Burish: Kings were ‘slowing down’ during Sharks series


Have two tough series taken their toll on the Kings?

Adam Burish seems to think so.

The San Jose forward told ESPN Chicago Radio on Tuesday that, during the second round, some of the Kings players looked like they were out of gas.

“They had guys as our series went on you could tell they were slowing down,” Burish explained. “I give them credit, they were hanging in there. They were tough.

“But this is the playoffs, this is hard.”

It certainly is.

Los Angeles has recorded 626 hits thus far in the playoffs, over 100 more than the next closest team (Boston, with 512). While hits are often a questionable metric — the criteria for one varies from building to building — it’s a pretty good indicator of how physical the Kings have played over the last 15 games.

Their Round 1 series against St. Louis was dubbed by many as a brutally intense affair (Dustin Penner called it “the most physical series I’ve been a part of,”) and the San Jose series was equally taxing — in Game 4 alone, the two teams combined for a whopping 89 hits.

This style of play has resulted in injuries, something L.A. didn’t encounter much during the 2012 Stanley Cup run.

Jarret Stoll missed almost the entire San Jose series with a concussion, and now leading scorer Mike Richards is on the shelf with a suspected concussion as well.

“The Kings last year, they didn’t have one guy injured the entire playoffs,” Burish explained. “To win you’ve got to have talent and you’ve got to have luck.

“And right now the Hawks look pretty darn good to me.”

Chicago leads the Western Conference finals two games to none. You can catch Game 3 from the Staples Center in Los Angeles tonight on NBCSN.

After lopsided loss, Julien says it’s ‘not about the young D’

Claude Julien

The Boston Bruins’ young, makeshift defense failed to come through Thursday night as the B’s were thumped, 6-2, on home ice by the Winnipeg Jets.

Without injured veterans Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg, the defensive pairings were as follows:

Torey KrugAdam McQuaid
Joe MorrowKevan Miller
Matt IrwinZach Trotman

And let’s just say, turnovers were a factor:

That was Irwin getting checked off the puck there.

“I had the puck behind the net, and I went to one side of the net, and then I just didn’t use the net to my advantage,” he explained afterwards, per CSN New England. “He got his stick in there, obviously stripped me of the puck, and we all know what happened after that. I take full blame for that one.”

But head coach Claude Julien wasn’t willing to blame inexperience for the poor outing.

“It’s not about youth. It’s not about the young D,” said Julien. “It’s about our game without the puck. I think we might have gotten a little excited here about our offense and forgot about the other part of our game.”

And to be fair, even Boston’s more accomplished d-men had their challenging moments.

Here’s Krug failing to get position on Nicolas Petan in front of the Bruins’ net:

All in all, it was a tough night.

“We’ll correct those [mistakes] tomorrow in practice,” said Irwin. “We’re a confident group in here. We liked our offense. We liked the chances we were getting. All those mistakes, D-zone, are something that we’re going to work on and get better every day.”

The Bruins host their rivals from Montreal on Saturday.

Greene named 11th captain in Devils history

Dion Phaneuf; Andy Greene
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Andy Greene has been named Bryce Salvador’s successor as New Jersey’s team captain.

Greene, an undrafted free agent that’s spent his entire nine-year career with the Devils organization, becomes the 11th captain in the franchise’s history and third American to wear the “C” (Zach Parise and Jamie Langenbrunner were the others).

A former standout at Miami of Ohio, Greene — who served as an alternate captain in each of the last two seasons — has developed into a steady, durable blueliner that hasn’t missed a game in three years. He’s also locked into the Devils long term, having signed a five-year, $25 million extension with the club last summer.

That deal kicks in this season, and runs through 2020.

As for the rest of the leadership group, four players will serve as alternate captains this season: Patrik Elias, Travis Zajac, Mike Cammalleri, and Adam Henrique.

Elias and Zajac both wore an “A” in New Jersey last year, while Cammalleri and Henrique are first-timers.