It’s been a long, long time since the Los Angeles Kings franchise has been this close to that elusive first Stanley Cup victory. That doesn’t mean that the roster is devoid of players who’ve “been there” before, though.
Helene Elliott points out that four (or at least three-and-a-half) Kings players have been a part of a Stanley Cup-winning run before: Rob Scuderi, Justin Williams, Dustin Penner and Colin Fraser. (Fraser is the “half” since he only played three games for the 2010 Chicago Blackhawks.)
Williams was a big part of the Carolina Hurricanes’ surprise 2006 run (along with Phoenix Coyotes scorer Ray Whitney) and had this to say about the Kings.
“I think we have all those factors right now that every championship team needs,” Williams said. “In saying that, we’ve won two rounds. There [will be] four teams left … and we want to be the last one standing.”
Rob Scuderi combined with Hal Gill to be a solid shutdown duo for the Pittsburgh Penguins’ 2009 Stanley Cup run and advised his teammates to embrace the situation for what it should be: fun.
“It’s OK to be excited,” Scuderi said. “It’s OK to have fun with it. But you have to realize that it’s not our end goal.”
The Kings are eight wins away from the real fun and that end goal, then.
Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.
We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.
It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”
Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)
Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.
So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”
… You get the idea.
The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.
The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.