It might be time to crown the 2012 Los Angeles Kings the best eighth seed in NHL history (but feel free to provide some counterpoints in the comments). If nothing else, they’ve had one of the hottest starts of any team – regardless of seeding – as NBC Sports Network provided an interesting stat. The Kings are now the fifth franchise (and sixth team) to go 11-1 in their first 12 playoff games.
Here’s the list, with an asterisk for the teams/franchise that ended up winning it all.
Montreal Canadiens (1968)*
Montreal Canadiens (1976)*
New York Islanders (1983)
Detroit Red Wings (1995)
Pittsburgh Penguins (2008)
Los Angeles Kings (2012) – TBD
Liam McHugh remarked that “only” those Habs teams ended up winning the Cup, but there are number of factors that make that more reasonable. The most obvious is that the Stanley Cup finals can be a new ballgame altogether; sometimes one conference is notably weaker than the other. The 2008 Penguins are an obvious example. They buzzed through so-so East teams until they ran into a brick wall known as the Detroit Red Wings.
So let me ask: will the Kings become the third team and second franchise to win a Cup after starting 11-1? (Note that they’ll start the next round on the road regardless of which East team advances.)
Bolland back in, Bjugstad out with injury for Panthers
The Los Angeles Kings lost one of their most veteran defensemen on Tuesday, as the club announced Matt Greene would be out indefinitely following shoulder surgery.
Greene, 32, had only appeared in three games this season, missing extensive time with the ailment. He had recently resumed skating with teammates and looked to be on the way back to a return, but never got to the point where he was participating in drills, or taking contact.
If Greene misses extensive time, L.A. could be in the market for a defenseman come trade deadline day, like they were last year before acquiring Andrej Sekera from Carolina. Greene is one of the most playoff-tested players on the L.A. roster, with 79 games and two Stanley Cups on his resume (and another Stanley Cup Final, with Edmonton in 2006).
Looks like the Canucks will have an interesting lineup tonight
But hold on, that doesn’t necessarily mean Pedan will make his NHL debut tonight. This morning, the Canucks announced they’d called up d-man Alex Biega from AHL Utica. Theoretically, inserting Biega could allow the offensively inclined Yannick Weber to move up to forward. Biega and Weber both shoot right. Pedan shoots left.
But wait, there exists another possibility — that both Pedan and Biega could play. That will depend on Chris Tanev‘s status. He got banged up yesterday as well, though he was able to skate this morning.
Weber likely to skate as a forward tonight. Biega may play instead of Pedan. If Tanev can't go, both will play. #Canucks
The Hockey Hall of Fame selection committee added some big names on Tuesday — most notably, a pair of Hockey Hall of Famers.
Ron Francis (inducted in 2007) and Jarri Kurri (2001) have been appointed to the committee, the Hall announced. Longtime hockey scribe and hockey insider Bob McKenzie was also named; together, he and Francis and Kurri will replace an outgoing trio of Lanny McDonald, Mike Emrick and Peter Stastny.
Francis currently serves as the GM in Carolina while Kurri holds the same title with Jokerit of the KHL.
McDonald resigned his spot on the committee to become chairman, while the terms of Stastny and Emrick expired.
The Hall also announced Eric Duhatschek, Michael Farber and Bill Torrey were reappointed to the selection committee for a further three-year term.
The next big meeting for the new members of the selection committee comes in late June, when everyone gathers to consider candidates for the 2016 Hockey Hall of Fame.
The announcement for new inductees will be made on June 27. As we’ve written about in the past, the list of first-time eligible entrants isn’t exactly overwhelming, so this could be the year some “passed over” candidates get in.
Among those in that category? Eric Lindros, Dave Andreychuk, Mark Recchi and Jeremy Roenick, to name a few.