Tag:Dustin Penner
Posted on: February 29, 2012 10:17 am
Edited on: February 29, 2012 10:29 am
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Morning Skate: Stars keep playoff push going

The Stars go searching for a fifth straight win. (Getty Images)

By Brian Stubits

The Morning Skate is back. Every morning for the rest of the season we're going to take a look at the games that have the greatest significance in the push for the postseason for you to digest while you drink your java. We'll throw in some miscellany for the fun of it.

Playoff Race

7:30 ET, Pittsburgh at Dallas (NBC Sports Network)

The teams in the Atlantic Division (excluding the Islanders) are in an interesting spot here. Barring a miracle, they aren't going to catch the Rangers but none of them is fighting for their playoff lives either. Maybe New Jersey has to worry if they lose a few more -- maybe -- but they're six points up on ninth-place Winnipeg. So they're left playing big games seeing that it's playoff push time and all, but nothing all that impactful.

But you find ways to make them meaningful. For example, only one non-division winner is going host a first-round playoff series as the four seed. That's no doubt worth playing for. And that's what the Penguins are going after right now.

Their opponents on Wednesday night, however, have a lot greater sense of desperation. That's because the Stars enter the night in a three-way tie for the final playoff spot in the West (holding the tie-breaker with a game in hand). Dallas would be thinking about hopping into the division race if the Coyotes weren't hotter than the Phoenix summers. They have won four straight games and have gained no ground on the Coyotes.

Now none of the above means the Penguins are going to come coasting into the game while the Stars come guns a blazin'. They wouldn't be in the position their in if they did that ever. In today's NHL you can't do that against any team. It's just something to remember if you notice a difference in "compete level."

It also marks, by the way, the first time that James Neal has come back to Dallas to face his old team (and Matt Niskanen, of course). Seeing the season that Neal is having with his brand new contract extension has to be a little painful for the Dallas faithful thinking of what could have been.

Oh and don't forget about Evgeni Malkin. He has five goals and two assists in his last three games. I hear he's good.

8 ET, Toronto at Chicago

This game should be sponsored by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Free Falling could be the theme song.

The Toronto Maple Leafs are in a tail spin that Chuck Yeager would have a hard time pulling out of. They've lost five in a row, most in ugly fashion. They've lost nine of their last 10 games. The fans are chanting for the coach to be fired. They are on the verge of falling completely out of the playoff race, going into tonight's game four points behind eighth-place Washington. The Leafs are as close right now to 14th in the East as they are eighth.

Well OK, I guess it's a pretty typical end of February in Canada's biggest city.

But let's not forget about America's Second City here and Chicago. They are going through their own swoon. They have only four wins in their last 16 games and bring a three-game losing streak into the battle with the Leafs.

If they were to get no points tonight, the Blackhawks would legitimately have to start worrying about being on the playoff bubble. Right now they are only three points up on teams 8-10 and will have played more games than all of them. When teams come into Chicago this out of sorts, the Blackhawks need to be able to deliver the next blow.

I'm not sure who is more desperate for the two points tonight.

Others worth watching

9:30 ET, St. Louis at Edmonton: The Blues are in fight for the Central Division crown with the Red Wings and have finally found their form on the road. They've won three straight away from home but the Oilers seem like a perfect team to play spoiler the rest of the way.

10 ET, Buffalo at Anaheim: To be frank, but of these teams is all but done in the playoff race. It would be remarkable if either made it in. But I'm still going to dub this a "loser leave town" match. Don't win this game and you can definitely forget about it.

Your promised miscellany

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

Posted on: January 18, 2012 11:19 am
 

Canucks fans have fun with Penner and Aunt Jemima

By Brian Stubits

There just has to be an endorsement waiting here for Dustin Penner, doesn't there?

The Los Angeles Kings forward who missed a game earlier this season after injuring himself while eating pancakes has been soaking it up like a flapjack does syrup ever since. He hasn't shied away from talking about one of the most bizarre injury stories we've seen in a long time, instead embracing it.

He has poked fun at himself about it multiple times. Now fans are poking fun at him about it too. Check out what some clever fan pulled off in Vancouver last night, putting a tub of Aunt Jemima's delicious maple syrup behind Penner on the Kings bench last night. Brilliant.

It would have been really great if the Green Men would have had the chance to heckle Penner in the penalty box last night. They could have pulled this stunt off with pancakes instead of waffles.

Maybe this whole thing is going to be enough to get Penner off the schneid. It's possible the whole thing could loosen him up and lead to some better results on the ice for the Kings. It at least did in Vancouver on Tuesday night as Penner scored just his third goal of the season.

It's obviously something that's never going to go away. When his career is done, he'll always be remembered as the Pancake Guy, even if he does a lot of great things.

There's no way he doesn't soon pick up a nickname like IHOP if he hasn't already, right?

Photo: From @Kylelev via Puck Daddy

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: January 9, 2012 3:21 pm
Edited on: January 9, 2012 3:35 pm
 

Pancakes caused Dustin Penner's back injury

PancakesBy: Adam Gretz

The status of Kings forward Dustin Penner for Monday's game against the Washington Capitals is not yet known at this point as he deals with a back issue that also forced him to miss Saturday's game against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

What was the cause of said injury, you ask? Perhaps a big hit in a game? Something that happened in practice, or in the weight room maybe?

