The Los Angeles Kings still have two chances to win their first Stanley Cup in franchise history. A loss Monday night at the Staples Center doesn’t mean they’re doomed to blow this.
Although if they did, they’d sure be blowing it in spectacular fashion. Up 3-0 and lose in seven? In the finals? That’s a collapse for the ages right there.
So what do you say, coach – are you feeling the pressure to win Monday and avoid a trip back to Newark?
“No,” Darryl Sutter told reporters after his team dropped Game 5. “I still think we’ll digest tonight and travel, and expect it to be another game like tonight.
“You know, we’re probably saying what they said Games 1 and 2, where we got breaks and now they did. That’s how even it is. We hit a couple posts again tonight, and you hope one goes off the post and in.”
And he’s absolutely right – in a tight series like this one, a single bounce or deflection can make all the difference.
But that didn’t stop a follow-up question on the topic.
“I’d say I’m not sure what you mean there,” an annoyed Sutter said when asked where he thought the pressure was. “Are you cheering for the Devils or for the Kings? So you’re cheering for the Devils.
“I’m going to say the pressure’s on them because they’re the home team and they had a hundred-some points, okay?”
Hey, you’ll forgive the man for being a little short with the media. He’s under a lot of pressure.
PHT Morning Skate: 3 coaches that are on the hot seat going into 2017-18
–The Hockey News continues their “2020 Vision” series with the Boston Bruins. Thanks to a number of good drafts over the last few years, Boston’s future looks pretty good. They have a number of quality defensemen in their system, which should help get them back into the postseason sooner than later. (The Hockey News)
–It was five years ago this week that Shea Weber signed that huge offer sheet with the Philadelphia Flyers. The Puck Daddy Blog looks at the fallout from that signing five years later. If Nashville doesn’t match the offer, there’s probably no P.K. Subban in Smashville, maybe Peter Laviolette keeps his job in Philadelphia, and maybe the Flyers don’t miss the playoffs as often. (Puck Daddy)
–TSN’s Scott Cullen breaks down NHL goalies in his latest “Statistically Speaking” article. The way he ranks them is by finding out what their expected goals against will be minus the goals they actually give up. No surprise, Carey Price finds himself at the top of the list (minimum 50 games played). Matt Murray, Philipp Grubauer and Andrew Hammond also find themselves in Cullen’s top 10. (TSN.ca)
–Every year, there’s at least a few coaches who get fired during the season. Last season, names like Jack Capuano, Gerard Gallant and Michel Therrien found themselves on the unemployment line. It’ll be interesting to see who gets their walking papers in 2017-18. The Score believes that Winnipeg’s Paul Marice is one of three coaches that will go into next season on the hot seat. (The Score)
–Ryan Poehling was Montreal’s first round pick in the 2017 draft, and he couldn’t have been more excited to land there. The St. Cloud State product was in awe as soon as he stepped foot in Montreal for the first time. The fact that he’s playing in such a passionate hockey city isn’t bad either. “(The fans) all just go crazy and I haven’t even played here, so it’s special. I just got drafted by them and they’re just crazy about me, so I think that’s pretty cool, how I haven’t even proven anything and they still love me.” (NHL.com)
—Dominic Moore hosted the sixth annual Smashfest, which is a ping-pong tournament where fans and NHLers come together for all the bragging rights. For the third time in the tournament’s existence, Ducks forward Patrick Eaves came away the winner:
It’s easy to see why Chicago Blackhawks fans are excited about Alex DeBrincat.
The undersized forward already seemed like a potential steal when the Blackhawks drafted him in the second round (39th overall) back in 2016, as he was coming off consecutive 100-point seasons in the OHL. DeBrincat topped that in 2016-17, scoring more than a goal per game (65 in 63) and finishing with a ridiculous 127 points.
Honestly, that last paragraph might leave some Blackhawks fans twitching with excitement.
Then again, for a smaller forward whose numbers sometimes get disregarded or downplayed because of his stature, DeBrincat’s probably used to overcoming odds. If nothing else, the Blackhawks seem willing to go the extra mile if it gives them a better chance to compete.
Even so, Blackhawks fans would probably be wise not to pencil him into the 2017-18 lineup just yet.
Katie Bieksa enlists husband Kevin, other Ducks to promote book (shirtless)
Katie Bieksa, wife of Anaheim Ducks defenseman Kevin Bieksa, found herself in a bind after he was traded from the Vancouver Canucks. With extenuating circumstances keeping her from working normally, she wrote a novel … and decided to promote it in a brilliant way.
AJ Manderichio of the Ducks website provided an in-depth look at Katie Bieksa’s experience writing “Newport Jane,” which Bieksa compares – in some ways – to “Desperate Housewives.”
“These guys are looking for opportunities to show off their summer bodies. They were volunteering, and that’s where the idea came from,” Katie says. “There was someone – it may have been Kevin – who said ‘I am NOT going to take a picture with your book,’ and I said ‘Oh yes you are.’
“When he said he would do it, the rest of the guys did. They’ve all been so supportive, and that’s such a nice feeling. It is a community, and you do depend on each other. It’s so nice to have that support, bear down and take the picture.”
Kevin’s caption really sold it “Yes this is how I usually read.”
From the outside, Ellen has it all: a glamorous new life in a sun-soaked city more like a movie set than the small Northern town where she grew up, and her very own McDreamy. But being married to a gorgeous, brilliant cardiac surgeon also means standing in his shadow, putting aside her dreams to follow his—and having way too much time home alone to think about how much she’s given up to follow him to California.
Don’t worry, there probably won’t be a spin-off involving shirtless blogging.
Hathaway, 25, earned some reps on the team despite being undrafted.
Here’s how his NHL work looks so far:
2015-16: three assists, 31 PIM in 14 games played.
2016-17: one goal, four assists, 44 PIM in 26 GP.
If the penalty minutes didn’t make it obvious, Hathaway is the “rugged” type. He’s already provided some snarly action shots against the Flames’ rivals, as you can see below and in this post’s main image.
He clearly makes friends quickly.
The Flames celebrated his first – and so far only – NHL goal after the signing.