Jonathan Quick,  Martin Jones

Get your game notes: Wild at Kings

9 Comments

Tonight on NBCSN, it’s the Los Angeles Kings hosting the Minnesota Wild starting at 10 p.m. ET. Following are some game notes, as compiled by the NHL on NBC research team:

• The Kings enter tonight’s game on a six-game win streak. With one game to play this month, they have already set club records for most wins (11) and points (22) in the month of March. Leading the way have been the usual (goaltender Jonathan Quick, 9-2-0, 1.89 GAA, .924 save%, one shutout) and somewhat unusual (defenseman Alec Martinez, a team-high six goals) suspects.

• On Mar. 25, the Kings tied a franchise record with eight straight wins away from Staples Center. (They established that mark during the 1974-75 season.) They could set a new mark on Apr. 3 at San Jose.

• Kings winger Marian Gaborik, who has three goals and five assists in 12 games with Los Angeles since his acquisition via trade from Columbus on Mar. 5, is among the Wild’s career leaders in most major offensive categories. Gaborik was the franchise’s all-time leading scorer until Mar. 18, when Wild center and captain Mikko Koivu passed him.

• The Wild’s assists leader (with 38 in 58 games), Koivu enters tonight’s game on a five-game point streak (one goal, six assists). Koivu leads all NHL players in assists (nine in seven games) since March 18. He also has 22 career points (four goals, 18 assists) in 26 games vs. Los Angeles.

• Kings center Anze Kopitar (197 career NHL goals), who led Slovenia to the quarterfinals in the country’s first-ever Olympic men’s hockey tournament last month, needs three goals to become the eighth player in Kings history to score 200 goals for the franchise. L.A. winger and captain Dustin Brown is right behind Kopitar, with 195 goals.

• The Kings have had three different goaltenders post three or more shutouts this season: Quick – 5 (T-2nd in the NHL); Martin Jones and Ben Scrivens (now with Edmonton) – 3 apiece. The only other team in NHL history with three goaltenders with three or more blank sheets in a season was the 2003-04 Calgary Flames: Miikka Kiprusoff – 4; Jamie McLennan (later traded to the N.Y. Rangers) and Roman Turek – 3 apiece. Elias Sports Bureau

• In five starts (six appearances) with the Wild this season, goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov is 3-0-2 with a 1.94 GAA, .921 save% and one shutout. Bryzgalov is the fourth goalie to earn a win with the Wild this season, following Josh Harding, Niklas Backstrom and Darcy Kuemper. Since Jan. 27, he has not lost a game in regulation, going 5-0-4 with Edmonton and Minnesota. The Russian netminder has 14 career wins vs. Los Angeles, more than vs. any other NHL team (14-7-4, 2.32 GAA, .919 save%, two shutouts).

• Wild defenseman Ryan Suter has played more than 30 minutes in 35 of his team’s 74 games this season. The only other NHL players who have played more than 30 minutes in more than 10 games are Florida’s Brian Campbell (14 games) and Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson (11 games).

• Four of the last six meetings between the Wild and Kings have gone to a shootout. Minnesota won three of those shootouts, including the most recent one, on Jan. 7 at Staples Center.

Senators focus on MacArthur’s safety

EDMONTON, AB - NOVEMBER 13: Clarke MacArthur #16 of the Ottawa Senators in action against the Edmonton Oilers during an NHL game at Rexall Place on November 13, 2014 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)
Getty
Leave a comment

The Ottawa Senators were already trying to take a relatively safe approach with Clarke MacArthur, yet he suffered a concussion thanks to a Patrick Sieloff hit during a scrimmage.

It’s too early to say that MacArthur will be forced to retire after this latest injury. At the moment, the Senators were merely happy to see him at the rink receiving treatment, as Guy Boucher told reporters.

“At this point in time, it’s not about Clarke MacArthur the hockey player. It’s about Clarke MacArthur the person,” Mark Borowiecki said, according to the Ottawa Citizen’s Ken Warren.

It’s a thought echoed by Senators GM Pierre Dorion shortly after the check, noting that they’re most focused on MacArthur as a “human being.”

Many wonder if Sieloff will face repercussions – perhaps even being released – for delivering such a hit during a scrimmage, especially after just being acquired.

So far, it sounds like he isn’t getting much heat, at least beyond the initial reaction of players getting physical with him right after the check. Boucher said “we’re not pointing fingers at the young kid right now,” according to Warren.

Here’s video of that hit, by way of Silver Seven Sens:

Twitter has field day with Oilers’ dead-eyed mascot

1 Comment

The Edmonton Oilers started a Photoshopping frenzy on Monday by unleashing their bizarre, dead-eyed mascot “Hunter” onto the Internet.

