Kings aren’t afraid of long breaks

When you win 12 of 14 playoff games, long breaks between series become the norm. We often think of that time off as a potential double-edged sword.

On the one hand, it gives players extra time to recover from injuries and reduces the chance that someone is going to get worn down from the postseason grind. However, those long breaks can also disrupt your rhythm and make your team rusty.

It becomes a point of concern for fans, but it’s not something the Kings see as a bad thing.

“It’s something we have dealt with before,” Penner said. “We’re not worried about the break. Rest isn’t the enemy. We’ve got a lot of time to go over game tape and watch the other teams play live now. … I think everybody is going to take the opportunity to watch and see who we could potentially play. We’ll take the rest now.”

Kings coach Darryl Sutter added that this break is different from the first two the Kings had because they know how long it’ll last and they know their opponent will be one of only two options.

“It’s nice. It’s really nice,” Willie Mitchell chimed in regarding the Kings’ long break. “Obviously the wear and tear of competing at this time of year, it’s another level. You guys see that. The checks that are made, the checks you’ve got to take, and just the games are at such a high level. It’s big. It allows the aches and pains we have, and the nicks, for a little more time to rest and kind of go into the series being healthy.”

This Stanley Cup Finals will be a case for the pros and cons of long series vs long breaks. The Kings needed only 14 games to get to the Finals, but the New Jersey Devils will need at least 18 contests and the New York Rangers would require a staggering 21 games to meet the Kings.

GM says Blue Jackets are ‘off the rails’ right now

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On Monday, PHT discussed the Columbus Blue Jackets’ troubling start, even if it felt like it may be too early to raise concerns.

Apparently Blue Jackets management is a little shaken by the second 0-3-0 start in franchise history, however.

Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen shared his shock and dismay with the Columbus Post-Dispatch on Tuesday.

“I’m surprised how, in just five days, we’ve gone from a very confident group to something that’s the opposite of that,” Kekalainen told The Dispatch on Tuesday. “Our confidence, our game … it’s off the rails right now.

Maybe losing to the Buffalo Sabres stings a little bit extra?

Kekalainen said “there’s no excuse for how we played in Buffalo,” pointing out that every team in the NHL is a “good team.”

Indeed, just about every squad boasts some dangerous weapons if they catch an opponent sleeping.

The Post-Dispatch goes deeper on Columbus’ recent history of stumbling out of the gate, but consider the foreboding stretch coming up.

Next four games: Three out of four at home
Eight games following that: Seven out of eight on the road.

As you can see, winter is coming for Columbus, so they best get things together. All things considered, this is the right time for a wake-up call.

For bonus chuckles, here’s a photo of Kekalainen on a railing.

via AP

Personal reasons: No Ovechkin for Caps tonight

Alex Ovechkin
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Alex Ovechkin won’t play for the Washington Capitals on Tuesday because of personal reasons, the team confirmed.

He entered the building considerably later than usual, but his presence at least opened the door for the possibility of No. 8 suiting up against the San Jose Sharks.

Instead, the Capitals will face the hot-starting Sharks without Ovechkin (personal reasons) and Nicklas Backstrom (injury).

That’s a tall order, yet it’s also an opportunity for Barry Trotz to prove his system is a difference-maker … and that the Capitals have the young players to take up the mantle when the big stars are out

This is how Washington’s forward lines may look tonight:

No, the Capitals have not shared details regarding what his “personal reasons” might be, by the way.