Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Last season, the waiver pickup of the year was goalie Ilya Bryzgalov.
This year, while still early, it may just be Kyle Quincey. In a move that didn’t exactly turn many heads in mid-October, the Los Angeles Kings picked up 23-year-old defenseman off waivers from the Detroit Red Wings. And they’ve been head over heels ever since.
“This is an example of not only getting a good player, but also of our infrastructure working,” Kings GM Dean Lombardi told ESPN.com on Friday.
When Quincey went on waivers, Kings pro scout Rob Laird made his case. “This guy can play,” Laird told Lombardi.
“He was right on,” Lombardi said of Laird. “That’s a great job by a guy that works in the trenches and goes out there and works his butt off.”
continued plus Sundin and Wings/Sharks talk…
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
So how is it that the Kings can play up to the level of the NHL’s top teams but still hover around .500?
That they can commit thoughtless mistakes—one of which led to a successful penalty shot Wednesday by the New York Rangers—but still take the second-best team in the East to overtime and then have every reason to feel dissatisfied after a 3-2 loss?
The conclusion is inescapable: They will go nowhere, and might soon regress, if they don’t upgrade their goaltending.
An all access look at Los Angeles Kings superstar Anze Kopitar takes us for a tour of Manhattan Beach with his family.
from Terry Frei at ESPN,
In 2003, winger Dustin Brown arrived in the Los Angeles Kings locker room as a reserved teenager with a slight lisp that sometimes made him additionally self-conscious.
One of his teammates was Luc Robitaille, and Brown almost felt as if he should walk up to Robitaille in tandem with Robitaille’s son, Steven, and ask for his allowance.
“I was closer to Luc’s son’s age than to Luc’s age,” Brown said with a smile after the Kings’ morning skate in Denver on Tuesday.
Only five years later, his maturation and transformation are stunning.
Brown’s relentlessly energetic, pedal-to-the-metal game and his tendency to play far “bigger” than his listed 6-foot-1 and 203 pounds remain attention-getting, but he also has progressed so far as a leader, the “C” on his sweater this season seems to fit.
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
For the Eastern Canadian players on the Kings, tonight’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Staples Center offers a rare chance to show off for friends and relatives. And they were eagerly looking forward to it.
“All my buddies and family and friends will be watching back home, so I know they’re pretty excited,” said rookie defenseman Drew Doughty, who’s from London, about a 120-mile drive from Toronto.
“It’s awesome. It’s always been a dream, in a way, growing up and watching the Leafs play. And so it’s going to be fun.”
from Rich Hammond of Inside the Kings,
Jack Johnson has been participating in full practices with his teammates this week, but he is wearing a yellow (non-contact) jersey. Johnson says nothing has changed and he won’t be back from his shoulder surgery until after the all-star break, but…I don’t know. Watching him skate, it’s hard to believe he’s going to stay out of the lineup for another two months.
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
Finally, though, it looks as if the Kings’ latest rebuilding effort is going to take. They have a general manager, Dean Lombardi, who did not panic when the youngsters did not immediately start winning. Unlike many of his predecessors, he did not start trading away some of them along with draft picks in the vain hope of selling more tickets in a fickle market.
Now that the longest-running problem — goaltending — appears to have been solved with the promotion of rookie Erik Ersberg, the Kings can think about the playoffs for the first time in seven years. They have 12 players 25 years old or younger and they are starting to show the consistency needed to turn an aggregation of talent into a forceful team.
TORONTO (November 24, 2008) – Los Angeles Kings forward John Zeiler has been suspended for three games, without pay, as a result of a boarding incident that took place during NHL Game #295, Nov. 22 against the Colorado Avalanche, the National Hockey League announced.
Zeiler was assessed a major penalty for boarding and game misconduct for hitting Colorado defenseman Adam Foote at 6:51 of the second period.
Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, and based on his average annual salary, Zeiler will forfeit $8,770.17. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.
from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,
Total cheap shot by (John) Zeiler. (Adam) Foote is going to play a puck with Zeiler chasing, and Zeiler throws his right arm and shoves Foote’s head into the boards from behind.
Lappy just challenged Zeiler to drop them and fight, and Zeiler wants no part of it!
(After a few minutes)…They’ve tossed Zeiler from the game, giving him 5 for boarding and a game-misconduct. Probably a smart thing by the referees, although it’s not going to make Lappy happy wanting his pound of flesh in revenge.
Zeiler can definitely count on a suspension by the NHL for this - probably something very severe I bet. The NHL has been taking a lot of heat for the amount of head shots and hits from behind - and now Zeiler lays one of the dirtier hits of this or any other season on Foote.
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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