It’s obvious the San Jose Sharks and L.A. Kings really don’t like each other. They showed that Thursday night, and it’s setting up like they might renew this rivalry in the playoffs.
The Sharks, thanks to second period goals from Brent Burns and Logan Couture, defeated the Kings, playing their second game in as many nights, by a final score of 2-1. As a result, the Sharks move to within one point of the Anaheim Ducks for first in the Pacific Division.
As per TSN, the Sharks clinch home ice in the opening round of the playoffs.
There wasn’t much room for either team to create in the offensive zone. But this game wasn’t short on intensity or emotion, something you’d come to expect from two California teams. Jason Demers of the Sharks was involved, called for tripping when he stuck out his knee on Kings’ defenseman Jake Muzzin and sent him flying through the air in the first period.
“I wanted to hit something tonight, that’s all. That was the game plan,” said Sharks’ forward Joe Thornton, as per Kevin Kurz of CSN Bay Area.
The physical toll in the game could have a negative impact for the Kings. They lost defenseman Drew Doughty in the first period with an upper-body injury, suffered when he attempted to throw a hit in the defensive end. He didn’t return to the game.
Scottie Upshall has parlayed his training camp tryout into a contract with St. Louis.
On Monday, the Blues agreed to a one-year, two-way deal with the veteran forward, worth $700,000 at the NHL level. The deal comes after Upshall spent all of training camp and the preseason impressing the Blues his speed and skating ability, no small feat for a 31-year-old veteran with over 500 NHL games on his odometer.
But where Upshall fits in the Blues lineup — and within the organization — remains to be seen.
The club has plenty of depth up front and Upshall isn’t coming off a terrific campaign, having scored just eight goals and 15 points in 63 games with Florida last season. That said, he showed enough to be just one of a handful of veterans on PTOs to score a contract.
Lawson Crouse is going back to junior. The big 18-year-old winger confirmed it today on Twitter.
Crouse was drafted 11th overall in June by the Florida Panthers. Despite the club’s belief that Crouse could make “an immediate impact” on the roster, he finished the preseason with just two shots and one assist in three games.
Crouse will return to the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs, with whom he’ll look to improve on his modest point totals from last season.
“I don’t think there’s any pressure on the kid,” coach Gerard Gallant said last week. “If he doesn’t make the team this year he goes back to junior … and will have a lot of success.”