Kukla's Korner Hockey
via Rich Hammond of LA Kings Insider,
Jeff Carter is “probably unlikely” to play tomorrow night against Edmonton, Darryl Sutter said after practice today. Sutter offered no further update, but Dean Lombardi said Carter is dealing with an ankle injury. At this point, Carter’s status is considered day-to-day, but his status for Saturday’s game at Minnesota is also in doubt. The severity of the injury is still to be determined.
from Lisa Dillman of the LA Times,
Things remained typically murky in the Western Conference race for the Kings after the Canucks beat them, 1-0, at Rogers Arena on Monday. Vancouver, playing without concussed star Daniel Sedin, needed only a first-period goal by forward Manny Malhotra, who, incidentally, had not scored in 14 games.
On Thursday, the Kings were riding high after grabbing the lead in the Pacific Division and the No. 3 spot in the West. After 60 minutes of tight checking and a late-arriving offensive surge Monday, they slipped out of a playoff spot.
It was the 10th time the Kings have been shut out this season, and it happened to be the fourth shutout of the season for Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo, who made 38 saves. Vancouver has won three straight games since Sedin suffered his concussion against Chicago last week, taking an elbow in the head from Duncan Keith.
The Kings, who have lost two in a row, slipped to ninth place in the West with 86 points, still tied with Colorado but ahead on the tiebreaker and one point in front of Calgary. San Jose has 88 points and Dallas and Phoenix have 87.
from Doug Ward at LAKings.com,
It’s a familiar refrain, as predictable as the changing of a season. Whenever an owner, general manager, or coach takes over a team, the first goal is always the same: Change the culture.
It was no different when Dean Lombardi stepped in as the Kings’ President/General Manager in 2006. Lombardi inherited a Kings team that, after finishing 10th in the Western Conference and missing out on the playoffs for three consecutive seasons, was in dire need of a makeover.
“It requires almost a cultural change, to get your staff thinking a certain way,” Lombardi said, shortly after taking over in Los Angeles. “That’s what we’re working toward.”
Lombardi was determined to create the kind of winning culture he saw in perennially contending teams in hockey-rich cities like Montreal and Philadelphia. Lombardi had worked for the Flyers as a scout before arriving in Los Angeles and had a first-hand understanding of the way a model franchise went about its business. Lombardi committed to instilling that same aura around the Kings, knowing the surest way to be successful is by being successful.
Watch the clock at least to the :30 second mark, don’t worry about the play on the ice.
Then read about it.
from Mike Sielski of the Wall Street Journal,
To watch the closing seconds of the Los Angeles Kings’ 3-2 win last month over the Columbus Blue Jackets is to see a thrilling sequence of hockey. At the last possible moment, with the score tied, Kings defenseman Drew Doughty snaps the puck past Columbus goaltender Curtis Sanford. The goal wins the game. The crowd thunders.
Most regular-season sports highlights are quickly forgotten, no matter how exciting they may be. But the tape of this Feb. 1 incident has become a platform for conspiracy theories. It has prompted the NHL to implement new rules and could become a major source of embarrassment for the league during the playoffs.
Richards cost us the game……… Defense needs to wake up!!
na na na na, na na na na hey hay dean good bye.
Kings lost a HUGE game to team with their “B” players. We were less then 5 minutes away from being in the 7th seed and now we are 10th!!!!
Let’s face it Richards is Way Overrated. He was good for the team in the beginning but he’s fallen off a cliff so much that he’s almost invisible. And with that really stupid play down low it cost the team a win. Good job there Richards you’re the man!
Trade doughty in the offseason and get major offensive talent for him. Change the style of play. Bring in a different kind of coach. Partial rebuild is in order. Otherwise it’s like trying repair a leaky roof with paper
-Los Angeles Kings fans at LA Kings Insider There is much more if you like to read them..
from Bill Roose of DetroitRedWings.com,
Anze Kopitar knew the day that two Slovenians playing against one another in the same NHL game would come sooner than later.
That day is today.
Kopitar leads his Los Angeles Kings into Joe Louis Arena tonight to face-off against the Red Wings, and his countryman and friend, Jan Mursak.
“I’ve been waiting for this for a couple of years now, since he’s been in the Wings’ organization,” said Kopitar, of the Wings’ rookie forward. “He’s a really good player and I knew it was just a matter of time before he was going to break through and come up with the big boys and play.”
However, a serious injury in the preseason could have postponed this day, but Mursak rebounded from his fractured ankle and has fit nicely into the Wings’ lineup since mid-January making this historical day possible.
“I didn’t know if this game would happen this year,” Kopitar said, “so I’m happy for him that he’s been in the lineup consistently now, and I’m looking forward to tonight.”
That a Bruce Boudreau quote post-game after the Ducks lost 4-2 to the Kings.
Now watch Bruce Boudreau post-game…
“I think Kopitar’s at the point in his career where he has to decide what he wants to do. Does he want to be the guy? If I was him, he should be looking at the situation and what’s going with (Evgeni) Malkin. When (Sidney) Crosby was playing, Malkin was happy to be second fiddle. Then, when Crosby went out, Malkin took over. He wins games on his own. Kopi has to do that! You can’t wait for wingers. You gotta make it happen. Some nights he’s gotta be the guy. And if he’s not, now it’s getting to the point in his game where it’s going to be tough to get up to the level he wants to be. Everbody knows him, everybody knows how he plays.
“He should be a little bit more - he reminds me a little bit of Mats Sundin. They’re big guys, but when they get close to the net, they’re not aggressive enough. They have to get these guys off their backs because they’re big guys. If they’re soft there, then you know what, those soft goals don’t come.
“I still have confidence in him. But, sometimes, management are too nice to their stars. He needs a wake-up call.”
-former LA Kings great Marcel Dionne on Anze Kopitar, via MayorsManor.
thanks to Jewels From The Crown for the pointer
from Rich Hammond at the website of the LA Kings,
The phone calls came exactly eight months apart, but the emotions couldn’t have been any different.
On the afternoon of June 24, 2011, Jeff Carter learned that he had been traded from the Philadelphia Flyers to the Columbus Blue Jackets. A half-hour later, Mike Richards, Carter’s close friend and teammate with the Flyers, was dealt to the Kings in a head-spinning duo of deals.
On Feb. 24, 2012, Kings coach Darryl Sutter called Richards into his office and asked a question.
“How would you like to play with Jeff Carter?” Sutter said.
No piece of fiction could match the reality. Carter and Richards had both been under long-term contracts in Philadelphia, and enjoyed playing together. When both were jettisoned to the Western Conference, as far apart as possible, who would of thought they would be reunited within a year?
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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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