Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
Players were supposed to be rested and refreshed after a season that ended in early April instead of late June, purposeful about this season after not getting a chance to defend their title.
None of that was evident against the Sharks, themselves playoff spectators last spring and now playing for a new coach, Peter DeBoer. “It was a brutal start by us,” Kings defenseman Matt Greene said. “We have to be a lot better in all aspects of the game. Just a game where you just want to learn from, obviously, but just get it out of the way early, hopefully move on and be productive from here on out. And refocus on Friday, because we've got to start winning some games.”
Yes, there's urgency already. “It's huge,” Greene said of losing to the division-rival Sharks. “We're going to be battling with this team for the playoffs and we just spotted them two points. I don't think they had to work too hard for that one, so it's frustrating. It's frustrating even if it is the first game of the year.”
The top line of Anze Kopitar centering for Marian Gaborik and Milan Lucic was a combined for minus-6 defensively, generated four shots on goal and had little chemistry, though that might improve over time.
“Flat,” Kings Coach Darryl Sutter said of the trio's performance.
Was he surprised? “Yeah,” he said, the one word carrying the full weight of his disapproval.
from Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider,
Milan Lucic, on his altercation with Logan Couture:
Just a little hit. I didn’t like it, so I reacted to it. I don’t know why I got a match penalty. I didn’t cross any line, so obviously I deserved a penalty, but I don’t know why it was called a match penalty. At the end of the day, I don’t care who it is on the other side. If you’re going to hit someone like that, you could easily injure someone, it doesn’t matter what the situation is. I’m definitely going to react to it. That’s basically it. Five-one game, you don’t want to lose any game like that, never mind your first game at home, first game in five months. I hope that and everything is a wake-up call that we need to get things going right away. We just need to bring more emotion to the game on Friday.
Lucic, on Darryl Sutter saying that it shouldn’t have even been a roughing penalty:
I don’t want to disagree with him, but it might have been a roughing penalty, and that’s about it.
more from Lucic...
Watch the play below...
from Alex Kinkopf of the Kings' website,
An old friend will be protecting the opposition’s net tonight as the Kings open their 2015-’16 season at STAPLES Center.
Martin Jones, who the Kings dealt to the Boston Bruins on June 26, was then shipped to San Jose three days later – popping him exactly where the Kings didn’t want him to be – the Western Conference, and the Pacific Division.
Now, Jones, at 25 years old, has a chance to shine in a starting role – something that likely wasn’t in the near future for him with Jonathan Quick’s lengthy contract in Los Angeles.
At Wednesday’s morning skate at STAPLES Center, Jones shared a few thoughts on his return to his former building, to face his former team:
“It’s going to be exciting,” Jones said of opening the season in Los Angeles. “Those are the fun games to play in. Obviously our goal is to go in there and get two points, but I’ll try and have a little bit of fun when I’m there, for sure.”
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
If it's possible for a film short from the NHL's department of player safety to be nominated for an Oscar, Monday's thoughtful, point-by-point dismantling of serial predator Raffi Torres should be considered.
Maybe there's a category for "Lowering the Boom."
Two days after yet another patented sneak attack by Torres, this one on an unsuspecting Jakob Silfverberg of the Anaheim Ducks, the NHL lowered the boom on the San Jose Sharks forward with a 41-game suspension that ranks as one of the longest in NHL history.
For all but the most myopic of Sharks fans or Torres supporters, this was all about paying the piper. Finally.
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
Patrick Burke with the explanation.
added 4:38pm, NHL release is below...
from Curtis Pashelka of Working The Corners,
Sharks forward Raffi Torres will have a hearing Monday with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety regarding his illegal hit to the head on Anaheim’s Jakob Silfverberg.
Torres has been suspended four times in his NHL career, but is technically not considered a repeat offender since he has not had any suspensions in the last 18 months. Still, the NHL’s Department of Player Safety guidelines state that “even if a player is not defined as a repeat offender, his past history may come into consideration when determining future supplemental discipline.”
That doesn’t bode well for Torres.
Here’s a brief rundown of his suspension history.
2013 — In Game 1 of the Sharks’ second round playoff series against the Los Angeles Kings, Torres hit Jarret Stoll in the head/shoulder area late in the second period of the Kings’ 2-0 victory. Torres got only a minor penalty for charging on the hit during the game, but the NHL reviewed the play and Torres was suspended for the remainder of the series. Torres was considered a repeat offender in dangerous hits under the league’s collective bargaining agreement. Torres flew to New York for an in-person hearing, but it didn’t help.
If you missed the hit on Silfverberg, watch it here...
from Curtis Zupke of the LA Times,
Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau said Silfverberg was fine and kept him out for precautionary reasons.
"There was no sense bringing him back," Boudreau said. "But we've seen that before."
Torres has a history of suspensions and is facing another one after he was ejected with a match penalty for intent to injure.
