Kukla's Korner Hockey
via Helene Elliott tweet,
uh-oh: Kings say Mitchell has fractured wrist and will be out 4 to 6 wks, and Ponikarovsky has fractured finger and will miss 4 weeks.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Are the Los Angeles Kings ready to take a page from the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Stanley Cup playbook? Remember how the Pens matured far more quickly than anyone imagined they would, making the playoffs in 2007, going to the Cup finals the following season and then winning it all in 2009?
Many were expecting the Kings to take another big step forward this season after losing in the first round to Vancouver. What has been so impressive about their 10-3-0 start has been their commitment to team defense, the bedrock of almost all championship teams. Even with Norris Trophy nominee Drew Doughty out of action for a chunk of time (Doughty has missed six of the team’s 13 games, but returned to the lineup last week), the Kings remain one of the most difficult teams in the league to play against.
They are third in the league in goals allowed per game with an impressive 2.00 team GAA after finishing ninth in that category last season.
more plus additional hockey talk…
from Helene Elliott of the Fabulous Forum,
X-rays taken of defenseman Willie Mitchell, who was injured during the Kings’ 4-1 victory over Nashville on Saturday night, showed no break or fracture, but he will undergo an MRI on Monday, a team spokesman said.
Mitchell, off to a fine start with the Kings, played only two shifts in the second period after suffering what the club called an upper-body injury. It’s believed he injured an arm. Coach Terry Murray said after Saturday’s game that he had not seen the play because it happened on the far side of the ice. The X-rays were done after the game.
The Kings, who have won four straight games and five of their last six, don’t play again until Thursday, when they face the Dallas Stars at Staples Center. That should give Mitchell some extra time to heal.
continue for more Kings talk…
Everyone looks like Ryan Smyth!
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
The area behind the net was Wayne Gretzky’s office, but the combat zone in front of opposing goaltenders has long been Smyth’s home. The Kings left wing routinely absorbs slashes across the hands and whacks on his back while chasing rebounds and deflections, and every scar is a badge of honor.
“That’s the way I’ve made a living. The puck’s got to end up toward the net so you might as well get your body there too,” he said. “And sometimes you have to pay a price. And in this case, I have over the years.”
After so many payments he’s approaching a great reward. Smyth will play the 999th game of his NHL career Thursday, and if all goes well, on Saturday will become the 256th NHL player to reach the 1,000-game milestone.
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
His 1.84 goals-against average and .936 save percentage rank among the league leaders. So does his total of seven wins….
Physical and mental stress took a toll on Quick late last season. He has looked and felt sharp, though he said he won’t know until January and February whether he will benefit from getting fewer starts.
“I do feel a bit better out there. I will admit that,” he said. “But I do think it’s the system that we’re playing in the defensive zone. Our penalty kill is playing really well. We’ve got guys blocking shots, doing a great job in front of the net. I’m getting a ton of help and it’s making my life a lot easier. I think a lot of it is numbers, and wins are showing how well we’re playing in the defensive zone.”
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPH,
...it’s well understood around NHL circles that since Los Angeles didn’t spend the money it had budgeted for Ilya Kovalchuk last summer, there is indeed room in the budget and under the salary cap for an important acquisition before the Feb. 28 trade deadline. I believe Jarome Iginla is among the list of players the Kings have in mind.
That would go along with the character-type guys the Kings have added over the last two years, players like Ryan Smyth and Willie Mitchell. At this point, I don’t see any indication at all that the Flames would even entertain the thought of moving him. But I bring all this up given the stories out of Calgary this week regarding a possible rift between the Flames captain and the head coach (which was denied by both in the papers).
Iginla is signed for two more seasons at $7 million per year and also has a no-movement clause, so he controls his fate.
Of course, Smyth also had a no-movement clause in his contract, but the Kings persisted for almost a year before getting him out of Colorado in the summer of 2009. Food for thought…
more topics, some which were discussed on the Hot Stove segment of HNIC…
The 2010 LA Kings Ice Crew calendar will be released on 10/28! Check out lakings.com/calendar for more information
It’s time, once again, to raise a glass and offer a toast (figuratively, of course – or not) to the NHL’s stars from a night ago:
***Cheers to Mathieu Garon of the Columbus Blue Jackets, who warded off a Philadelphia Flyers comeback attempt to the tune of 28 saves after goals from rookie Kyle Wilson (his first in the NHL) and Derick Brassard established an early 2-0 lead for the home squad. At 5-3-0, the Blue Jackets are still buried beneath Nashville, Detroit, Chicago and St. Louis in the Western Conference’s Central Division standings, making last night’s key performances from their backup goaltender and a couple of young stars that much more important.
Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, Los Angeles Kings, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: andrei+kostitsyn, anze+kopitar, derick+brassard, jarret+stoll, kyle+wilson, mathieu+garon, tomas+plekanec
Brown received five for illegal check to the head, a ten and game misconduct.
Miettinen is OK.
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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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