LA Kings should bring back Gretzky-era jerseys


Despite being 25 years old, I’m already nostalgic for certain things. I feel sad when I see an empty space that once held a mediocre pizza place that served dirt-cheap pitchers of beer and cardboard crush pizza (it was my sub-par pizza joint!). That feeling also comes when I think back to a time when I genuinely enjoyed watching dudes wearing face paint and an unhealthy amount of baby oil pretend to punch each other in their underwear. So it goes without saying that I have a soft spot for a lot of the early-to-late ’90s designs hockey players once wore.

Upon hearing the news that the Los Angeles Kings will wear their third jerseys for all of their playoff home games as part of their “Back in Black” promotion, I couldn’t help but wonder why they don’t go all the way back to the Gretzky-era jerseys. Here’s a quick blurb from the team’s press release.

“The Los Angeles Kings will go “Back in Black” for the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs as the team will wear their popular Alternate Jerseys for all post-season games at STAPLES Center, the club announced today. The Kings are also encouraging fans to go “Back in Black” for the remaining five games at STAPLES Center as the 2009-10 regular season comes to a conclusion.”

Now, let’s take a look at their current … “reminiscent” third jerseys.


Then, let’s compare them to those awesome duds from the Gretzky days.


Is there anyway they are not trying to evoke those past glories? Everything seems pretty much the same except that the logo on the third jersey is a clear downgrade from the old emblem. Maybe the team can sell more merchandise with each slight variation in the sweaters, but my guess is that a return to the good-old days would be profitable too.

Now I’m not trying to kill the good vibrations of a long-awaited playoff run here, folks, but maybe next year the Kings will jump in the nostalgia pool instead of dipping in their toe? I’d love to see those classics rolling around the ice, especially with Los Angeles looking primed to be a contender in the Pacific for years to come.

I can imagine that for some less puck-attentive people in L.A., it will be like they were never gone.

Campbell’s perfect snipe sinks Wings in OT


Brian Campbell doesn’t score as many points as he used to, but he came up with a huge goal against the Red Wings on Sunday afternoon.

With the game tied, 1-1, in overtime, Campbell skated into the slot and beat Petr Mrazek with a perfect wrister to end the game.

It was also a pretty nice passing play between Jussi Jokinen, Jonathan Huberdeau and Campbell.

Dylan Larkin opened the scoring in the second period before Reilly Smith leveled the score with just over five minutes remaining.

The Wings have blown a lead in three straight games.

Detroit was up 2-0 and 3-2 in their last game, against Edmonton, before they finally closed the game out with an overtime goal by Niklas Kronwall.

They weren’t so fortunate against the Bruins on Wednesday, as they lost 3-2 in OT after leading 2-1 with under two minutes remaining in regulation.

This was the first meeting of the season between Detroit and Florida, but they’ll see each other three times between Feb. 4 and Mar. 19.

With Jonathan Bernier sputtering, we’ll meet Garret Sparks

Garett Sparks
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You can’t blame Mike Babcock for siding with the relatively unknown when the other option is Jonathan Bernier, a goalie who’s 0-8-1 so far in 2015-16.

With that in mind, meet Garret Sparks, the Toronto Maple Leafs’ expected starter for Monday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers.

Sparks was a seventh-round pick (190th overall) in 2011, a guy who was off to a great start in the AHL. That much wasn’t lost on Babcock.

Let’s face it, though; this is as much about the Leafs’ other two goalies as it is about Sparks (whose name inspired a very obscure reference in this post’s headline).

In Bernier’s case, there’s an “enough’s enough” feel:

Meanwhile, James Reimer‘s not quite healthy enough to play yet, so the window of opportunity is open for Sparks … a little bit.

Sparks will get a chance to make an impression, even if it’s just a small one.

Video: Dylan Larkin adds to his rookie goals lead

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So far, the 2015-16 crop of rookies is living up to the hype, if not exceeding it. Connor McDavid‘s unfortunate injury hasn’t even derailed this year’s crop.

The Detroit Red Wings are watching their own blue chip blossom, as Dylan Larkin is making an instant impact.

No. 71 scored his 10th goal of the season against the Florida Panthers on Sunday, fattening his rookie goals lead.

He still needs five points to match rookie points leader Artemi Panarin, though.

Latest report leaves Carey Price’s injury timeline fuzzy

Carey Price
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There’s one thing we seem to know about Carey Price‘s injury situation: he first got hurt stepping on a puck on Oct. 29, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.

Contrary to earlier reports about him missing about a month, it sounds like his window of recovery is still up in the air (which, to be fair, could mean that he’ll still miss about a month when it’s all said and done).

ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reports that Price underwent testing with Montreal’s team doctor on Saturday and is expected to go through more; we may not know more about his expected injury timeline until early this coming week.

So, basically, Price’s situation is fuzzier than his mustache right now.

Leg injuries can be tricky anyway, so we shouldn’t be too surprised that there are mixed signals regarding Price, and this may remain a fluid situation for some time.

(But we’ll hopefully know more soon enough.)