Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Stephen Burtch of Sportsnet,
After winning their second Stanley Cup in three years, and starting the 2014-15 season with a bang, the Los Angeles Kings are off track.
The season began with the Kings playing seven of their first eight games at home. They convincingly won six straight at the Staples Center before hitting the road with a 6-1-1 record. But they lost four straight to start the trip, before winning the final game. Heading back to L.A. didn’t improve things and, despite playing four of five on home ice, the Kings sported a 3-4-3 record over the past 10 heading into their game Tuesday night (they beat Florida 5-2). They just aren’t striking fear into the hearts of opponents like they once did.
While the Kings have appeared dominant the past few years, they haven’t raced out to amazing early win-loss records. Superficially, it appears there is nothing to worry about, as the Kings are traditionally slow starters and strong finishers. (The past two seasons they had 22 and 23 points through 18 games.) Unfortunately for the Kings, that isn’t quite how this story goes.Score Adjusted Corsi tells us more about what to expect than the number of points the Kings have accumulated.
On the report that the pre-overtime dry scrape may be scrapped:
... Well, it’s a new rule, and the benches aren’t big enough for everybody to sit on, so there are guys out on the ice. I mean, when you look at the rules when everybody’s supposed to be on the bench and you come out for the period, there are some teeams that come out and there’s 20 guys skating around. I was thinking once in a while we should just tell the other team let’s all do figure eights. Every commercial timeout. It used to be it’d be a full scale line brawl if you did it. Now there’s guys skating all over, there’s guys doing calisthenics, there’s yoga. If you’re in the crowd you get lots more than a hockey game. Three time outs, there’s 18 guys rolling their yoga mats out there. Just watch. It used to be ‘Oh, only five guys on the ice,’ the officials would say. Now there’s 15....
-Darryl Sutter, head coach of the Los Angeles Kings, post-practice today. There is more to this quote and more Kings talk from Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider.
Not what I would call a great game, but it was very entertaining to watch.
Here are the highlights of the Ducks 6-5 shootout win over the Kings and below, Darryl Sutter post-game.
Sutter's post-game comments are below...
"How long is this supposed to go on? It's clear that the system is dysfunctional."
"It has nothing to do with what he did. What he did is off to the side. That's indefensible. But if a guy does steroids — that's indefensible in its own right, too, but they're separate issues — you immediately get the cap space. What's ridiculous about this, if he gets convicted we get the cap space. If he doesn't, we're in never-never land. We get nothing. It's totally dysfunctional."
-Dean Lombardi, GM of the Los Angeles Kings on the cap issue caused by the suspension of Slave Voynov. More from Helene Elliott of the LA Times.
from Lisa Dillman of the LA Times,
The agent for suspended Kings defenseman Slava Voynov will attempt to have the suspension lifted by the NHL.
Voynov was suspended indefinitely by the league last month after he was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence.
He has not been charged and Redondo Beach Police Lt. Joe Hoffman said, via email, that detectives are scheduled to meet with the district attorney's office on Monday.
Rolland Hedges, Voynov's agent, referred to a new section of the collective bargaining agreement where there is an application for a hearing. He said they will be asking for the NHL to hear Voynov’s concerns and rule on whether he could return instead of waiting for the prosecutor’s office to make a decision on the case.
from Rich Hammond of Kings Blog,
In the shake-it-off world of the NHL, health is always a relative concept, which is why Kings winger Justin Williams shrugged Wednesday as he looked at reporters with partially blurry vision.
It could have been, and nearly was, much worse. Williams suffered a small cut on the outer part of his right eyelid, and swelling around the orbital area, after the stick blade of Dallas’ Brenden Dillon struck him in the face during the third period of Tuesday's game.
Williams, the Kings’ first-line right winger, said he will miss Thursday night’s game against the New York Islanders, but Williams isn’t expected to sidelined for an extended period.
"It’s a little blurry right now, but that will subside in a few days,’’ Williams said Wednesday. ``Initially, it’s kind of scary. It’s kind of like getting poked in the eye. You can’t see anything for a little bit and it scares you, but then the doctor tells you you’re going to be fine and you’re OK."
continued and below, watch how the injury happened...
I see six Wings, for a long time...
Below, Roussel not happy with penalty call...
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
I don't think anybody should be surprised to see the NHL's top two powerhouses with middling records as the NHL's second month gets going. For teams like the Los Angeles Kings and Chicago Blackhawks, the regular season just doesn't mean a whole lot.
You won't hear anybody from either team ever admit this, but it's just hard to get up every night during an 82-game season when you know the real hockey awaits in the spring. It's just the truth. So you're going to see stretches like this for the Kings and Blackhawks this year, and each coach is going to use those struggling stretches to find ways to motivate his players.
But these players are human, you can't fool them. Their true hunger comes in the playoffs. Both of these teams have won two Cups apiece over the past half-decade. It's just hard to get excited and pretend to truly care about regular-season division titles. That means a lot more to teams trying to prove they're for real, teams worried about home ice in the playoffs, teams wanting regular-seaon glory. The Kings and Hawks? Sure they want to win every game, but from a mental and physical standpoint, it just wont' be there every night this early in the season.
read on for the rest of the hockey writers at ESPN for Blues/Rangers talk...
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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