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Category: Los-Angeles-Kings

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.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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

Afternoon Line

“I was excited to come to the Kings because it put me in the thick of a playoff race.  This is what every guy in the NHL plays for – to play in the playoffs and have a chance to win the Stanley Cup. Coming to Los Angeles definitely gave me a big boost.”

“It was a long year for me in Columbus, but when you find out you are coming to a team like the Kings, it’s exciting.  The games all felt like playoff games with the situation that we were in. When you are playing for a shot at the playoffs, in every game you are battling for your life and they are all must-win games.”

-Jeff Carter of the Los Angeles Kings.  Read more on Carter and the Kings from Doug Ward at the Kings’ website.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jeff+carter

Willie Mitchell Is No Longer Dreaming

from Lisa Dillman of the LA Times,

Mitchell will be playing in his first Stanley Cup Final, which will open Wednesday with the Kings playing either the New York Rangers or the New Jersey Devils. If it’s the Devils, it will be a homecoming of sorts for Mitchell, because that team originally drafted him with its 12th choice (199th overall) in 1993. Nine years ago, in his second full NHL season with Minnesota, Mitchell advanced as far as the Western Conference finals, but the Wild was swept by the Ducks.

So when Kings teammate Dustin Penner scored the series-clinching goal in overtime in Game 5 against the Phoenix Coyotes, Mitchell said the feeling was “surreal.”

“It’s been a long time coming,” he said Thursday in El Segundo. “I was fortunate to be out on the ice when Big Pens scored. Some guys were jumping. I was just sitting there. I was like, ‘Is this happening?’ So I feel fortunate to get this chance and get the opportunity to play for the Stanley Cup for real.”


Remember Willie, no parade planning until the final horn sounds…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: willie+mitchell

Gretzky Talks Coyotes, Kings, Rangers And Other Topics Too

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

So you were probably wondering, where was Wayne Gretzky during all this? After all, the NHL’s Western Conference final could have easily been played for the Wayne Gretzky trophy instead of the Clarence Campbell Bowl. It featured the Los Angeles Kings, the team Gretzky led to the 1993 Stanley Cup final and essentially put on the map, playing against the Phoenix Coyotes, the team he was associated with for close to a decade, first as the team’s managing partner and eventually as its head coach.

What was Gretzky thinking? Who was he cheering for? Did he take any satisfaction from seeing some of the young players that joined the Coyotes organization under his watch - the Martin Hanzals, the Mikkel Boedkers - show some glimmers of their potential?

Instead, Gretzky chose to stay silent, watching from afar, not taking sides, especially as the Coyotes’ ownership saga continues to percolate on, with no definitive end in sight.

But on the morning after the Kings dispatched the Coyotes in five games, Gretzky surfaced to talk about horse racing, about hockey in southern California and about the possibility of witnessing yet another series where his loyalties could be divided.


Filed in: NHL Teams, d, Los Angeles Kings, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: wayne+gretzky

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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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