Bring on the blowouts? Doughty says goal differential ‘huge’ at Olympics


Opening-round blowouts at the Olympics can be embarrassing for the team on the losing end but, as Canada’s Drew Doughty points out, they could be vitally important in the long run.

“I don’t think you ever want to take your foot off the gas regardless of the rules,” Doughty said, per the Olympic News Service. “We don’t ever want to embarrass teams if we have the opportunity to do that, but at the same time goal differential is huge.”

Doughty’s right that goal differential is a big deal. At the end of the preliminary round, all 12 teams are ranked to determine which eight go to the qualification playoffs, and which four get automatic quarterfinal berths.

Rankings are determined by 1) highest position in respective group; 2) highest number of points, 3) better goal difference, 4) high number of goals scored for, 5) 2013 IIHF World Ranking.

At the 2010 games in Vancouver, Finland and the Czech Republic finished the preliminary stage second in their respective groups, each with six points. That meant the deciding factor came to goal difference, and Finland — thanks in large part to 5-1 and 5-0 blowouts over Belarus and Germany — had the better differential, meaning it got the fourth-place ranking and a quarterfinal berth.

The Czechs, meanwhile, had to go through the qualification round and barely squeaked by Latvia in OT.

As such, Doughty re-iterated the importance of scoring goals in the preliminary round, and conceding as few as possible.

“We need to put pucks in the net and we have to keep them out of ours,” he said. “We’re not going to take our foot off the pedal. We’re just going  to keep going. We don’t want to develop bad habits.”

Kings’ AHL affiliate gives Emery PTO

Ray Emery
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Ray Emery has agreed to join the Ontario Reign on a professional tryout, according to a team release.

The Reign are the minor league affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings.

Emery attended Tampa Bay’s training camp on a PTO, but he was released after the team claimed Kevin Poulin on waivers from the Islanders.

The 33-year-old had a 10-11-7 record with a 3.06 goals-against-average and a .894 save percentage in 31 games with the Flyers last season.

Even with starter Jonathan Quick struggling, it’s hard to envision this move leading to a return to the NHL for Emery.

The Kings have Quick and Jhonas Enroth with the big club, while veteran Peter Budaj was signed to a two-way contract on Friday.

Goalie nods: Reimer makes first start of the season

James Reimer
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James Reimer will get his first start of the 2015-16 season on Saturday night against Ottawa.

Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock made it clear from the beginning that Jonathan Bernier was going to start on Wednesday against Montreal and Friday in Detroit, while Reimer would get in against the Sens.

“I’ve known this for a long time that (Bernier is) starting and he’s starting on Wednesday and he’s starting on Friday. Reims is starting on Saturday,” Babcock said before the season began.

Things haven’t gone according to plan for Toronto through two games.

Not only have they lost both contests, but Bernier was pulled in yesterday’s 4-0 loss to the Red Wings, and the team has scored only one goal this season.

Reimer, who stopped 12 of 13 shots in just under 40 minutes of action against Detroit, will go up against Craig Anderson.


Cam Talbot will try to get his first win as an Oiler as they travel to Nashville to take on the Predators. Pekka Rinne will start for the Predators.

Carey Price and Tuukka Rask will face-off when the Canadiens and Bruins renew hostilities at the TD Garden in Boston.

Petr Mrazek will be between the pipes when the Red Wings take on the ‘Canes in Carolina. Cam Ward gets the nod for the Hurricanes.

Keith Kinkaid for the Devils. Braden Holtby makes his first start of the year in the Capitals’ season opener.

Steve Mason for the Flyers. Roberto Luongo for the Panthers in their opener.

-Columbus hasn’t confirmed who their starter will be in the back half of their home-and-home with the Rangers. Henrik Lundqvist will start for New York.

Jake Allen makes his first start of the regular season for St. Louis. Devan Dubnyk for the Wild.

-The Islanders have yet to confirm their starter for tonight’s game in Chicago. Scott Darling for the ‘Hawks after Corey Crawford helped spoil the party in Brooklyn yesterday.

Antti Niemi gets the call for Dallas after he blanked the Penguins in his first start. Semyon Varlamov for Colorado.

Jonas Hiller for Calgary. Ryan Miller for the Canucks.

-The Penguins haven’t confirmed who their starter will be in Arizona tonight. Mike Smith will likely play in back-to-back games after beating the Kings on Friday.

-The Ducks have yet to confirm their starter. Martin Jones will start for San Jose.