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Tag:Los Angeles Kings
Posted on: March 31, 2011 2:08 pm
Edited on: March 31, 2011 2:17 pm
 

Playoff Watch: Leafs face another must-win game

WHO CAN CLINCH: The Boston Bruins can clinch the Northeast Division if they beat the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Tampa Bay Lightning will secure a playoff berth if they beat the Pittsburg Penguins. The Canucks will seize the Presidents’ Trophy with a victory over the Los Angeles Kings combined with a regulation loss by the Philadelphia Flyers, who face the Atlanta Thrashers. The San Jose Sharks are in with regulation win over the Dallas Stars.

ALREADY IN:  Vancouver, Pittsburgh, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington.   

GAME OF THE NIGHT: Toronto Maple Leafs (35-32-10) at Boston Bruins (43-23-10), 7 p.m. ET

Toronto won the last two meetings of these Original Six franchises and it probably needs to make it three in a row to keep their slim playoff hopes alive. The Leafs enter the night seven points behind both the Buffalo Sabres and New York Rangers, who each have 87 points and occupy seventh and eighth place, respectively.

The task is not an easy one tonight for the Leafs, who will need to get the puck past Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas. Thomas has won his last four starts and has a 0.50 goals-against average during that stretch, which includes a 3-0 shutout of the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday. He has nine shutouts this season, the most for a Bruin since Byron Dafoe (10) in 1998-99. The Leafs’ young goalie, James Reimer, has also kept them competitive for weeks. He leads all rookies in save percentage (.922) and is 13-4-4 in his last 21 decisions. 

ALTERNATIVE VIEWING: Los Angeles Kings (44-26-6) at Vancouver Canucks (51-17-9), 10 p.m. ET
The Kings have so far have not felt the absences of their top two scorers. The Kings have won all three games minus Justin Williams (out at least another three weeks with a separated shoulder suffered March 21) and their victory Tuesday over the Edmonton Oilers came without Anze Kopitar (out indefinitely with torn ligaments in his ankle). Los Angeles enters on a four-game winning streak overall, but the biggest test comes tonight against a team that can clinch the Presidents’ Trophy for the first time in franchise history. 

GOLF WATCH: The Columbus Blue Jackets need to win tonight to remain in the mix. The Atlanta Thrashers need to get at least one point tonight. Ottawa, Florida, New York Islanders, Colorado and Edmonton have already mathematically out of it.

-- A.J. Perez
Posted on: March 28, 2011 10:11 pm
Edited on: March 28, 2011 10:12 pm
 

Kings' Anze Kopitar to have ankle surgery



Los Angeles Kings forward Azne Kopitar will reportedly undergo surgery to repair torn ligaments caused by a high ankle sprain suffered Saturday against the Colorado Avalanche

Coach Terry Murray initially told reporters that Kopitar had a broken ankle that would keep the Kings’ top scorer out six weeks. (Here’s a look at the play where Kopitar was injured.) The diagnois apparently changed after an MRI Monday revealed more damage that will keep Kopitar off the ice until the middle of the summer, according Rich Hammond of lakingsinsider.com

Surgery is scheduled for Wednesday. 

"It's just going to be a good test for this young hockey club,” Murray told the website. "We'll be better when we come through it. There's no question about it. Guys are going to be in a higher situation, more important situation, and they'll grow immensely through this opportunity."

The Kings are already without Justin Williams, who could miss the rest of the season after he separated his shoulder a week ago. That leaves the Kings minus their two top scorers heading into the stretch run.  

-- A.J. Perez
Photo: Associated Press
Posted on: March 26, 2011 5:56 pm
Edited on: March 26, 2011 8:21 pm
 

Kings' Anze Kopitar breaks ankle in win



The Los Angeles Kings are now without their two top scorers for several weeks.

Center Anze Kopitar broke his ankle during the Kings' 4-1 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday. Kopitar got his skate caught on the ice as he battled along the boards with Avs defenseman Ryan O'Byrne. (A replay of the injury is below.)  As he lost his balance, Kopitar's lower leg twisted awkwardly and he was unable to get up on his own. 

King coach Terry Murray told reporters that Kopitar would be out at least six weeks. 

