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Category: Los-Angeles-Kings

Top 10 Plays Of The Conference Finals

Video provided by The Score...

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With A Break In The NHL Action, Will People Come Back To The Stanley Cup Final?

from Damien Cox of Ths Spin at the Toronto Star,

Then there’s the big one, the Stanley Cup, although the NHL hype machine is going to have to go into overdrive to make this one into a big attraction. The games will decide whether folks will be drawn into the best-of-seven series between Los Angeles and New Jersey; on its own, this one just isn’t that sexy. The NHL ceded ground in the continental sports conversation on the weekend to baseball, the endless NBA playoffs and the Indy 500, while north of the border cyclist Ryder Hesjedal stole all the biggest headlines.

Getting that attention back is going to be heavy lifting for the NHL.

Newark and downtown L.A. are almost movie studios, like false fronts in old westerns, when it comes to hockey. The game isn’t native to either location, and what they’ve been trying to sell with mixed success in SoCal for the past 45 years since Jack Kent Cooke brought hockey to the region still hasn’t taken permanent roots in New Jersey, where a shift from burbs of East Rutherford to the hardscrabble streets of Newark has yet to produce a positive change in attendance or interest.

Indeed, it’s at least theoretically possible the Devils might win the Cup next month and then soon after declare bankruptcy. We shall see.

more

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Late Evening Line

“The style we’re watching? It is boring hockey. Really boring. Out-muscling, out-bumping. The game’s almost all played along the boards. In my day, as soon as I got the puck, I faced the play. Now, you watch (Anze) Kopitar, the way he protects the puck. He puts his back towards the defenceman, the defenceman can’t do anything. He goes to the left. Then he comes back to the right.

“In the meantime, nothing happens.

“Very seldom do you see a forward beat a defenceman one-on-one. Doesn’t happen. And the way Wayne (Gretzky) used to curl and trap guys? Very, very few players do this now. There’s just no room out there. And I think most of the guys are restricted in what they’re allowed to do.

“Sometimes you didn’t watch the game and later that night you see a replay and you say, `Oh, what a spectacular play! Must’ve been a great game!’ But that was the only frickin’ play in the whole frickin’ game.’‘

-Marcel Dionne, a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame.  George Johnson of the Calgary Herald via Canada.com has more from Dionne, mostly LA Kings talk…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marcel+dionne

10 Stanley Cup Final Facts

from ESPN Stats and Information,

1. This is the first time in NHL history that two American-born captains will square off in the Stanley Cup finals. Either Dustin Brown (Kings, Ithaca, N.Y.) or Zach Parise (Devils, Minneapolis) will join Derian Hatcher as the only U.S.-born captains of a Stanley Cup-winning team. Hatcher was the Dallas Stars’ captain when they won the Cup in 1999.

2. Martin Brodeur will attempt to become the ninth player in NHL history (and second goaltender) to win the Stanley Cup in three different decades. Brodeur played on Cup winners in 1995, 2000 and 2003.

From the Elias Sports Bureau:
Players to Win Stanley Cup in 3 Different Decades
Dit Clapper, Maurice Richard, Henri Richard, Jean Beliveau, Joe Nieuwendyk, Claude Lemieux, Patrick Roy, Mark Recchi.

continued

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Travel May Become An Issue

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

Brodeur joked after Friday’s victory that after riding nothing but buses for the last two rounds, he and his teammates will be happy to eventually get on a plane. By Western Conference standards, the Kings have had decent travel thus far in the playoffs too. Monday’s flight takes just under six hours, which according to Sutter, is long enough to tax the body physically.

Sutter said he started getting used to the travel in his days with the San Jose Sharks.

“The toughest part is not going, but coming back,” said Sutter. “Everybody’s different, but when you look at the schedule, the Saturday-Monday is a tough turnaround, for both teams. If you go eight o’clock, then five o’clock, that’s a tough turnaround. Even if it’s just a normal game and you only play three periods, you’re not getting out of there until midnight. So you’re getting in here at 3 in the morning, with the time change, and then you turn it around and play the next day at 5. That’s the toughest part of the series, right there.”

more on New Jersey and Los Angeles…

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Conn Smythe Candidates

from Bob McKenzie of TSN,

My top three candidates for the Conn Smythe Trophy haven’t changed much from the last round. Kings captain Dustin Brown leads the way with teammate Anze Kopitar nipping at his heels and Travis Zajac of the Devils also in the running.

