Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
I am often told that we must be very careful we don’t “take hitting out of the game.”
I am not sure that’s possible. It’s hockey, after all. Hitting is such an intrinsic part of it that I can’t imagine there’s a rule change or interpretation that would “take hitting out of the game.”
But if the goal is to make sure hitting stays in the game, can someone explain to me, please, the curious case of Boston defenceman Mark Stuart.
On Saturday against the Los Angeles Kings, Stuart delivered a well-timed, open-ice hit on Los Angeles King star Anze Kopitar. It was a clean but crushing blow.
continued and watch the Stuart hit below…
Rich Hammond of LA Kings Insider answers some emails…
Do you know if there is anything more to Atlanta GM Waddell attending the LA-NJ game last night?
Answer: Anything more to it? As in? Don sat in his seat on press row, next to Dave Taylor, coincidentally enough. Dean Lombardi sat in his booth with other Kings management folks. I’m not sure what else there is to say, frankly. Waddell being at that game, very likely, did little if anything to further any Kovalchuk talk. GMs can talk on cell phones any day of the week, and scouting staffs are so strong that it’s doubtful there was any wisdom gained.
more on the Kings…
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
The Kings began this journey with a comeback win against Detroit and ended it with comeback wins at Boston and New Jersey, taking home their first-ever perfect record on a five-game trip and much, much more.
“This game today, I think, was a real good look at the type of team we’re starting to become,” Coach Terry Murray said after Wayne Simmonds and Drew Doughty scored on Martin Brodeur in the last two minutes Sunday to lift the Kings to a 3-2 victory over the stunned Devils and win for the eighth time in nine games.
“A lot of character, big heart, never gave up. It looked at times like it was slipping big-time on us and just to dig in in the third period and find a way to get it done was just tremendous.”
... watch them all in one video.
“The first thing that comes to my mind is our power play was struggling a little bit and we all know what he could do on the power play. And just with that shot, poise, everything he can make a power play unit better and definitely help us.”
-Anze Kopitar of the LA Kings on how Ilya Kovalchuk could help the Kings. More on the Kings from Helene Elliott at the Fabulous Forum.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
The Kings flirted with a playoff spot last season before crumbling down the stretch. They weren’t ready and they knew it. They learned from that, said Brown, the team’s impressive young captain.
“I think the one difference is that, last year, we hoped to win a game. This year, we’re going into a game knowing we’re going to win,” said Brown. “When you have that kind of confidence and belief system, not just from one or two guys but from 15 to 20 guys, that’s when you can see success.”
That’s the key, Smyth said, truly believing it.
“We believe in this locker room,” said Smyth. “When you believe something, it starts to trickle through your lineup. It gives us confidence to progress. Even though we are young, there’s some great experience on this team to help out, as well.”
much more on the Kings…
from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,
Multiple sources have indicated to The Hockey News the Thrashers have had significant trade talks with the Los Angeles Kings concerning moving Kovalchuk there in recent days. They reportedly presented the Kings with a shopping list of what it would take to get Kovalchuk and it’s believed that while the Kings would be very interested in adding a scorer of Kovalchuk’s ability to their group of young stars, the asking price is currently more than GM Dean Lombardi is willing to surrender.
Pierre LeBrun of ESPN responds to an email from a fan of the Kings who is worried the team will mortgage the future to trade for a player like Kovalchuk….
Some excellent points here, my friend. It’s along the lines of what Dean Lombardi and I were actually discussing Sunday in one of those conversations where the Kings GM talked about the CBA, building a team, when to go for it, etc. He’s a lot of fun to listen to when he gets into the big-picture stuff. He was careful not to get into anything specific regarding Kovalchuk. But reading between the lines, I think what you are saying is exactly what he’s debating internally: are the Kings ready for this kind of impact move, with no guarantee that Kovalchuk will stay past July 1?
When reached him again Monday night, Lombardi said “yes” when I asked him if he had decided his team was ready for a noteworthy addition ahead of March 3. That doesn’t mean it’ll be Kovalchuk, but it means the Kings believe they are ready to add. He has the cap room and a blessing from ownership.
many more questions and answers from Pierre…
via Rich Hammond of LA Kings Insider,
Was there a little gamesmanship in Toronto this morning? The Leafs had the practice ice first this morning, and when they left, the Zamboni came out to resurface. The driver stopped though, and came off the ice before the job was even half finished.
Why? Because Leafs coach Ron Wilson does his daily media session next to the rink, and apparently the noise from the Zamboni is too loud. So as the Kings filed onto the ice, they had to stand around and wait for Wilson to finish, so that the Zamboni could then come back out.
More than a little peeved, the Kings banged their sticks on the ice and glass in order to create as much noise as possible. Finally, Wilson finished, the Zamboni returned and Kings practice started after a 15-minute delay. Only in Canada, eh?
from Mark Zwolinski of the Toronto Star,
The Maple Leafs are on the verge of a fifth consecutive non-playoff season, and they have yet to draft a player over that span with the instant, high-level success that Drew Doughty will bring on Tuesday night when the Los Angeles Kings make a rare visit to Toronto.
Doughty, from London, Ont., the second overall pick in the 2008 draft, comes to Toronto with a stellar resumé, and as much promise as any teenage defenceman to stick in the NHL since Bobby Orr.
“Well, I’ve been around a long time,” Kings coach Terry Murray said Sunday. “I remember Ray Bourque coming into the league as an 18-year-old and he was a force for the Boston Bruins right from his first year. I watched Paul Coffey over his career and I coached him in Philadelphia, and he was great as a teenager. I had Scott Stevens as an 18-year-old in Washington, and going back to when I was a player, I can remember (Orr) as a teenager and no one was as good as him. ... That’s a special group of players and Drew belongs in that class.”
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