Give the team credit; the road to this mascot was paved with good intentions. Apparently thousands of Edmonton-area students aided in choosing “Hunter,” who is a tribute to the team’s original owner.

Here’s the introductory Tweet itself. Feel free to insert your own screaming noises.

Let’s bypass the Oilers’ more mundane release for a “bio” written in character by the, erm, “Canadian lynx” itself. Here’s a choice bit:

Like my lynx family and friends, I only come out at night to hunt, and on one of those nights I actually came across a bunch of kids playing hockey on an outdoor rink. One look at the game and I was hooked. The speed, the skill, the fun! I began climbing up the banks of the River Valley every night during the winter, catching shinny games with everyone wearing their Edmonton Oilers jerseys, both old and new! It didn’t take me long to become a hard core Oilers fan.

O…K.

Honestly, there are a lot of elements to unpack here. We almost don’t need people to bat this one around on social media, but then again, Hunter inspires references from “Too Many Cooks” to “Thundercats” and more.

Let’s gather some of the best bits.

Futility references

Hey, did you hear that the Oilers struggle to compete? The Internet sure did.

They sure did.

Pop culture references

More than one Thundercats reference.

Warning, if you’ve never watched “Too Many Cooks,” you might not want to go down that rabbit hole. (Either that, or you’ll feel like you REALLY missed out … there’s not a lot of room in between.)

Creepiness

Sensibly enough, most people hit the highest notes about how specifically terrifying that mascot is. Some of these mix in pop culture references too, but still:

All in all, it was quite a good time, right?

/Plans on sleeping with every light on.

Report: Gaborik (foot) to miss eight weeks

TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 17: Marian Gaborik #12 of Team Europe celebrates his first period goal against Team USA during the World Cup of Hockey tournament at the Air Canada Centre on September 17, 2016 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Getty
3 Comments

Update: Yikes, the Los Angeles Kings announced that Marian Gaborik will be sidelined for eight weeks with a foot injury, according to the Los Angeles Times’ Helene Elliott.

***

Some bad news for Team Europe and the Los Angeles Kings — Marian Gaborik, who was seen this morning on crutches, is reportedly out of the World Cup of Hockey final and may miss the beginning of the NHL campaign as well.

The news, first reported by Sportsnet, comes after Gaborik played 17:58 in Europe’s shock semifinal win over Sweden, scoring his team’s opening goal.

Gaborik took a puck to the foot during the second period, yet managed to finish the game.

The veteran Slovak had enjoyed a good tournament prior to getting hurt, scoring a pair of goals while getting healthy doses of ice time, including nearly 19 in a win over the Czechs in the group stage.

With Gaborik out, Mikkel Boedker will (presumably) make his tournament debut. Boedker has been a healthy scratch for the Europeans thus far, though it’s possible he could continue to sit if head coach Ralph Krueger elects to dress seven defensemen — Luca Sbisa would get the call — rather than plug in another forward.

As for the ramifications for L.A… well, this could be tough. Gaborik, signed through 2021 at $4.875M per, only scored 12 goals and 22 points in 54 games last season — missing extensive time with a lingering knee injury — and the Kings were hopeful he was in line for a bounce-back campaign, especially given how good he looked at the World Cup.

Sportsnet reports Gaborik is headed back to Los Angeles today.

‘Never say never,’ but Krueger’s commitment is to Southampton, not to making an NHL return

Southampton v Bayer Leverkusen - Pre Season Friendly
Getty
Leave a comment

Ralph Krueger spent one lockout-shortened season in charge of the Edmonton Oilers, before he was unceremoniously fired (via Skype) to make way for the hiring of Dallas Eakins.

But Krueger’s success at the World Cup, leading Team Europe into the best-of-three final against Team Canada, has a lot of people wondering if he might one day make an NHL return.

Krueger’s current full-time job is a big one — he’s chairman of Southampton Football Club in the English Premier League.

Suffice to say, it’s not a job one just leaves for anything.

“I came in here committed completely to Southampton Football Club and the future of that organization in my role,” Krueger said Sunday. “You can never say never, but at the moment I’m very proud to be back in hockey at this level and to be competing. We are just having so much fun in our room, the coaches, the players, the whole group is enjoying it, and I am, too. But my real life is my commitment to Southampton Football Club at the moment.”

Kreuger repeated his “never say never” line today, so it sounds like he’s at least open to the possibility. However, he insisted that he didn’t take the World Cup job with the goal of getting another job in hockey.

Related: Southampton smokes West Ham in London