Dustin Penner 3

Dustin Penner likes the Phoenix-LA series because it gets him off the Ambien

1 Comment

Much has been made of the minimal travel Phoenix and Los Angeles will undergo in the Western Conference finals.

With just an hour-long flight separating the two cities, both the Kings and Coyotes players seem pleased avoiding situations like the 2010 final (Chicago vs. San Jose, 1835 miles apart) and 2007 (Anaheim vs. Detroit, 1968 miles apart.)

One player that’s really pleased? Kings forward Dustin Penner.

“It’s a nice change to stay close to home,” Penner told the LA Times. “You don’t have to take Ambien to get down. You can enjoy a natural sleep.”

(Tiger Woods says: “You should take it anyway!”)

Penner was part of that 2007 Ducks team that made two cross-country flights to the Motor City. As such, he’s gained a newfound appreciation for short travel and developed a bit of jealousy towards Eastern Conference teams.

“I don’t think the East teams know how lucky they are sometimes, staying in their own time zone,” Penner said. “One-hour flights are usually the max. They can even go by train.”

Or in the case of the Devils and Rangers, ferry.

Senators select Kyle Turris as alternate captain

Chris Neil Kyle Turris Dustin Tokarski
Leave a comment

Kyle Turris is gearing up for his fifth season with the Ottawa Senators, but this campaign will be a little different.

Ottawa announced that Turris will be joining Chris Neil as one of the team’s alternate captains. Turris is assuming that role from Chris Phillips as the 37-year-old defenseman remains out indefinitely due to a back injury.

Since being acquired from the then Phoenix Coyotes in 2011, Turris has established himself as one of Ottawa’s top forwards. He tied for second in the team’s scoring race last season with 64 points in 82 contests and gelled with rookie linemate Mark Stone.

With the Senators favoring a youth movement, Turris actually stands out as one of the Senators’ more experienced players at the age of 26. He’s also set to play a big role with the Senators for years to come as he’s locked to an affordable $3.5 million annual cap hit through 2017-18.

Meanwhile defenseman Erik Karlsson is getting ready for his second season as the team’s captain.

Another Sabre hurt: Gionta (lower body) day-to-day

Leave a comment

On the eve of their season opener, the Buffalo Sabres got another bit of bad health news.

Captain Brian Gionta missed practice and is day-to-day with a lower-body injury, per head coach Dan Bylsma. The ailment puts the 36-year-old’s availability for Thursday’s game against Ottawa in jeopardy.

The ailment also puts Gionta alongside a slew of hurting Sabres. Defensemen Zach Bogosian and Josh Gorges were on the injured list when Buffalo’ roster was released this morning, along with rookie Brendan Guhle and veteran Cody McCormick.

There is a bright light for Buffalo, however.

Gorges skated on Wednesday and could possibly dress tomorrow, per Bylsma. If he does play, it’ll likely be on a pairing with Rasmus Ristolainen.