Ben Scrivens during the shootout, complaining about his orange coloured knob on his stick.
The Oilers did win in the shootout...
from Scott Cruickshank of the Calgary Herald,
The Calgary Flames managed to overcome.
Several heavy hits.
And, operating under the weight of a season-soiling slump, they rallied in remarkable fashion.
Rookie Johnny Gaudreau, with a natural hat trick in barely 20 minutes of game time, two of the goals with the extra attacker, forced overtime.
“Johnny Hockey turned the show on,” said Mark Giordano. “In overtime, I saw the lane to the net and I just tried to take it.”
The Flames captain took it — and finished it.
Giordano scored in the extra period to lift the Flames to an improbable — and eight-game-losing-streak-busting — 4-3 decision Monday at the Staples Center.
continued and watch the game highlights below...
Oliver Ekman-Larsson with a big hit on Marian Gaborik.
Then Kings scored on the play to make it 4-2 late in the game.
Gaborik did not miss a shift but in my opinion he should not have come back at that point with LA up by two goals.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Sometimes we talk in terms of Superman and Kryptonite when we're talking about the effect the Montreal Canadiens have on the Boston Bruins. The same dynamic is at play when the St. Louis Blues visit the Los Angeles Kings.
The Blues jumped out to a 3-0 first-period lead at Staples Center Thursday night only to have the Kings outscore them 6-1 the rest of the way en route to a wild 6-4 win. According to the Kings' PR staff, the win was the sixth in a row for the Kings over the Blues on home ice.
The Blues have not won in Los Angeles since March 2011. More importantly for a Kings team just hanging around in the Pacific Division, the win marked an explosive night for the team's top players as Anze Kopitar had a five-point night (1 goal, four assists) and Marian Gaborik extended his goal-scoring streak to three games with a pair. He has five goals and one assist over that period. Both Gaborik and Kopitar have been beset by injuries and their production has been uncharacteristically tepid through the first 30 games of the season. If Thursday is any indication, though, look out Blues and look out Western Conference.
read on for Custance on Mike Green and the Capitals, LeBrun on Saku Koivu and Strang on the Jets...
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.
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