You can go a lot of different ways with Brown. He leads his team in goals, including game-winners, and points, including the shorthanded variety, and he’s tied with Kopitar in plus/minus. He’s also got the most penalty minutes, the most hits, he draws the most penalties and he makes the other team the most angry.

Early in the playoffs, it looked like it was going to be the Jonathan Quick show but it’s turned into the Dustin Brown show.

more notes on the two SCF teams…

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The Key Matchup In The Stanley Cup Final

from Pierre LeBrun and Scott Burnside of ESPN,

Devils centers vs. Kings’ dynamic depth down the middle: The Kings have won the center battle throughout the playoffs against Vancouver, St. Louis and Phoenix, and it’s a big reason for their success. Kopitar and Richards are a dynamic 1-2 punch down the middle but don’t forget the veteran Stoll, who has provided clutch two-way hockey as the team’s No. 3 center. The Devils will counter with a group of lesser-known pivots but let’s not underestimate the work done by Travis Zajac this spring. He lost most of the regular season to injury but his seven goals are one off the playoff lead. He will center the Devils’ top line and could see a lot of Richards as a result. Adam Henrique, the overtime hero in Game 6 of the conference finals, might be the key to this matchup. A Calder Trophy nominee as rookie of the year, he played the last part of the conference finals with Kovalchuk and Patrik Elias, and DeBoer said the only time he has seen Henrique nervous was playing cards with Kovalchuk. And then there’s Josefson, whose return to the lineup in Game 4 of the conference finals coincided with a Devils revival. Speaking of centers, the Devils rank last of all 16 postseason teams in faceoff percentage.

read on as LeBrun and Burnside break down the series and make their predictions…

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No Longer A Dream For Kings Fans

from John Horn of the LA Times,

Sheri Patko plans to visit her father’s grave in Costa Mesa and thank him for introducing her to the sport. Charles Kinninger aims to fly with his family from Guadalajara to Los Angeles to witness history. And Blake Kidder might get a tattoo memorializing the unprecedented event.

Los Angeles Kings fans have endured 45 seasons without ever winning a championship. While that futility can’t match the drought baseball’s Chicago Cubs have experienced, hockey supporters finally believe that the Kings’ turn has arrived. The prospects of a first-ever Stanley Cup now have the team’s longest-suffering fans struggling to come to terms with how redemptive, if not still incomprehensible, a championship could be.

Like North Korean rocket scientists who keep trying despite years of failed launches, wary Kings fans hope for success but fear that the object of their affection will go down in flames. In a city where the Lakers and the Dodgers are expected to triumph and often have, the Kings at best have shown occasional flashes of mediocrity. But hard-core fans remain hopelessly loyal.

“It feels like you’re in a dream, that you’re waiting to wake up, that somebody is playing a trick on you,” said Kidder, 34, who works in advertising and recently relocated to Boston from Los Angeles. She became a Kings fan when she was 12.

continued

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Low Seed Meets Lower Seed

from Kirk Penton of the Winnipeg Sun,

Congratulations, everybody! We have the worst Stanley Cup final in more than 20 years!

That’s only technically speaking, of course, as New Jersey and Los Angeles should be solid entertainment.

But when the Devils beat the New York Rangers 3-2 in overtime on Friday night to set up a date with the Kings, it meant the ninth and 13th overall teams from the regular season will battle it out for the right to hoist Lord Stanley’s mug.

New Jersey was ninth overall and the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference, while the Kings were 13th overall and eighth in the Western Conference. Their regular-season placings total 22. The only higher sum was in 1991, when the No. 7 Pittsburgh Penguins beat the No. 16 Minnesota North Stars.

In fact, not since the playoffs expanded to 16 teams in 1980 has the better seed among the finalists been as low as No. 9 overall.

continue for some playoff notes…

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Video- Coach’s Corner Tonight

Don Cherry discussed the Rangers’ defensive play, the Drew Doughty OT incident and Shane Doan.

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, Los Angeles Kings, New York Rangers, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, CBC HNIC, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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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.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

 

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