Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province,
This was Jacob Markstrom’s coming out party.
His welcome to Vancouver moment. Sorry, we can’t control what’s going to happen next.
People will be calling for more playing time. Like, Thursday playing time. He earned it.
If it means Miller can get some rest, all the better. He has needed it. If you can’t see that Miller is better when he’s not playing every other day, you’re either clueless or working for the Canucks.
Not everything is about a goalie controversy. Markstrom playing more helps everyone. So does Markstrom playing a couple of games in a row every once in a while.
Again, he is the presumed No. 1 goalie in two years. He needs to play.
It seems entirely inadequate to call this a statement game. Because Markstrom made a statement in the first minute, cleaning up for Hamhuis whose potentially disastrous giveaway to start this thing couldn’t have been weaker if he was shot up with Sufentanil.
Markstrom went on to pile up statements like he was building a Pisgah from where the Rollie Melanson statue will be viewed.
Watch the game highlights below...
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
Let me be crystal clear on this: Anze Kopitar's contract extension with the Los Angeles Kings is not done.
But hands up anyone who thinks it's not going to get done?
That's what I thought, although I might have seen just one or two hands hesitantly raised at the back of the room, and what if one or both belong to Los Angeles Kings GM Dean Lombardi and/or Kopitar's agent Pat Brisson? What then?
It's been an odd dynamic on this Kopitar negotiation – not as odd as Steven Stamkos and the Tampa Bay Lightning, but that's another story for another time.
Honestly, we all figured Kopitar's deal would be done by now. Actually, way, way before now. It's almost December.
I do believe it's "close," though using "close" in a negotiation that isn't "done" is a mug's game.
After a 4-3 road loss to the Carolina Hurricanes today,
from Jon Rosen of LAKingsInsider,
On whether goals off faceoffs are a symptom of a decreased percentage, or something else:
Yeah, both. You know the percentages. You get the same stats I do.
On whether pulling Jonathan Quick was to give the team a “spark”:
No, they scored four goals on 20 shots. Not good enough.
On Drew Doughty taking minor penalties in seven straight games being a “weird” statistic:
It’s not a good stat. I wouldn’t call a ‘weird stat.’ What’s weird about it? If our player takes penalties in seven or eight straight games, that’s not weird. That’s a bad stat.
a bit more
from Frank Seravalli of TSN,
Los Angeles Kings defenceman Drew Doughtysaid he was honoured to be picked for last year's NHL All-Star Game in Columbus, somehow the first time he'd been selected in his career.
But Doughty admitted the game itself was lacking. For years, the game was the worst part of the weekend....
"The money definitely will give guys a little bit more drive to play harder and win," Doughty said Wednesday after the Kings wrapped up practice in southern New Jersey. "But I don't think you're ever going to get an All-Star Game that's even close to real NHL hockey."
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said in a statement the changes were introduced "not only as a way to enhance the competitiveness of the event, but also as a vehicle to highlight and emphasize the incredible skill, speed and athleticism it takes to play our game."
Doughty, 25, was on-board with the change but expressed concern that the potential for 40 minutes of wide open 3-on-3 action may be taxing for players. Doughty was not alone in his opinion, but the NHL Players' Association signed off on a one–year trial run.
"That would get really, really, really tiring. And quick. That's a long time," Doughty said. "That would be tough. But I think it will be better than last year's format. Hopefully it makes it better to watch, because the last couple All-Star games weren't great for the fans."
added 8:28am, from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,
There’s more to Milan Lucic than just his aggressive style of play on this ice- after a summer of highs and lows, he’s coming to terms playing hockey on the other side of the country.
via Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider,
“I talked to him after. He’s feeling better. That’s good,” Darryl Sutter said. When asked whether the center had visited the “quiet room” to gauge whether he had suffered a potential concussion, Sutter replied, “Yeah, that’s where he was. Obviously, protocol.” No other details about the severity of the injury were shared. A member of the Kings’ public relations staff said that the injury was an upper-body injury.
Though Sutter’s initial answer offered a glimmer of optimism, more will be learned on Kopitar’s status after the team returns to Southern California and reports to practice at Toyota Sports Center on Wednesday. Los Angeles hosts Columbus on Thursday.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
“A lot of people don’t see what we go through as hockey players every single day,” Doughty explained in an interview as the Kings made a quickie trip through Western Canada that lands them in Winnipeg Tuesday. “It’s mentally draining. It kills you. There are times you can’t sleep. There are a lot of things on your mind at all times. Mentally, we needed [a break] big-time, and I think all of us benefited from it.
“We weren’t happy with the result – of not making the playoffs – but it was good for our team in the end. We’re refreshed. We’re hungry to get back in the playoffs, and hungry to win the Stanley Cup again. Yeah, we’re excited for the season – to show the league and the fans that we are still one of the top teams in the league.”
The Kings had a slow start – three consecutive losses – which led some to conclude that they were over, done in by an off-season of departures from their leadership group.
Gone are defencemen Slava Voynov, who left to play in Russia, and Robyn Regehr, who retired; forwards Justin Williams and Jarret Stoll, who left as unrestricted free agents; and centre Mike Richards, who was charged with possession of a controlled substance and was bought out of the remaining years in his contract.
The Kings have asked Doughty and centres Anze Kopitar and Jeff Carter to take on added, more active roles in supporting team captain Dustin Brown, and it appears as if they’re managing it just fine.
I don’t know where he fits. We’re trying to win games, so I’m not too caught up in – you base it on a game-to-game approach. Maybe he plays with Kopi against San Jose. What was the question? [Reporter: Is there a way that he fits better with those guys, than maybe with-] I mean, I was told that he fits with Kopitar and Gaborik. I mean, that’s what everybody that knew everything about hockey in North America told me. You know what? I don’t know where he fits. [Reporter: Have you liked what you’ve seen out of him so far, though?] Yeah, I’ve really liked it. But you’ve got to win games, and you try and make it work as a coach.
-LA Kings coach Darryl Sutter on Milan Lucic. More from Sutter on the Kings by Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Here are five teams likely to put a rocky start behind them and wrangle invitations to the playoff ball next spring.
1. Los Angeles Kings: Yes, the Kings looked ugly while dropping their first three games of the season, but let's remember they are still trying to crawl out from an ugly 2014-15 season marred by a number of off-ice incidents. There was lots of soul-searching for the Kings after a season that saw them miss the playoffs after winning two Stanley Cups in the previous three seasons, so maybe we should have expected a hiccup or two.
Add in the introduction of offseason acquisition Milan Lucic to the top line, and it's not a big surprise the team looked out of sorts to start the season. Still, the Kings have won two in a row entering play Tuesday, and while the offense still isn't cooking they appear to be back to playing Kings hockey on defense. In other words, look out Western Conference.
read on for the Ducks, Bruins, Penguins and Flames...
from Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider,
For those keeping track, this is the second day that the Kings have had had to kibosh a practice because of ice issues. Likely related: there have been multiple power outages in the area throughout the month.
For Darryl Sutter, the cancellation was frustrating “in the sense that you wanted a theme for the week.”
“You have things you could’ve worked on today that wouldn’t necessarily require work but require you to be on the ice. It’s disappointing. It’s twice now we’ve been down in the last two weeks,” he said.
Because the Kings and Ontario Reign will be taking part in a charity golf tournament benefiting the Kings Care Foundation on Tuesday, there won’t be any on-ice activity until Wednesday morning.
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.
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