"Same player every year," Ryan Kesler said. "I played with the guy [in Vancouver]. He needs to learn how to hit. That has no part in our game anymore."
more on the game...
via Curtis Pashelka of Working The Corners,
Sharks forward Raffi Torres is in danger of receiving another long term suspension from the NHL after he was given a match penalty for an illegal hit to the head of Jakob Silfverberg in the first period of San Jose’s game against Anaheim on Saturday at the Honda Center.
Torres was given a 10-minute misconduct and ejected from the game for the hit on the Ducks’ Silfverberg, which came with 7:15 to go in the first period. Silfverberg left the ice and did not return for the rest of the period.
According to NHL rules, any player who receives a match penalty player “shall be automatically suspended from further competition until the Commissioner has ruled on the issue.”
Torres has been suspended four times in his NHL career.
Watch the hit below, via Sportsnet...
from Kevin Kurz of CSNBayArea,
It took exactly three minutes into his first game in nearly 17 months for Sharks forward Raffi Torres to remind his teammates and the home crowd just what he can bring to the lineup.
Despite indications in the morning that he would play a bit cautiously on his surgically repaired right knee that he tore up two years ago, Torres lined up plodding Coyotes defenseman Nicklas Grossmann in the Sharks' defensive corner. The human heat-seeking missile wearing a number 13 teal sweater plastered Grossmann, knocking the six-foot-four, 230-pounder clean off of his skates.
Torres said after the game that it might not have been the wisest thing to do at this stage of his recovery, but he still made it through the Sharks’ 3-1 preseason win feeling “pretty good” after it was over.
“Biggest mistake I made -- I didn’t feel too fast or too much part of the game after that,” Torres said of the hit. “But I felt alright for the first part. It’s a tough game out there. It’s going to take some time, for sure. I think I expected a little bit more and better things out there in terms of my speed and endurance, but I’ll have to keep working.”
Watch the Torres hit on Grossmann below...
Dan Rosen of NHL.com opens up the mailbag...
How do you see the Boston Bruins' season going? How deep into the Stanley Cup Playoffs?
You're assuming I think the Bruins are going to make the playoffs. They're a bubble team. I'm not sold on their defense, which just lost veteran Dennis Seidenberg for eight weeks with a lumbar spine disc herniation that will require surgery. Zdeno Chara is getting older and it's going to be difficult to ask him to play upwards of 25 hard minutes a game again. That's why trading Dougie Hamilton didn't make sense. Hamilton was the guy who could take some of Chara's minutes, some of his workload, and eventually assume it all. Now he's in Calgary and the Bruins don't have anybody that can withstand the heavy load that Chara gets. Chara has to do it again. It's asking a lot, despite the fact that he's in tremendous shape.
The Bruins will be in the mix for either third in the Atlantic Division or one of the two wild cards out of the Eastern Conference. They're not better than the Tampa Bay Lightning or the Montreal Canadiens. It's questionable if they're any better than the Detroit Red Wings or Ottawa Senators....
Is San Jose a sleeper pick in the Pacific Division with its newfound depth?
If by sleeper you mean a team nobody will pick to win the division, yes, you can say the San Jose Sharks are a sleeper team. The Ducks are by far and away the favorites to win the division. The Kings should be better than they were last season. Look for more consistency from them. Anze Kopitar told me that as much as it wasn't fun to miss the playoffs, the summer for him was great because the rest was welcome. The Kings should be better off because of it. The analytics suggests the Calgary Flames will take a step back, but I'm not buying it. They're still a solid team and will compete for third place in the division because of the addition of Hamilton, the return of a healthy Mark Giordano, and a group of young forwards that is only improving. Michael Frolik might be the best underrated addition any team made in the offseason. The Sharks are behind them. I'm not sleeping on them. They're better than they were last season, but I'm still not sure by how much, and I'm not sold yet on Martin Jones.
Oh, and don't sleep on the Edmonton Oilers either.
from David Pollak at The Hockey News,
A lot needs to be fixed before the San Jose Sharks can regain their status as legitimate NHL playoff contenders.
But as training camp opens Friday, there is evidence that one repair job – healing last spring’s very public rift between Joe Thornton and general manager Doug Wilson – already has taken place.
Ask the veteran center, for example, what he thinks of the moves Wilson made this summer as the Sharks try to rebound from their failure to make the playoffs for the first time since 2003.
“I think Doug looked at our team and said, ‘Hey, what do we need?’ and I think he was bang on,” said Thornton of the acquisition of defenseman Paul Martin, forward Joel Ward and goalie Martin Jones.
Back in March, Thornton and Wilson were not seeing eye-to-eye. After the general manager told season-ticket holders that the former captain was known to lash out at teammates under stress, Thornton said his boss needed to stop lying and questioned the general manager’s work ethic.
Twenty-four hours later, both were saying that fences had been mended, though outsiders were skeptical. But after a lengthy sit-down in early June, the two do appear to have worked through any differences. Thornton would not talk about that meeting; attempts to reach Wilson were unsuccessful.
“We’re men. People can disagree,” Thornton did say. “That’s all it comes down to. But we’re fine.”
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.
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