Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Mike Richards is back with the Los Angeles Kings, and you have to wonder just what kind of player we're going to see after Richards' late-January assignment to the AHL.
Richards had 14 points in 16 AHL games, with the organization on him to improve his conditioning. Kings GM Dean Lombardi always told me there was a chance Richards would be a late-season recall, and now here we are.
There are a few factors in it the decision, including the fact that veteran center Jarret Stoll remains out with an injury and the team doesn't know how long he will be out. Stoll still isn't skating yet. So that's left the Kings a little young down the middle, with Nick Shore and Andy Andreoff as part of the group of centers on the big club. But as a team source told me Sunday, this is also about the team needing some energy.
The Kings are two points out of a playoff spot and need a spark as they begin a critical five-game road trip Monday in New Jersey. It's do or die for Los Angeles.
read on for Burnside and McDonald on the Bruins, Strang on the Rangers and Powers on Detroit/St. Louis...
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Kings have recalled forward Mike Richards from the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi announced today.
The 5-11, 199-pound native of Kenora, Ontario appeared in 16 games with Manchester during his assignment, tallying 14 points (3-11=14), a plus-6 rating and four penalty minutes. He has played in 46 games with the Kings this season with the Kings, registering 15 points (5-10=15) and 39 penalty minutes. He played in his 700th NHL game, Jan. 12 vs. TOR and recorded his 300th career assist, Dec. 12 at MTL. He had played 224 consecutive games dating back to Dec. 22, 2011, the longest active streak on the Kings.
Tyler Toffoli was assessed a five minute major for boarding and a game misconduct for crosschecking Alex Burrows from five feet into the boards on a line change.
Watch as Vancouver Canucks captain Henrik Sedin collides with Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick and Eddie Lack thinks about fighting.
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Kings have activated defenseman Alec Martinez off of injured reserve, Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi announced today.
A fourth round (95th overall) selection of the Kings at the 2007 NHL Draft, Martinez has played in 45 games this season, registered 17 points (5-12=17), a plus-11 rating and eight penalty minutes. Martinez missed 18 games due to an upper-body injury and was placed on injured reserve Feb. 7.
from Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider,
On whether he had an issue with Anaheim’s second goal:
I’m not sure who the player was, but he shoved Muzzin, so basically that’s Muzz losing a battle of inches. He’s who ran into Jonathan. Not – im not sure who it was for them. [Reporter: Thompson, I think.] Thompson, yeah. I was trying to think – it was a four.
more from Sutter post-game in which the Ducks defeated the Kings 3-2 in OT
Here is the goal in question....
The Ducks host the Kings tonight, puck drops just after 10:30pm ET.
After practice today...
from Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider,
On whether lower shot totals against suggest a renewed focus to suppressing shots:
No. Shot totals [against] go up when the bottom part of your order doesn’t hit. It’s true. It’s very true.
On those who believe that Jonathan Quick is not an “elite goalie”:
Well, that’s too bad. Basically, those are the people who don’t want somebody to do well. [Reporter: To prove their theories, yeah.] They don’t want somebody to do well. And now, with all this newfound data that you can use when you lose – instead of use when you win – it’s interesting. [Reporter: But did you see any difference in his game, or was it the team in front of him, I mean the chaos in front of him, on defense, and just working new people in?] … God, October, he was probably the best player in the league. I wouldn’t doubt that. You’ve got to remember, still, it’s like when you’re talking about the boy who scored his first goal last night. He’s played lots of exhibition games and lots of American League games. He’s played a lot of games, same as Jonathan Quick. Jonathan Quick’s had two major surgeries and played more games than any other goaltender in hockey in the last few years, but if you average it all out, who has the most wins? Jeez, I’d hate to think that at age 28 that he’s eroding.
more Q & A...
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
The Los Angeles Kings have won two Stanley Cups in the past three seasons, without ever finishing better than fifth in the Western Conference in the regular season. Today, the defending Cup champs are in a dog fight just to make the Top 8 and qualify for the post-season, typically beginning to find their game as the playoffs near.
“For sure it’s stressful,” said soon-to-be UFA centre Jarret Stoll. “People keep saying it, and we don’t want to hear it, to be honest, anymore. It’s an easy way out, ‘These guys will flip the switch.’ We’ve done it a couple of times, but we can’t rely on that.”
They can’t. But they do. Truly, these guys are the ultimate “flip-switchers” in recent history.
This just isn’t the same team in the regular season that it is come playoff time, when they relentlessly grind out physical, low-scoring wins — to the tune of 11 playoff series’ over the past three seasons. That is more spring hockey than any other NHL club, and perhaps the answer to why the Kings seem to be wavering this season.
continued plus two more topics...
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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