"He's our best player. We’ve got to find a way either way," Kings captain Dustin Brown told Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times. "Injuries happen during the year. You don’t want to have your best player go down, but if that’s the case, we’ve got to shoulder the responsibility collectively and find a way because no other team is going to feel sorry for us.

"It’s an opportunity for someone else to step up. It’s going to be tough to match Kopi’s play both defensively and offensively, and we’ve got to find a way. The staple of our game is defense, and he’s a big part of that when he’s on the ice. Ultimately it’s a five-man, six-man game for us."

Kopitar was assisted off the ice and went straight to the dressing room after the injury. He's scheduled to undergo an MRI on Monday. He shares the team lead in goals with Brown (25) and leads in assists (48).

Justin Williams, second on the team in scoring, separated his shoulder in a game against the Calgary Flames on Sunday, an injury that could mean the end of his season



-- A.J. Perez

Photo: Getty Images
Posted on: March 22, 2011 5:03 pm
Edited on: March 22, 2011 5:23 pm
 

Kings' Justin Williams could be done for season



The Los Angeles Kings will be without the services of Justin Williams for the rest of the regular season, although some reports claim that the 29-year-old forward won't be back for the playoffs either. 

Kings coach Terry Murray told reporters Tuesday that Williams could return in three to four weeks if his recovery from a shoulder separation goes well, according to Rich Hammond of lakingsinsider.com. He suffered the injury via a check from Calgary's Robyn Regehr during Monday's game. Williams will attempt to rehab the shoulder before he opts for surgery. 

TSN.ca and ESPNLosAngeles.com report, citing unnamed sources, that Williams is through for the season. 

Williams, who won the Stanley Cup as a member of Carolina Hurricanes in 2006, is second the Kings in goals (22) and has 35 assists. He recently signed a four-year contract extension worth $14.6 million. 

The Kings recalled Oscar Moller from the club’s AHL affiliate to take Williams’ spot on the roster. 

-- A.J .Perez

Photo Getty Images
Posted on: March 21, 2011 2:22 pm
Edited on: March 21, 2011 2:24 pm
 

Playoff Watch: Hobbled Wings, Pens renew rivalry

WHO CAN CLINCH: No new teams can secure a playoff berth today. 

ALREADY IN: Vancouver Canucks and Philadelphia Flyers

GAME OF THE NIGHT: Pittsburgh Penguins (41-23-8) at Detroit Red Wings (43-21-8), 7:30 p.m. ET

The combatants in two of the last three Stanley Cup Finals highlight a limited slate of games tonight. 
The Red Wings Wings begin a five-game homestand. (Seven of Detroit's final 10 regular season games are at Joe Louis Arena.) The Wings have an eight-point lead on the Chicago Blackhawks, who Detroit faces three times down the stretch. Forwards Pavel Datsyuk (lower body), Johan Franzen (groin) and Jiri Hudler (upper body) are likely to miss tonight's game, according to Ansar Khan of mlive.com. That could make winning 10 in a row against Eastern Conference opponents a little more difficult. 

The Pens have well-chronicled injury problems of their own with forwards Sidney Crosby (concussion) and Evgeni Malkin (out for season with knee injury), along with defenseman Brooks Orpik (finger) out. Forward Chris Kunitz, out 13 games with a lower-body injury, has been solid in the five games since he returned the lineup. Over the last three games, he has six points (three goals, three assists.) 

ALTERNATIVE VIEWING: Calgary Flames (37-27-10) at Los Angeles (40-26-6), 10:30 p.m. ET

This game is the only other game on the schedule, so it's not quite a tough call. Calgary comes to Staples Center a day after dropping a heart-breaker in Anaheim. The Flames overcame a three-goal deficit and even held a lead late in the third period before Teemu Selanne tied the game and Corey Perry gave the Ducks a 5-4 victory in overtime. The Kings enter the night in sixth place, two points ahead of the Flames. 

GOLF WATCH: The Colorado Avalanche and Edmonton Oilers won't get any new company tonight. 
Posted on: March 19, 2011 1:48 pm
Edited on: March 19, 2011 1:51 pm
 

Playoff Watch: Sabres can gain some separation

WHO CAN CLINCH:  The idle Philadelphia Flyers will seize the first playoff berth in the East with a victory in Dallas tonight. 

