Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Rich Hammond at the Kings website,
This weekend, Sutter will return to the city where he spent eight high-profile years, first as coach and then as general manager of the Calgary Flames. Something of a polarizing figure in the town, at least among the media, Sutter is remembered both for his success behind the bench and tougher times in the GM’s seat.
Sutter led the Flames to the playoffs in each of his two full seasons as coach, then became full-time GM in 2006 and left in Dec. 2010 after mixed results. If Saturday’s return to Calgary holds any emotional attachment for Sutter, nearing the end of his first month as Kings coach, he won’t publicly acknowledge it.
“I have no feelings one way or another about it,” Sutter said. “(Working in Calgary) was a great experience. I worked with great people and I got lots of friends. That’s what it’s about at the end of the day.”
If anything, Sutter is disappointed. The Kings will fly into Calgary early Friday evening, play Saturday night, then immediately fly to Edmonton and play the following night. Sutter’s farm is located an hour outside Edmonton, and he won’t have a chance, on this trip, to visit extensively with family (and his prized bulls).
“I wish there was a day in between (games),” Sutter said. “I’ll see one part of my family in Calgary and the other part in Edmonton. That’s the most meaningful part, from a personal standpoint, clearly.”
from David Staples of the Edmonton Journal,
Mark Spector of Sportsnet and the Team 1260 had Los Angeles Kings GM Dean Lombardi on his radio show this afternoon.
The top of Lombardi’s complaint about the Oilers trading him an injured Colin Fraser for Ryan Smyth this past July came up.
“I apologize to Edmonton, and the NHL. I was wrong, the way I handled that,” Lombardi told Spector.
What had Lombardi done wrong?
The Mulletgate issue started up soon after the Smyth trade was announced.
The Oilers reported to Lombardi that Fraser had a broken foot, but the advice from their Oilers team doctors was that it was healing well and Fraser would promptly be able to resume full training.
from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,
Those who expected the Sutter boys to hug it out or apologize to one another obviously never saw them play.
But in the quiet confines of their respective homes — far from the cameras and the microphones — Darryl and Brent Sutter did the next closest thing: They finally talked.
After more than a year of silence prompted by anger, frustration and personality clashes that dotted their working relationship as GM and head coach, respectively, while with the Calgary Flames, the two spoke Sunday night.
They didn’t discuss their differences, nor bury the hatchet, nor agree to disagree or dissect old wounds …
They just talked.
from RichHammond of LA Kings Insider,
There’s been a subtle change in the nets — literally — at Staples Center in the past five games. Staples Center has become one of the first NHL arenas to adopt the new “thin mesh’’ on the tops of the nets. The purpose, mostly, is to make things easier for the video-review crew in Toronto to accurately make calls in terms of whether or not the puck crossed the goal line, since usually, those reviews utilize the the over-the-net camera. Eventually, all arenas will be outfitted with the new nets.
continued with pictures and a video link on how the installation of the thinner mesh is done…
Jack Johnson did it last against after scoring against the Capitals.
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
Darryl Sutter has been positive and encouraging during his nine games as the Kings’ coach, choosing to motivate players with a pat on the back instead of screaming in their faces.
Maybe it’s time for the Kings to experience the Wrath of Sutter.
Their listless 1-0 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets before an unhappy crowd at Staples Center on Saturday shouldn’t pass without a few loud and choice words from Sutter. Fans didn’t spare their jeers after the Kings failed to capitalize on 13 minutes 36 seconds of power-play time over eight advantages, including a five-on-three early in the third period and a six-on-four at the end.
“It was a power-play game. It’s not a secret,” center Anze Kopitar said after the Kings’ first regulation loss since Sutter replaced Terry Murray. “We lost the game because we didn’t score on the power play.”
Or score at all in 31 shots at Curtis Sanford. Jarret Stoll, after noting it was crucial for the Blue Jackets to score the first goal, had to laugh after being reminded it was the only goal.
“Usually is around here, isn’t it?” he said.
from Lisa Dillman of the LA Times,
Who better to help a goal-starved team than the man responsible for scoring 70 in one season?
No, former Kings star Bernie Nicholls isn’t coming out of retirement. After all, the guy is 50 and his last NHL tour of duty was during the 1998-99 season with the San Jose Sharks.
But Nicholls played for new Kings Coach Darryl Sutter in Chicago and later with the Sharks. After his retirement, he assisted, informally, in San Jose, and Nicholls was more than happy to leave the Ontario winter chill behind when Sutter invited him to Southern California.
Nicholls was on the ice at practice Wednesday in El Segundo, and the team made it clear he was not an official member of the coaching staff. It is something of a casual arrangement and Sutter thought he would like to have Nicholls watch a few Kings’ games. There is no timetable for his stay in Los Angeles.
“He’s a good resource to have for a team that’s still trying to find their way to contribute more offensively,” Sutter said.
from Rich Hammond at the LA Kings website,
After two weeks, there have been no public whippings. The locker-room carpet is not soaked in blood. No eardrums have been pierced. What happened? Isn’t Darryl Sutter supposed to be a raging, raving dictator?
Hired by the Kings as coach on Dec. 20, Sutter was preceded by his reputation as a humorless taskmaster who would terrify players and snarl at the media. One Canadian columnist compared him to malaria. Even a mostly positive newspaper piece described Sutter’s public personality as ``caustic’’ and ``contemptuous.’’
“I heard he’s a bit of a yeller,” Kings defenseman Drew Doughty said, a couple days before Sutter’s arrival.
When Sutter left the family farm in Alberta last month, did he do so as a changed man? Maybe, maybe not. With the Kings, he’s been more teddy bear than grizzly bear. During games, he wraps his arms around players, pats shoulders and offers encouragement. For a full week, at the end of postgame interviews, he sincerely wished reporters “Merry Christmas,” then “Happy New Year.” He has been accessible, helpful and friendly.
Johnson received two for roughing while Evander Kane receive a double minor for roughing.
“We play this great game [in which] I get into a car wreck six times a night, 82 times a year, plus playoffs, now in my 13th season at the professional level. The rest of my teammates do, too. How many people get into a car wreck in their [entire] life? Hopefully never, but maybe once in their life?”
“[Hitting is] part of the game. We accept that, we know it can happen. It’s a physical game. We go out and play the sport knowing that, and that’s what makes it great, fast, [and] exciting. I’d just like to see us take away all the things that are in our control to not have my peers susceptible to [concussions].”
-Willie Mitchell of the Los Angeles Kings. More from Mitchell on concussions from Gann Matsuda of Frozen Royalty.
thanks to a KK reader for the pointer
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