Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Rich Hammond at the LA Kings website,
Two years ago, a lot of zeros boarded the Kings’ flight to Vancouver for the start of the playoffs.
Dustin Brown: zero career playoff games. Drew Doughty: zero career playoff games. Anze Kopitar: zero career playoff games. Jonathan Quick: zero career playoff games. A quartet of young players, the core that had led the Kings to the playoffs for the first time in eight years, suddenly found itself on unfamiliar turf.
If experience is the best teacher, these Kings have been well-schooled. Back-to-back years of first-round playoff exits, coupled with the addition of some postseason-tested players, have put the Kings in a position to do what they couldn’t do in 2010: pull an upset of the highly-favored Vancouver Canucks.
The Kings lead 3-0 in the best-of-seven series heading into tonight’s Game 4 at STAPLES Center. If the Kings are able to win the series, it will be a big moment for a team that has been trying to take the next step since president/general manager Dean Lombardi began his slow, steady rebuilding project in 2006.
Of the 20 players who are expected to suit up tonight for the Kings, 10 have never won an NHL playoff series. The best players, and best teams, reveal themselves in the postseason, and the Kings know that only by winning in the playoffs can they truly validate their progress over the past few years.
The LA Kings defeated the Vancouver Canucks to take a 3-0 lead in the series.
Dustin Brown scored the only goal of the game in the 3rd period.
Here comes Dustin Brown.
added 1:07am, Watch the extended version below…
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Just in case the Vancouver Canucks needed any reminding about which team was dealing with the most pressure in their opening-round playoff series against the Los Angeles Kings, defenceman Drew Doughty helpfully pointed it out early Saturday afternoon.
“They’ve got a ton of pressure,” said Doughty, “especially being in a market like Vancouver. They came in first (and) they’re expected to go all the way to the Cup final again, but we’re obviously the team that wants to stop them from doing that.”
Then there was this observation from Kings’ captain Dustin Brown, who freely conceded that the burden is far greater on the President’s Trophy-winning Canucks than the upstart Angelenos, who won twice on the road to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven Western Conference semi-final series.
“They have to deal with a lot more than we have to deal with, just given the locale and the mentality there,” said Brown. “I mean, it’s Canada. So that’s a heavy weight.”
from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,
Over the last 40 or so springtimes, Vancouver Canucks’ fans have been preconditioned to expect a certain amount of unpleasantness and as they contemplated their team’s prospects in 2012, they were likely aware further trials awaited.
But this? This? Even in their darkest moment, the most tortured member of the faithful couldn’t have conceived of this.
Friday night, the two-time Presidents Trophy winners dropped a 4-2 decision on home ice to the L.A. Kings, largely because they surrendered two shorthanded goals on plays so amateurish, so monumentally dim-witted, they beggared belief.
But believe this. Following the loss, which featured two shorties for noted sniper Dustin Brown, the Canucks now trail the Western Conference quarterfinal 2-0 with Games 3 and 4 set for L.A.
That isn’t a hole. It’s the Mariana Trench. And while they were saying all the right things afterwards, the plain fact is they’ve got to beat the Kings in four of the next five with three of those games set for the Staples Centre.
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
The Los Angeles Kings have apologized for a flippant tweet from their official Twitter feed that mocked the Vancouver Canucks.
“We encourage our digital team to be creative, interactive and to apply a sense of humour whenever possible. To anyone who found it offensive we sincerely apologize,” Mike Altieri, the Kings’ vice-president, communications and content, said in an e-mail message Thursday afternoon.
Vancouver Canucks right wing Byron Bitz will face a disciplinary hearing with the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety Thursday.
The hearing regards a boarding major Bitz received Wednesday night in Game 1 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals against Los Angeles when Bitz hit L.A.‘s Kyle Clifford at 12:12 of the second period. Bitz was also assessed a game misconduct on the play.
Watch the hit here if you missed it earlier.
via the CP at the Toronto Star,
The war of words in the Vancouver Canucks-Los Angeles Kings series has started.
In the moments after Los Angeles finished off a 4-2 victory in Game 1 on Wednesday night, a message was posted to the team’s official Twitter account taking a shot at Vancouver: “To everyone in Canada outside of BC, you’re welcome.”
The Canucks have drawn criticism during a successful couple seasons that has seen them capture the Presidents’ Trophy in back-to-back years and fall one game short of the Stanley Cup in 2011.
In October, CBC commentator Don Cherry added to the chorus by saying Vancouver was disliked because the players whine at officials.
from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,
Having watched the Vancouver Canucks for some time now it appears experience is no help in figuring out some of the perplexing issues to emerge from game one of the NHL playoffs here Wednesday night.
Hence one has some questions that need answering after Los Angeles’ 4-2 victory to open their series with the Vancouver Canucks.
For starters, will those who repeatedly keep singing this team’s praises and ignoring the ongoing issues like the power play and the lack of attack at least take one night off after this one? Will the ‘everything is wonderful’ crowd at least admit that home wins over Edmonton, Colorado and the like down the stretch may not have meant a whole lot?
And along that line of thinking, when did the Canucks go from a puck possession team to one that pursues all night and might just as well be coached by Mike Keenan.
Last night the Kings had the puck constantly, in part because of all the power play time but even when the teams were at full strength it seemed always to be either on the stick of either Drew Doughty, Anze Kopitar or Dustin Brown or in Roberto Luongo’s pads.
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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