GAME OF THE NIGHT: Atlanta Thrashers (30-29-12) at Buffalo Sabres (34-28-8), 7 p.m. ET

The Sabres have one game in hand against the Thrashers and the weakest strength of schedule over their remaining games among teams eighth through 12th in the East. It seems like the bottom couple teams in the East -- no matter who they’ve been -- have slowed down a times to let everybody else catch up. The Sabres did just that Tuesday, losing to a Carolina Hurricanes team that enters even with them with points (76).

Buffalo is 2-0-1 heading into this fourth and final meeting between these two clubs. Defenseman Andrej Sekera enters on a tear, scoring 13 points (two goals, 11 assists) over the last 10 games. The Thrashers appeared to have to have solved their recent malaise, winning five of the last six games to become contenders again.  (The Thrashers enter in 10th place, four points behind the Sabres.) Tobias Enstrom and Dustin Byfuglien have averaged a point a game against the Sabres this season. 

ALTERNATIVE VIEWING: Anaheim Ducks (38-27-5) at Los Angeles Kings (40-26-5), 10 p.m. ET 

A victory by the Ducks against their SoCal rivals would put all five teams in the competitive Pacific Division back in playoff contention. Ray Emery earned his first NHL win in more than a year with a 30-save effort against St. Louis and could get the start in net again for the Ducks. The Kings will likely counter with Jonathan Quick, who has lost eight of this last 12 games.

GOLF WATCH: The Colorado Avalanche will be eliminated from playoff contention with a loss tonight to the Edmonton Oilers, the only team already mathematically eliminated.
Posted on: March 7, 2011 1:47 am
Edited on: March 7, 2011 1:53 am
 

Morning skate: Don't four-get Pacific Division




The Pacific Division could be very well represented when the playoffs commence next month. 

Four teams would currently get berths if the playoffs started this morning: San Jose Sharks, Phoenix Coyotes, Dallas Stars and Los Angeles Kings. Had the Anaheim Ducks not dropped a 3-0 decision to the Vancouver Canucks Sunday night, they would have booted the Kings out of the eighth seed. 

No other division has more than three teams in contention at the moment. Here’s a look again at our playoff tracker.

The Pacific has placed four teams in the playoffs twice since the current division system was established before the 1998-99 season. (The Northeast leads the way, placing four teams in on four occasions.) The Pacific has only had fewer than three teams in the playoff mix only three times and two Pacific teams skated with the Stanley Cup --- Dallas (1999) and Anaheim (2007) -- during that span.

How tough would it be for all five to make it in, something that hasn’t happened in the division era?

It would take a freefall by the Calgary Flames (3-2 winners Sunday over the Nashville Predators) or the Chicago Blackhawks -- two of the hottest teams in hockey. The fourth-place ‘Hawks are riding an eight-game winning streak and the fifth-place Flames are 7-2-1 in their last 10 games.

Making the chances even more remote is the fact teams typically face only other division opponents in the closing weeks of the season, meaning it’s very difficult to make up ground in the conference standings without darkening a division foe’s chances.

Not that it enters into the equation this time of year. 

DEAL NOT SO SUITE: An opinion page columnist at The Washington Post called for Capitals and Wizards principal owner Ted Leonsis to take back the two luxury boxes at Verizon Center donated to the city by previous ownership. The suites were a gift to city hall after D.C. approved a $50 million upgrade to the arena in 2007 and the boxes that cost as much as $175,000 annually for everybody else are meant for “economic development purposes.” Colbert I. King wrote that it’s unclear whether the two free suites are actually being used in that manner.
So taxpayers don't know whether the luxury suites have been used only to promote the city or whether they have been used to reward campaign contributors and volunteers, to curry favor with special-interest groups, to entertain family members and friends, or for the officials' personal enjoyment.


COYOTES' LOSSES MOUNT: The Chicago investor seeking to take over the Phoenix Coyotes and Jobbing.com Arena told The Arizona Republic this weekend that the team has already lost $40 million this season --- $10 million more than a season ago. The NHL, which has run the team since its previous owner filed for bankruptcy protection two years ago, still expects to sell the team to Matthew Hulsizer without losing money, a price that currently sits at $210 million. 

The Coyotes, who enter action Monday sixth in the Western Conference, have shown signs of life financially, according to team president Mike Nealy.

