It was a redemptive performance for Sea Dogs goalie Jacob DeSerres, who gave up nine goals in last year’s Memorial Cup final against the Taylor Hall and Cam Fowler-fueled Windsor Spitfires as a member of the Brandon Wheat Kings. This time around he only yielded a goal against Riley Brace, making 34 saves tonight.
The Memorial Cup is often an opportunity for future NHL prospects to improve their draft outlook at least a little bit or make the teams who already drafted them drool that much more. The Goalie Guild points out that while the Philadelphia Flyers drafted DeSerres, they did not end up signing him so he is an unrestricted free agent.
Speaking of players improving their stock, Damien Cox wrote that Sea Dogs forward Jonathan Huberdeau was making his way into the conversation to be the top pick of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft with prospects such as Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Gabriel Landeskog and Adam Larsson going into this game. Huberdeau didn’t disappoint in tonight’s final game, scoring a 3-1 insurance goal thanks to a pass by Zack Phillips. NHL.com points out that Huberdeau is ranked third and Phillips (who also scored a goal) is the 15th-ranked prospect among North American skaters according to the league’s Central Scouting.
Defenseman Simon Despres was Saint John’s other goal scorer. He was the 30th overall pick of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft by the Pittsburgh Penguins.
This 2011 Memorial Cup win was also a redemptive experience for former Columbus Blue Jackets and current Sea Dogs coach Gerard Gallant. Meanwhile, it’s another bitter big-game defeat for Mississauga coach Dave Cameron, who coached the Canadian World Junior team that lost to those crazy drunken Russians and lost the OHL championship to the Owen Sound to boot.
Milbury, Jones: Tkachuk walked the walk; Kings’ response was embarrassing
The Los Angeles Kings got revenge on Matthew Tkachuk and the Calgary Flames on the scoreboard on Wednesday. But was that 4-1 win enough?
Mike Milbury and Keith Jones provided a lengthy “overtime” segment on NBCSN that brought about some really fascinating takes on the situation between Tkachuk and the Flames versus Drew Doughty and the Los Angeles Kings.
Watch the full video above, as it’s worth your time.
A few interesting lines if you’re (tsk tsk) skipping it:
Milbury: Believes that Doughty didn’t “do enough,” noting that star players sometimes have to stick up for themselves. On the other hand, Tkachuk showed that he can “walk the walk.”
He also gave the Kings a “C-, D+ if not worse” for their overall response. “Fight your own battles,” Milbury said of Doughty.
Jones disagreed to some extent, believing that Kings teammates won’t look at Doughty differently. But Jake Muzzin? He believes that Muzzin’s frequent defensive partner (at least over the years, maybe not this season) backing down from a fight was an embarrassment.
"I don't think the Kings look at Doughty differently…Muzzin to back down from that fight on 1st shift is an embarrassment." – Keith Jones https://t.co/KI9dx8Rirx
For what it’s worth, Drew Doughty has one career fight (against Joe Thornton [!] in 2011-2) while Jake Muzzin’s lone bout came against Andrew Desjardins in 2012-13, according to Hockey Fights. Does that mean they shouldn’t have dropped the gloves on Wednesday? Milbury and Jones seem to believe that they should have answered the bell.
Deep down, the Los Angeles Kings probably realize that their season will end on game 82. Still, they kept their slim playoff hopes alive on Wednesday night … and managed to spite a team they’re growing to hate.
OK, maybe the hate is almost totally focused upon Matthew Tkachuk, yet the disdain for that talented-but-tormenting rookie was palpable.
It didn’t feel like the Kings exacted physical revenge on Tkachuk, but beating his team 4-1 ranked as classic scoreboard vengeance. With that, the Calgary Flames (and by extension the St. Louis Blues) will need to wait to clinch a playoff berth.
Now, as much as tonight was about Tkachuk, the focus was also on a pugnacious player who once dazzled for the Flames: Jarome Iginla.
In what might be Iginla’s final visit to Calgary – at least as an active NHL player – he was one of the best players on the ice. His fitting curtain call included a “Gordie Howe hat trick” with a spirited fight, an assist and a goal.
It’s official: the NHL will hold preseason games in China before next season.
The league made the announcement on Wednesday night: the Los Angeles Kings and Vancouver Canucks will play two exhibitions: one on Sept. 21 (Shanghai) and Sept. 23 (Beijing). How cool is that?
“It is a privilege and an honor for the L.A. Kings to represent the National Hockey League in China as part of these two games against the Vancouver Canucks,” Kings president Luc Robitaille said. “Growing the game of hockey is something we take great pride in and it is a big priority for our hockey club and AEG as a whole. This will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for our players and our staff, and we are looking forward to the games taking place in two tremendous facilities in two remarkable cities.”