Nope. Breakfast. Pancakes, to be exact.

Said Penner, via Rich Hammond of LA Kings Insider, “Apparently it’s one of those mysterious things, where you can throw it out (from) sneezing. I just leaned over to dip into some delicious pancakes that my wife made. It’s just like it [the pain] wraps around you and squeezes. … So it was disappointing. Hopefully it’s just an isolated incident, and not something that’s going to become chronic.”

Well, at least they were delicious because it would just be awful to get injured by pancakes that tasted like cardboard.

Over the years there have been some interesting explanations for injuries, but this ... this is a new one.

In 30 games this season he's scored two goals to go with six assists.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: December 12, 2011 10:17 am
Edited on: December 12, 2011 11:02 am
 

Report: Kings prepping to fire coach Terry Murray

By Brian Stubits

There have already been four coaches fired this season in the NHL. According to the L.A. Times a fifth could be coming this week.

The report in the Times says the Kings are preparing to fire coach Terry Murray. There is no replacement lined up, so the job would likely go to assistant John Stevens on an interim basis.

At no point were the Kings expected to be fourth in their own division -- which has been subpar as a whole -- and 12th in the Western Conference. Moreover, even with the defensive style that Murray runs, the Kings really have no business being the worst team in the league at scoring. Their 2.24 goals per game is the lowest in the NHL, even below Anaheim.

An offensive cast of Mike Richards, Anze Kopitar, Simon Gagne, Dustin Brown, Justin Williams, Jarret Stoll and Dustin Penner supported by Drew Doughty and Jack Johnson should be scoring more. Jonathan Quick can only stop so many shots.

Here is what Brown told the Times over the weekend about the way the team has been playing of late.

"We have to be more desperate right now. We have to be more desperate the rest of the year," Brown said Saturday. "We aren't playing with enough intensity or enough desperation. We are a good team and now we are not playing like one."

That never is a ringing endorsement for a coach. Fair or not, players not playing up to their potential will always fall on the bench boss' shoulders. We've seen it a few times already this season. When a team isn't living up to its potential -- or at least the potential that everybody thinks they have -- it's going to be time for the coach to go.

Fair or not, that's the way it works in sports. It's funny to me that in most professions, if the employees aren't getting the job done, it's them who will be fired. Obviously the world of contracts and high-priced ones at that alter the dynamics, so the manager takes the fall.

Adding to the confounding nature of L.A.'s start, so far they have only played 11 road games compared to 18 at home. You wouldn't figure that bodes too well for a team that would like to catch up in the standings.

But the good news for any new coach that takes over in the case Murray is fired? Despite being 12th place in the Western Conference, the Kings are only three points behind the Dallas Stars and Phoenix Coyotes for the Pacific Division lead. That doesn't fit anybody's definition of insurmountable.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: December 2, 2011 5:27 pm
Edited on: December 2, 2011 5:38 pm
 

Brian Burke nearly fought Kevin Lowe in a barn

By Brian Stubits

Brian Burke is never dull. That's something you have to give the Toronto Maple Leafs general manager. He makes brave trades like two first-round draft picks and another second-rounder for Phil Kessel. He is one of the few GMs on Twitter. He's very outspoken about his belief in fighting.

He has to. He nearly fought one of his fellow GMs.

You might remember the dispute that Burke, then the Ducks GM, had with Oilers GM Kevin Lowe. The two longtime friends found themselves at odds when Lowe signed young Ducks forward and restricted free agent Dustin Penner to an offer sheet.

Burke was outraged, slamming Lowe for an offer sheet that he considered to an overpayment, driving up the price of other restricted free agents. The squabbling deteriorated so far to the point that Lowe challenged Burke to a fight in a radio interview. Burke was ready to make it happen, too. In a barn, no less.

In an interview with The Score, Burke explains the whole situation.

By the way, there is already a Twitter account for the Lake Placid Barn. Oh Twitter, you never cease to amaze.

The fight was stopped because eventually Gary Bettman stepped in and told the two to knock it off or else.

The video also has some truisms about the stubbornness of the Irish and why he was able to hold such a grudge against Lowe. As somebody who is Irish, my wife could confirm the stubbornness.

The context of this, though, is a much more serious tone. The video is part of a story about Burke standing for anti-bullying. Burke has been active in the gay community even marching in gay-pride parades since his son Brendan was killed in a car crash in 2010. Brendan was gay and had been working for the Miami University hockey team at the time of his death. It has obviously had a very profound impact on Burke's life.

Now this is a serious suggestion here. They should put together a charity boxing event on in a barn near where these two guys go three rounds. The proceeds can go to benefit whichever charity Burke would like to give them to in honor of his late son. Beam it on TV in Edmonton and Toronto and tell me people wouldn't watch that.

I'd make the first donation to make it happen. Then maybe we could make the Greatest Fight that Never Happened actually come to fruition.