Despite ownership uncertainty and the NHL tightening the team's front-office budget this season, the Coyotes made gains in ticket sales, ticket revenue and overall revenue per game, according to league statistics dated last month obtained by The Republic.
Nealy said at the end of the season, with lucrative sell-outs and a potential playoff run this spring, he expects losses to drop below last year.


The long-running ownership drama took another turn when ESPN.com reported that the City of Glendale is expected to file a lawsuit today against Goldwater Institute, a watchdog group opposed to a bond sale that would help finance the sale. 

Confused? TSN.ca has created its own Jets Meter.   

LINE CHANGES: Marian Gaborik, out the last two weeks with a concussion, returned to the lineup for the Rangers’ 7-0 rout of the visiting Philadelphia Flyers. In 14 minutes, 28 seconds of ice time, he had four shots and two penalty minutes.  . . . Jarome Iginla became the 10th NHL player to reach 30 goals in 10 consecutive season as he netted a second-period tally in the Calgary Flames’ victory over the Nashville Predators on Sunday.  . . . . For a complete look at Sunday’s action, click here

Photo: Getty Images
Posted on: March 1, 2011 3:23 am
Edited on: March 1, 2011 3:38 am
 

Morning faceoff 3-1-11: Deadline afterglow

The unbridled fervor that was the 2011 trading deadline -- maybe we’re overstating that a bit -- is over. There were 35 players moved via 16 trades on Monday, sort of a letdown that some of us saw coming since so much movement occurred several days earlier. As our CBSSpors.com hockey writer Wes Goldstein points out, there were 21 deals involving 43 players and 17 draft picks in the first 27 days of February -- the most active month since the lockout.

But here’s a rundown of Monday’s transactions

PENNER BACK TO SOCAL:  The major deal of the day saw Dustin Penner, who came up the ranks with the Anaheim Ducks and helped lead them to a title in 2007, move from the Edmonton Oilers to the Los Angeles Kings. The Oilers, in turn, received minor league defenseman Colten Teubert, a first-round pick this summer and a conditional third-round pick in 2012, which could become a second-round selection if the Kings break through and win their first Stanley Cup in team history. As Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times reports, the deal came to pass after the Kings were told Dallas Stars center Brad Richards was not available. The upside on Penner is that he has a year left on his deal, meaning he’s not your average rental.

CAPS MAKES MOVES, BUT NOT IN NET: The Washington Capitals made two separate trades before the deadline, dealing for defenseman Dennis Wideman (Florida Panthers) and center Jason Arnott (New Jeresey Devils.) But GM George McPhee didn’t add a veteran goalie. It was another indication that the club is happy to go with their oft-injured young duo Semyon Varlamov and Michal Neuvirth. This stance didn’t sit too well with columnist/author John Feinstein in December and while Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom are each plodding through a horrid season in the scoring column, goaltending tends to be the Achilles for so many teams come playoff time. (Including controversies in net for the Caps the last two postseasons.) McPhee also told reporters that defenseman Mike Green would be out “a couple of weeks and maybe a little longer.”

FOX, TURNER IN FRAY:  FOX and Turner are apparently checking out the possibility of bidding for the NHL television rights package, The Sports Business Journal reports this week. (Second item here.) That would make four networks -- including current rightsholder Comcast (NBC/Versus) and ESPN -- in the hunt for the league’s domestic TV rights, which are set to expire at season’s end. FOX could potentially put the NHL on its FX cable channel, while Turner may bring games to truTV, the channel formerly known as Court TV. 

OH YEAH, THERE WERE GAMES: The Chicago Blackhawks, looking to avoid becoming only the second team over the last 70 years to win the Stanley Cup only to miss the playoff the following season, won their fifth consecutive game with a 4-2 decision over the Minnesota Wild on Monday. The win moves the ‘Hawks up to fifth place in the tight Western Conference standings, where fourth-place (Phoenix Coyotes) and 11th-place (Anaheim Ducks) are separated by just five points entering play Tuesday. Monday’s action also featured goalie Jimmy Howard, who signed a two-year extension with Detroit Red Wings on Monday. The first four goals scored in the game went into his net, but Drew Miller scored twice as the Wings tallied seven unanswered goals for a 7-4 win. Penner didn't make it in time for the game, but is expected to join the team in L.A. on Tuesday. 


 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com