Simon Gagne's no longer in LA Kings' sights

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simongagne2.jpgIt already appears that the Los Angeles Kings fell out of the Ilya Kovalchuk sweepstakes, but now it seems that they won’t be trading for Simon Gagne either. Rich Hammond provides the report.

Incidentally, something I neglected to mention in the previous post is that according to a team source, the Kings no longer consider themselves in the market for Philadelphia’s Simon Gagne. So everything is right…back…to…square one.

So, what’s next for the Kings, then?

My guess is that the second best forward out there is Alex Frolov, but he’s unlikely to sign with his former team after some tense moments during the 2009-10 season. Perhaps the Kings will opt to go with an under-the-radar type guy, instead. There’s also the option of accepting a salary dump (if those Devils rumors are true, the Kings might event want to poach a Patrik Elias-type player).

Honestly, I think this might prove to be a blessing in disguise for the Kings. GM Dean Lombardi is calmly and carefully arranging a team that is well-stocked with decent contracts (aside from some slightly overpriced deals for Anze Kopitar and Ryan Smyth) and young talent. Sports fans are often seduced by the dream of landing big free agents but think back through the years; how many big deals actually benefited the teams who signed those contracts? Just look at the Jay Bouwmeester deal, the Albert Haynesworth debacle in the NFL and countless other splashy disappointments.

I’m not saying Kovalchuk will fail to play up to the level of his contract, just that the Kings might be wise to focus their sights on re-signing Drew Doughty and building up incrementally. It might not be the sexiest, splashiest way to build a winning hockey team, but the right move isn’t always the flashiest move.

Brad Marchand wins it … on a penalty shot … in overtime

Boston Bruins' Brad Marchand celebrates after scoring on a penalty shot during the overtime period of the Boston Bruins 2-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres in an NHL hockey game in Boston Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
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Looking at the standings, beating the Buffalo Sabres was pretty important for the Boston Bruins. The Atlantic Division’s run for spots appears particularly congested out East.

Of all the Bruins to get a chance to win it all, the team might have wanted Brad Marchand to have that opportunity. He’s on pace to destroy his previous career-highs for scoring, and Marchand’s been particularly hot lately.

Either way, Marchand came up big indeed, scoring the rare overtime game-winner on a penalty shot. Check out the drama below:

That can be a big extra point and ROW (regulation/overtime win) when the regular season is finished.

Note: Many believe that Marchand should not have received a penalty shot on the play.

Crosby kills the Cats: Penguins end Panthers’ winning streak

Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby (87) collides with Florida Panthers' Connor Brickley (86) during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Pittsburgh, Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
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For quite some time, it looked like the Florida Panthers would keep the Pittsburgh Penguins under wraps.

Florida nursed a 1-0 lead into a 2-0 margin almost halfway through the third period, looking to win its sixth consecutive game. That looked great … and then Sidney Crosby + Kris Letang happened.

Let’s put it this way: this GIF of Crosby being frustrated is amusing, yet it doesn’t exactly tell the story of Saturday’s 3-2 overtime win for the Penguins:

Instead, Crosby grabbed his 900th point assisting on a Letang goal, and finished the night with 902 by collecting the game-tying goal and grabbing a helper on Letang’s overtime game-winner.

Crosby crossing that barrier is indeed special, even if it prompts “What if?” questions about No. 87’s health.

The resurgence of Crosby and Letang already played a big role in the Penguins going from disjointed and frustrating to sneaky and scary, so it  shouldn’t be that surprising to see them play so well. Doing so in such brisk order is a little bewildering, however.

Video: Mika Zibanejad’s check to Tyler Bozak’s head

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Saturday’s been unkind to the Toronto Maple Leafs, and not just on the scoreboard (where it’s 3-0 early on against the Ottawa Senators).

The Maple Leafs lost Tyler Bozak to an apparent upper-body injury thanks to a questionable hit by Sens forward Mika Zibanejad.

You can judge that check (which drew a minor penalty for illegal check to the head) in the video above. Again, Bozak will not return to tonight’s game.

It’s unclear if Bozak will miss time beyond this contest.

Update: It didn’t get much better going forward; the Senators beat the Maple Leafs 6-1.

Malcolm Subban hospitalized after taking puck to throat

Malcolm Subban
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Scary stuff on Saturday: multiple reporters (including the Maine Hockey Journal’s Chris Roy) note that Malcolm Subban was taken to a hospital after a puck struck his throat during warm-ups.

There’s no word yet on Subban’s condition beyond that he was taken away in an ambulance.

The AHL’s Providence Bruins seem like they’ve been left scrambling for a backup goalie in Subban’s absence.

Subban stated days ago that he’s taken some significant steps forward during the 2015-16 season.

Update: This seems fairly positive.