San Jose Sharks v Los Angeles Kings

Back in silver and black: Kings make Gretzky-like look their official color scheme

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While I wasn’t a fan of the Los Angeles Kings’ purple-tinged color scheme, you have to give it a little bit of credit for being different. The logos and general design were a bit on the bland side, but there aren’t many teams in sports – let alone hockey – that use purple so prominently.

That being said, there should have been little doubt that the franchise was going in a crowd-pleasing direction toward a look that emulates the style of uniforms the team wore when Wayne Gretzky captivated Los Angeles. The team wore those black, white and silver alternate jerseys during their last two playoff runs, which is pretty obvious indication that fans and players alike preferred that design.

Although my preference would be for the team to go the full Gretzky-like distance by using the superior logo from that era, it’s great to hear that the Kings officially announced that those alternate jerseys will be their full-time look. The official team colors will be black, silver and white, the team will wear a new road version of that look for all away games and the team’s old crown “mark” will instead serve as the alternate one – only now it will no longer feature any purple.

The team reports that it won’t alter the look of the alternate-turned-home jerseys, but they provided two examples of what the new road duds will look like.

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Now that you have a feel for what those road jerseys will look like, glance at the team’s two marks.

First, the primary mark:

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Next, here is the primary-turned-alternate mark – the crown without a trace of purple.

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Personally, I like the changes in the grand scheme of things, since it acknowledges the obvious preferences nearly everyone shares. I’d still prefer the Gretzky-era logo over the LA emblem they’re opting to use, but that’s nitpicking more than anything else. Here’s what Luc Robitaille had to say about the changes, via the Kings’ press release.

Said Kings President, Business Operations Luc Robitaille: “There was an overwhelming sentiment from our fans and from our players that has led us to this change.  Our fans really like the late 80s and early 90s era Kings uniforms which are very similar to this uniform.  As a player, the colors give you an attitude and an edge.  Dean Lombardi and I talked a lot about it with the players and they love it.  We feel our fans believe in it as well.”

Kings players will wear the new jerseys in public for the first time during the team’s Hockey Fest event on September 11.

Now that you’ve had some time to look over the road jerseys and decide how you feel about the changes, I thought I’d gauge your feelings about the Kings’ decisions with a poll. Rather than asking if you merely like the changes or not, there’s an added wrinkle: even if you dig the look overall, would you rather see the Gretzky-era emblem on the duds? Here’s a shot of Gretzky in that old look for your own reference.

source: AP

OK, now go ahead and share your thoughts in the poll and comments.

(Gretzky photo via The Associated Press.)

By winning fifth straight, Caps extend Wild’s slump to seven losses

Minnesota Wild’s Jared Spurgeon,right, keeps Washington Capitals’ Alex Ovechkin of Russia occupied near the net in the first period of an NHL hockey game, Thursday, March 19, 2015, in St. Paul, Minn. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
AP
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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) Alex Ovechkin scored three times in the second period for his 14th career hat trick, and the Washington Capitals beat the Minnesota Wild 4-3 on Thursday night.

Ovechkin, who leads the league with 34 goals, has 13 in his past 13 games. Nicklas Backstrom had three assists and Jason Chimera added an empty-netter for Washington, which improved to a league-best 20-5-2 on the road.

Braden Holtby made 33 saves for the Capitals, who won their fifth consecutive game and became the first team to reach 40 victories this season.

Charlie Coyle, Ryan Suter and Mikael Granlund scored for the Wild, but Minnesota lost for the 12th time in its past 13 games (1-10-2). Devan Dubnyk made 29 saves for the Wild, who have lost seven in a row at home (0-4-3).

Ovechkin’s third goal, which deflected off both the post and the back of Dubnyk into the net, was upheld following a coach’s challenge. Wild coach Mike Yeo challenged that the puck had left the zone for offsides, but the call stood after a review showed that Backstrom stopped the puck before it crossed the blue line.

The goal gave Ovechkin his first hat trick since he scored four goals against Tampa Bay on Dec. 10, 2013.

It wasn’t the only fortunate bounce for Ovechkin on the night, and the five-time 50-goal scorer capitalized on each opportunity.

A shot from T.J. Oshie deflected off of Minnesota forward Zach Parise across the ice right to Ovechkin in the left faceoff circle and Ovechkin quickly snapped off a shot to beat Dubnyk, who couldn’t get across the crease to get into position. Three minutes later, Ovechkin scored on the power play when a point shot bounced off the end boards right to Ovechkin in front of the net.

The tally provided some relief for the Capitals’ surprisingly ineffective power play. Washington had one power play in its previous six games, an empty-netter for the only goal in its previous 20 power-play chances. The Capitals were 1 of 5 on the power play on Thursday.

Coyle scored for the fifth time in eight games in the second, but second periods have doomed the Wild during their slump. Minnesota has been outscored 13-3 in the period in five straight losses.

Suter scored his sixth goal of the season on the power play in the third as Minnesota went 1 of 5 with the man advantage.

NOTES: Washington C Evgeny Kuznetsov left in the third period after he was hit in the face by the stick of Mikael Granlund off a faceoff. … Backstrom has 20 points in his last 17 games. … Minnesota D Jared Spurgeon missed his second straight game with an unspecified deep bruise. Spurgeon has returned to practice, but was held out again. … Holtby is 27-1-3 in his last 31 games with two shutouts, a 2.10 goals-against average and .927 save percentage.

Watch the Blackhawks’ Patrick Sharp tribute video

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Over the years, the Chicago Blackhawks have been forced to let some important players leave to keep their core together, which ultimately meant parting ways with Patrick Sharp.

The talented winger now wears a Dallas Stars jersey, so Blackhawks fans must face the reality of watching Sharp ply his trade for a formidable Central Division opponent.

Even if that might feel awkward, Blackhawks fans gave Sharp (and Johnny Oduya) a warm reception in Chicago on Thursday.

CSNChicago.com provides video of that ovation, which you can see in the clip above.

The Stars currently lead the Blackhawks 4-2, thanks in large part to Patrick … Eaves.

Ovechkin’s 14th career hat trick helps him make more history

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Death, taxes and Alex Ovechkin winning the Maurice Richard Trophy.

OK, the third thing on that list isn’t technically inevitable. It just feels that way lately in the NHL.

It’s unclear if the Washington Capitals can hold on against the Minnesota Wild, but we know for certain that Ovechkin already has a hat trick, the 14th of his high-scoring career.

(He also passed Jean Beliveau for 39th all-time in goals with his 509th, as NHL.com notes.)

This propels Ovechkin to the goals lead as of this writing, as he already has 34. As impressive as Patrick Kane has been, No. 8 is heating up, and may just edge No. 88 if Ovechkin can remain healthy.

One has to feel a little sympathy for the struggling Wild. They played well but lost against the Dallas Stars earlier this week and now must deal with Ovechkin and the just-as-hot Capitals.

Update: Minnesota managed three goals, but it wasn’t enough, as Washington got the edge 4-3.

Bylsma believes league will look at Gudas’ hit on Catenacci

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Rugged Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas may get in trouble with the league once again.

At least, it will be that way if Buffalo Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma has his way regarding Gudas’ five-minute charging major hit on Daniel Catenacci.

“I think there’s no question it’s head hit,” Bylsma said, according to the Buffalo News’ John Vogl. ” … I know the league will look at that hit and deal with it.”

As far as the injury portion of possible suspension considerations go:

Marcus Foligno‘s analysis of Gudas was … well just check it out.

The Flyers ended up winning 5-1. Gudas was a busy man overall, racking up 17 penalty minutes.