Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Kerry Fraser of TSN,
I have always admired the quiet leadership and aggressive, hard-hitting play that Dustin Brown has demonstrated throughout his NHL career, similarly to how I described Chris Neil of the Ottawa Senators in a previous column. Last night, the similarity between Brown and Neil did not just end with these admirable characteristics but also in a successful effort to draw a penalty by embellishing the push/shove of the stick by Oliver Ekman-Larsson. Brown’s reaction was not proportional to the force exerted by Ekman-Larsson but was rewarded with a power play in a city where Oscar’s are given for outstanding performances. Dustin Brown’s was not that deserving in this case.
For tough, hard-nosed players such as Brown, Neil and others, it is most unbecoming when they employ this tactic. It does harm to their reputation and they join an undesirable list of known offenders when their embellishment causes embarrassment to the referee and the game.
Watch the “outstanding performance” from Brown below…
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
“Personally, I’ve talked about this in a lot of meetings with [GM Don Maloney], our general manager, that the game is turning a little dishonest and it’s embellishment by players,” Tippett said. “When it’s done well, it’s very hard for the referees, very hard, because if you fall down near the boards or you drop your stick or you throw your head back, you’re putting the referee in a very tough situation.”
No doubt Tippett was referring to the dropped stick on Radim Vrbata’s slashing penalty late in the game which all but killed any chance for Phoenix to tie it. Kings center Anze Kopitar’s stick was knocked loose by Vrbata on the play. Or did Kopitar drop it?
It capped a frustrating night for the Coyotes, who were penalized six times for 12 minutes while the Kings had two minors for four minutes.
“You know, not just our game tonight, you see it all through,” Tippett continued on the subject of embellishment.
“If everybody else is doing it, you better do it, too. We saw more than one penalty out there for us and against us that were called that I thought were plays where there was embellishment. It’s too bad it has to go that way. It’s too bad you get to this point in the season that that becomes a factor, but it’s the reality of our game right now.”
Kings coach Darryl Sutter seemed surprised when told of Tippett’s comments.
“Embellishing? I didn’t see that,” Sutter said. “We didn’t complain last game.”
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
The Kings had already disposed of the No. 1-seeded Vancouver Canucks when Coach Darryl Sutter flipped two of his left wings and turned a good team into a juggernaut that has trampled the best the Western Conference has to offer while moving within a victory of earning a berth in the Stanley Cup finals.
Sutter’s decision to put brawny rookie Dwight King with Jarret Stoll and Trevor Lewis on the third line and move the hard-to-motivate Dustin Penner alongside Mike Richards and Jeff Carter on the second line was a stroke of genius. It meant every line had doses of size, quickness and puck-possession skills and was anchored by a solid, two-way center. With a big, productive first line and an energetic fourth line the Kings became even more cohesive and balanced — and, apparently, unstoppable.
The Kings defeated the Phoenix Coyotes 2-1 tonight and now lead the best of seven series 3-0.
The Coyotes came out in the first period and fired 11 shots at Jonathan Quick but only had 8 the remainder of the game, 4 in each of the last two periods.
The Kings played the same game we have witnessed throughout the playoffs; tight checking, key saves and at times a dominating forecheck.
The game winner was scored by Dwight King, his 4th of this series (the Coyotes have 3 goals total), early in the 3rd period.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
The Kings’ ability to absorb and adapt to Sutter’s message is one of the primary reasons they are 10-1 in the playoffs and halfway to qualifying for their first Stanley Cup final in 19 years. The Kings lead the Phoenix Coyotes 2-0 in the Western Conference final, heading into Thursday’s third game, a game in which the Coyotes will play without centre Martin Hanzal, who was suspended one game by the NHL for a dangerous hit from behind against Kopitar’s linemate, Dustin Brown.
Brown and goaltender Jonathan Quick are the Kings’ leading Conn Smythe trophy contenders, but Kopitar is No. 3 with a bullet, and in the midst of a strong playoff of his own. Through 11 games, he is second on the team in scoring with 13 points, one behind Brown. Kopitar is the Kings’ perennial scoring leader, a player whose ability to play at both ends of the rink is what makes him so valued by the team’s coaching staff and his teammates.
“I don’t want to say Kopi’s underrated, but he’s very underrated in the D zone, with how hard that he plays,” said linemate Justin Williams. “You respect that as a winger, knowing that he’s hard on guys in the defensive zone. We get a lot more time in the offensive zone, because he’s so good in our zone.”
“My greatest fear is I retire and the Kings win the Stanley Cup the next year.”
-Bob Miller, legendary TV voice of the LA Kings. More on Miller from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal.
from Stu Hackel of the Red Light,
It’s still a good month before the captain of an NHL team hoists the Stanley Cup over his head and a lot can happen between now and then. But on the basis of the first three games in the Western Conference Championship, there is no more impressive team at this moment than the Los Angeles Kings.
This isn’t to say that the Coyotes are dead desert dogs — although they have their tongues hanging out and are panting heavily. Nor is it to say the Devils or Rangers are destined to fall to LA, regardless of which one wins the east — although if the Kings get out of their series in four or five and the Devs and Blueshirts go the limit and the winner gets battered, the Cup in California would be a possible scenario. And who knows what might happen to the Kings along the way? What injuries might they suffer, what puck luck might they not get? What will the hockey gods rain down upon them before the guys with the white gloves carry the Cup onto the ice for the presentation?
But at this moment, the Kings – who are 35-14-11 since Darryl Sutter took over from Terry Murray as coach in December — look like the best of the four teams still skating.
Tuesday night’s 4-0 Jonathan Quick shutout victory over Glendale’s favorite hockey team was a demonstration of domination. While the Coyotes started well, the Kings eventually took control of the proceedings.
I say at least two games for this hit on Dustin Brown, anyone else agree/disagree?
I don’t write this very often, but this series could very well be over in 4 games.
The Coyotes are frustrated and have lost their offensive game.
It’s only going to get tougher now that games 3 & 4 will be played in Los Angeles.
The story of the game, 24 PIM for the Kings, 54 for the Coyotes.
See the penalty box score below…
Smith received 2 for slashing, Brown 2 for diving.
Also, this guy, Fred Murtz, gets many of these YouTube vids up very quickly. The guy continues to kick-out videos at a record pace.
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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