LA Kings should bring back Gretzky-era jerseys

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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.

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

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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.

Fight Video: Lappin, Puempel land some good shots in preseason tilt

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Who says players don’t care about preseason hockey?

Matt Puempel and Nick Lappin are trying to earn spots on their respective clubs, so they know they may have to do the little things others aren’t willing to do to stick around in the NHL.

On Wednesday night, that involved dropping the gloves against each other. These two seemed to be in mid-season form when it came to throwing punches.

Neither player is considered a tough guy. Lappin had 17 penalty minutes in 43 games with the Devils last season, while Puempel has 28 penalty minutes in 79 career NHL games.

Here’s the video footage of the scrap:

By the way, the Rangers won 4-3 in overtime.

Kings outlast Canucks in first edition of NHL China Games

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The Los Angeles Kings came away with a 5-2 preseason win over the Vancouver Canucks in the first of the 2017 NHL China Games. This contest took place in lovely Shanghai.

Adrian Kempe got the ball rolling for Kings, as he scored the first goal of the game on the power play to make it 1-0 for his team (top).

Kings forward Tanner Pearson scored a great shorthanded breakaway goal to extend Los Angeles’ lead to 2-0 (check out the Pearson goal by clicking the video below).

The shorthanded goal against wasn’t the only issue the Canucks power play had in this game. Vancouver managed to score once on the man-advantage, but they finished the game 1-for-14 in that department (yes, it’s only a preseason game).

with Vancouver trailing 3-0 in the second period, Sven Baertschi finally got them on the board to cut the Kings lead to 3-1.

Markus Granlund made it 3-2 in the third period, but that’s as close as the Canucks would come to tying the score.

Pearson extended Los Angeles’ lead to 4-2 before Jeff Carter finished off the game with an empty-net goal.

These two teams will meet again in Beijing on Saturday at 3:30 a.m. ET.

Krug to be re-evaluated in three weeks after taking puck to jaw

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Torey Krug‘s 2017 training camp is officially over.

The Bruins defenseman suffered a non-displaced fracture in his jaw after taking a puck to the face in Tuesday’s preseason game against the Red Wings.

General Manager Don Sweeney expects Krug to be re-evaluated in three weeks, which means he could miss Boston’s regular-season opener against Nashville on Oct. 5.

Losing Krug for any regular season games would be huge for the Bruins, as he had eight goals and 51 points in 81 games last season.

In other injury news, the Bruins also announced that forward Matt Beleskey (foot contusion) is day-to-day. He was hurt in Boston’s preseason opener against Montreal on Monday.

Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson (upper body) is also day-to-day. He was injured against the Red Wings, too.

Caps’ Vrana hoping to earn spot with Ovechkin, Kuznetsov

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It looks like the Washington Capitals are going to give Jakub Vrana the opportunity of a lifetime.

Washington has given the young winger a chance to earn a spot on the right side of the top line with Evgeny Kuznetsov and Alex Ovechkin.

On Wednesday night, they got to put the chemistry to the test, as Vrana and the Caps played the Canadiens in Montreal.

Vrana finished the game with a power play goal (an innocent shot that went off Canadiens defenseman Brandon Davidson and in the net). Kuznetsov and Ovechkin registered the assists on the goal and the Caps won 4-2.

“We played fast today,” Vrana said, per the Washington Post. “We had some passes today, some chances. It’s always a good sign when you have chances. … You’re going to be confident when you play with guys like this. You’re just going to be confident on the ice with the puck. Just play fast and build some chemistry there.”

The 21-year-old got his first taste of real NHL action last season, but the production simply wasn’t there (three goals and three assists in 21 games). But the 13th overall pick in the 2014 draft did put up solid numbers in the AHL, as he had 36 points in 49 games last year and 34 points in 36 games with the Hershey Bears two years ago.

“He gets to space,” head coach Barry Trotz said. “He gets on the puck because he moves his legs and his speed is noticeable. Kuzy can get him the puck, and getting down ice, he can put some pressure to create a forecheck, too. He worked hard today, and I think we keep putting him with top players, because we think he’s going to be a top player.”