It’s been more than six months since the Los Angeles Kings won their first Stanley Cup in franchise history, momentarily becoming the biggest sports story in a city with a lot of sports stories to choose from.
But hockey isn’t the hot topic anymore in L.A. That would be the slumping Lakers. Or maybe the streaking Clippers. Or perhaps it’s the Angels, who just signed Josh Hamilton.
Definitely not hockey though.
Naturally, Kings captain Dustin Brown is worried the NHL may be blowing a great opportunity.
“At the end of the day, it’s unfortunate timing for a lockout,” Brown told ESPN.com. “I mean, lockouts are always unfortunate but, considering our market in California, it’s really hard to get momentum. And to lose that momentum due to a lockout is frustrating.”
Nobody can say for certain how the lockout will affect business in markets where hockey isn’t No. 1 (or even No. 5 or No. 6). If the season can be saved, the damage may be minimal.
A reminder: this time around the lottery will determine the top three picks. The NHL discusses that tweak and other changes here:
For the first time, the 2016 NHL Draft Lottery will assign the top three slots in the first round of the NHL Draft – a change from prior years, when the Draft Lottery was used to determine the winner of the first overall selection exclusively.
But that all changed in the final period. It started with Tomas Hertl on the power play finding room just under the glove of Rinne to get San Jose on the board. Joel Ward followed that up with a gorgeous deke, tucking the puck in behind Rinne just as he started to go behind the net, as San Jose was able to take advantage of a defensive breakdown.
Logan Couture added the eventual winner. Within the span of 13 minutes, the Sharks had completely taken over, cashing in on two Nashville penalties and a defensive lapse.
When the onslaught was over, the Sharks skated off with a 5-2 win in Game 1 of this second-round series with the Predators, who only wrapped up a seven-game series win over Anaheim on Wednesday.
Ryan Johansen made it interesting, cutting into San Jose’s lead with under two minutes remaining, but any further comeback attempt was quickly halted by a pair of empty net goals from the Sharks.
The game ended with a dust-up along the boards, before cooler heads did prevail.
Another North Dakota junior goes pro as Blackhawks sign Luke Johnson
Brock Boeser, Vancouver’s 2015 first-round pick and coming off an impressive freshman year, will return to North Dakota for his sophomore year, as per Canucks general manager Jim Benning earlier this month.