Darryl Sutter Kings

Darryl Sutter hates not knowing what time Game 5 will start


The uncertainty surrounding Sunday’s Game 5 between the Canucks and Kings is eating away at L.A. head coach Darryl Sutter.

The problem is this: There could be as many as four playoff games on Sunday — Boston-Washington, Pittsburgh-Philadelphia, Nashville-Detroit and Vancouver-L.A. — or as few as two (if the Flyers and Predators close out their series tonight.)

That’s wreaking havoc on NHL schedule-makers, who are forced to take a wait-and-see approach before finalizing Sunday’s start times.

The wait-and-see approach is also wreaking havoc on Sutter. Here’s what he told Rich Hammond of LA Kings Insider:

“It’s only the Stanley Cup playoffs, and it’s only Game 5, but we don’t know what time we’re playing Sunday? We have to travel and set practice plans. I hope it’s not interfering with anything else.

“If you guys find out, tell me. That’s beyond frustrating. I know it’s only a two-hour flight to Vancouver, but say we were going to St. Louis or Detroit, and we still don’t know? And you’re two time zones away? What’s hard about it?

“I understand there’s TV and all that stuff. It does affect. It doesn’t necessarily affect that day, but it certainly affects the team that’s traveling. … I’m going to assume it has something to do with the two Canadian teams, with Ottawa and with the center of the universe [Vancouver] does.

“It’s like getting a horse ready to run on Sunday. He’s got to do things right on Saturday.’’

(Note: Hammond’s original copy says [Vancouver] is the center of the universe, so I left it in considering he procured the quote. That said, everybody knows Canadians call Toronto the center of the universe.)

For the record, Sutter was also choked about having to wait three days between Games 4 and 5 (due to Saturday’s Coldplay concert at Vancouver’s Rogers Arena.)

“I didn’t like having two days between these last two,” he said. “I don’t like having three now. Your series used to be encapsulized and so tight, and staying in the mood.’”

I believe the word Sutter was looking for was “encapsulated.”

/adjusts pocket protector

Report: Sean Avery was arrested last week

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From the Southampton Press:

Sean Avery, the former National Hockey League player, was arrested by Southampton Village Police last week on two criminal charges.

According to authorities, Mr. Avery was arrested September 30 following a routine traffic stop on Jennings Avenue in the village at about 4:09 p.m. He was charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief and two counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, all misdemeanors.

Police said the criminal mischief charge involved an incident the day before, when Mr. Avery allegedly threw objects at passing vehicles.

As for those counts of possession, according to the newspaper, Avery was found to have “two prescription drugs, acetaminophen with oxycodone and roxicodone.”

He was released on $500 bail and ordered to appear in court at a later date.

Did we mention he’s supposed to get married this weekend?

H/t Gawker

Devils send ’15 first-rounder Zacha back to junior

2015 NHL Draft - Round One

Pavel Zacha was this close to making his NHL debut.

Just days prior to opening their season against the Jets, the Devils returned Zacha — the sixth overall pick at this year’s draft — back to his junior club in OHL Sarnia.

The move comes after Zacha, 18, impressed throughout training camp and the preseason. He appeared in four exhibition games for New Jersey, scoring one point while endearing himself to the organizational brass, coaching staff and players.

“He understands the game. He plays with a maturity. It’s crazy to think an 18-year-old coming out of high school is up here and playing with the maturity and understanding of the game with the new system,” Kyle Palmieri told NJ.com. “I think he’s got a lot of raw talent there as a power forward. He’s got the body for it, the puck-handling skills and the nose for the net.”

At 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, Zacha has the frame and physical stature to play at the NHL level, and looked the part for long stretches of the exhibition season, getting turns on New Jersey’s top line.

The decision to send him back to junior is probably the right one, however.

Zacha only turned 18 in April and has limited experience even at the OHL level; ’14-15 was his first year with Sarnia, though he did appear in 38 Czech League games (for Liberec) the season prior.