Video courtesy of The Score

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: October 17, 2011 8:37 pm
Edited on: October 17, 2011 8:37 pm
 

Kings' Penner to have ailing knee re-examined

By Brian Stubits

So Zac Rinaldo's hit on Drew Doughty might cost the Kings not one, but two key players for the time being.

After the Flyers' Rinaldo crushed Doughty -- on a clean hit, mind you -- Dustin Penner came to his young defenseman's defense and picked a fight with Rinaldo. Penner did finish the game, but played very little the rest of the way with what coach Terry Murray described as a "contusion" to the knee.

Here is the fight, in it's brief glory.

Not much appeared to happen, but Penner was still not feeling that great at practice on Monday as he left after about only 1/3 of the session was completed. Although Rich Hammond of the L.A. Kings Insider blog says Penner has been reassured the knee is fine. But Penner had the knee checked out just in case, per ESPN Los Angeles.

“There’s nothing I can tell you right now," Murray said after Monday's practice. "There’s no report from our doctor [right now]. It’s what I said in Philadelphia. It’s a contusion on his knee. When he had the fight, he fell. That’s what it is. He went to get it checked out by the doctor and see if there’s anything further on that.

“The plan was full practice. There was nothing, before the practice, to lead me to believe there was going to be anything different than that. Obviously it’s bothering him. He’s been reassured by the doctor in Philadelphia and the training staff here, but something is on his mind so we sent him to our team doctor.”

As of now, Penner's status is up in the air for

Los Angeles already placed Doughty on Injured Reserve after being crushed by Rinaldo. While there has been no specific word on the injury, the team is insisting it's not a concussion, something Doughty has already experienced in his young career.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: September 13, 2011 11:40 pm
Edited on: September 13, 2011 11:59 pm
 

Report: Hunter gets tryout with Kings

Hunter

By: Adam Gretz

After the New York Islanders traded him to the New Jersey Devils this summer in exchange for Brian Rolston, a move that had very different salary cap intentions for the two teams, Trent Hunter had his contract bought out, making him a free agent. As of Tuesday evening the veteran forward will reportedly be a part of his third organization in the past three months, agreeing to a tryout contract with the Los Angeles Kings according to Katie Strang of ESPN New York and Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register.

Injuries have really limited Hunter in recent years, appearing in just 133 of a possible 246 games, scoring 26 goals over that stretch. For his career he's scored 99 goals, all of which have come with the Islanders after he was acquired by the team back in May of 2000 from the Anaheim Ducks for a draft pick.

The July trade that sent Hunter to the Devils helped the Islanders reach the salary cap floor due to Rolston's sizable contract, while the deal, and eventual buyout of Hunter, helped New Jersey save a few million in cap space under the cap ceiling.

If Hunter earns a spot in training camp he'll likely be a bottom-six winger/penalty killer, as the the Kings top lines would seem to be set with players like Mike Richards, Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown, Justin Williams, Simon Gagne and Dustin Penner. Earlier in the offseason the Kings added some depth to their bottom lines when they signed Ethan Moreau to a one-year deal.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: July 13, 2011 10:29 am
Edited on: July 13, 2011 10:52 am
 

Daily Skate: Doughty waits, Glendale sees reality

By Brian Stubits

IN THE Kings' COURT: Negotiations between the Kings and restricted free agent Drew Doughty are progressing a little slower than Doughty's side would like. One of his agents, Don Meehan, says he hasn't heard from the Kings (FOXSportsWest) since June 23. At first he understood the Kings had a draft, free agency and the trade market to take up their time, but that's all taken care of. A large hold up is the lack of a precedent, which could come in Shea Weber's arbitration. Until then, it would probably be best for Doughty and company to relax.

DESERT REALITY: Now here's a bad sign for the future of the Coyotes in Arizona. City of Glendale mayor Elaine Scruggs recently had an interview with a Phoenix television station in which she acknowledged it's time the city contemplates life without the Coyotes in town and in the city's arena. She also addresses the Matthew Hulsizer failed bid, basically blaming the local watchdog group the Goldwater Institute and its threat of a lawsuit for scaring away the NHL on a Hulsizer marriage.

BUYING THE Blues: The Coyotes aren't the only team up for sale at the moment. The St. Louis Blues are also on the market, but don't seem to be having quite the same troubles as they are in Arizona. The company in charge of the sale says "Things are definitely heating up" (STLtoday.com) in the search for an owner. Could that perhaps be because of the aforementioned Hulsizer entering the picture?

PENNER IS MIGHTIER: After his less-than inspiring stint with the Kings for the end of last season, Dustin Penner was informed by head coach Terry Murray that he would have to drop a few pounds and get in better shape. A horse at 6'4 and 245 pounds, Penner is apparently taking it serious, citing motivation of the Kings' potential (frozenroyalty.net) and the new additions to help spur him into shape.

DEAD ON: The art of the goalie mask design isn't dead, but it looks pretty damn awesome when it goes dead. Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Steve Mason shared the design of his cage for next year and while one half is somewhat routine (featuring the look of the Ohio state flag) the other half is anything but normal. Just have a look (Puck Daddy) at the Evil Dead 2-inspired motif.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

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