Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Norm Sanders of the News-Democrat,
The win was the third straight by the Kings, who once trailed 2-0 in the best-of-seven series. They also trailed Game 4 against the Blues 2-0 and 3-2 and were nearly down 3-1 in the series.
Now the Kings, who became the first road team to win a game in the series, return home to Los Angeles looking to close things out Friday with a win in Game 6.
"You need an all-in mentality and we had that," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. "We need to come with that same mentality for Game 6. This is not over."
Hitchcock couldn't fault his team's overall effort.
"There's lot of positives," Hitchcock said. "Effort, discipline, structure, whatever you want. There's a lot of positives.
"Overtime's a crapshoot. I know to win the (Stanley) Cup you've got to win most of your overtime games."
more on the game...
“Corners come up quick. You round the net and feel like you’re in the corner. It’s just a rounded building. There’s the same surface, but the configuration here for me makes it a different feel. A different feel for the on-ice players, a different feel for the coaches, so things happen a lot quicker in this building and you’ve just got to be ready for it.”
“I’ve said that for years in this building. It’s an interesting building. Some of the buildings are more rectangular in the corners, the rinks, and these are rounded….They round off quick. Both teams are built for this type of surface, so it should be a good game here.”
-Ken Hitchcock, coach of the St. Louis Blues on the Staple Center. More from Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider.
Did Doughty get his stick on the puck to change the angle?
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
"I don’t know if we’ve done that, but keep the people at the TV networks happy, I guess," Blues captain David Backes said with a shrug after the morning skate Thursday.
"Whatever it is, it is. [The Kings] are playing at the same time."
Anze Kopitar was scratching his head but couldn’t remember ever playing this late.
"I’ve never played an 8:30 game," the Kings star center said after his team’s noon CT skate.
"It’s different, for sure," added Kings veteran Jarret Stoll. "I don’t want to sleep too long today, or else I’ll get groggy. I’ll just hang out and stretch, I guess."...
"It better not get to overtime or I’m going to be asleep on the bench," said Hitchcock after his team’s 11 a.m. skate. "The gap from now to 8:30, I don’t know, there better be some good games on at 6 p.m. [7 p.m. ET] when we’re sitting in the office twiddling our thumbs. It’s a long, long day. I’ve never seen anything like this. This will be interesting."
A shorthanded goal and a terrible turnover by Quick, not much else to say.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
For Robyn Regehr, it’s felt like eternity.
For Jay Bouwmeester, well, it almost has been.
On Tuesday night, the former Calgary Flames teammates will skate on opposite sides and cherish the chance at playoff hockey when the St. Louis Blues host the Los Angeles Kings in Game 1 of their Western Conference quarterfinal series.
"It feels like forever. It really does," Regehr, 33, said Monday after practice with his Kings.
"I'm really looking forward to it. You grind it out in the regular season and this is the reward. I really enjoy playoff hockey and looking forward to being part of it again."
from Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
Despite the Blues’ bruises this season, they did finish with the sixth-most points in the NHL (60) in the regular season. Like LA last season, they are playing perhaps their strongest hockey heading into the playoffs, going 12-3 down the stretch.
“But you prove everything in the playoffs,” Hitchcock said. “For us to be effective, certain people have to play out of character. That’s what six or eight weeks of hockey is … playing out of character. For us, we just want a chance to prove ourselves.”
For the Blues to prove themselves, however, it means “accomplishing” more than winning just one game or one round, as they thought a year ago.
“I can’t tell you it’s not going to happen (again),” Backes said. “I think it’s something we have to prove by putting the effort in. The group in here has shown at times this year that we’ve got the resiliency and other times maybe we’ve got a little complacent. But winning should make you hungry for more winning, rather than thinking you’ve done something.”
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
- Dale Tallon’s status as executive of the year has taken a hit after a disastrous season in Florida. The catchy phrase “Red Rising” should be changed to “Seeing Red” after an embarrassing year. Signing winger Alexei Kovalev was the first mistake and veteran defenceman Ed Jovanovski didn’t work, either. Then, there was the whole fiasco involving Sean Bergenheim. The club refused to pay the injured forward, lost a grievance and then had to pay his full $2.75 million salary this season. While Tallon gained a reputation as being player-friendly, Florida may not be a desired destination among players anymore.
- Whispers out of St. Louis have players frustrated with the antics of coach Ken Hitchcock. It seems Hitchcock has the ear of players wherever he goes in the short term, but his constant picking apart and calling them out has gotten old. The team has performed far below expectations and is struggling to hang on to a playoff spot. Many league executives believe a quick exit could lead to changes for a team that is operating on a shoestring budget where ownership is counting on a deep playoff run to minimize losses.
more including notes on the Flyers, Coyotes Sabres, Luongo and Iginla...
ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Blues Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Armstrong announced today that forward T.J. Oshie underwent a successful surgical procedure on his left ankle. The procedure was performed by Dr. Jeffery Johnson, Dr. Jeremy McCormick and Dr. Rick Wright at Washington University Orthopedic Center. Oshie, who was originally placed on Injured Reserve on April 2, is currently listed week-to-week.
Oshie, 26, has dressed in 30 games this season posting 20 points including seven goals and 13 assists to go along with 15 penalty minutes
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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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