San Jose Sharks v Los Angeles Kings

Will Kings make history tonight vs. Sharks?

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Though they’re only halfway to their goal of advancing past the opening round, the Kings could accomplish a rare feat tonight at Staples.

After falling behind 0-3 to the Sharks, the Kings won two straight and now have a chance to become just the ninth team in NHL history to force a Game 7 after going behind three games to none.

Exciting stuff, sure…just don’t expect L.A. head coach Darryl Sutter to get amped over the possibility of going down in hockey lore.

“Stay realistic,” is how Sutter explained his mindset going into Game 6, per LA Kings Insider. “Don’t get too caught up in when somebody says you’re awful or if somebody says you’re great.

“We know what we are, and we just try and stay the course and try and get everybody to be accountable and be responsible with each other.”

It’s going to be tough for the Kings not to get caught up in this, though. As mentioned, they’re getting the Sharks at home, where the Kings have dominated recently — prior to San Jose’s 4-3 OT win in Game 3, the Sharks had lost eight straight in Staples (regular season and playoffs combined.)

There’s also the not-so-small fact that, as Brough pointed out on Friday, the 0-3 deficit doesn’t seem as overwhelming as it used to be.

Of the previous eight teams to force Game 7, three of ’em — Philly in ’10, Detroit in ’11, Chicago in ’11 — occurred within the last four postseasons. That’s telling, because the last time it happened prior to the Flyers was when the Isles did it in 1975…meaning the league went 35 years without an 0-3 team forcing Game 7, then had three in two years.

The Kings also have the “advantage” of employing Jeff Carter and Mike Richards, two of the catalysts of Philly’s comeback over Boston four years ago. I say “advantage” because both have said on numerous occasions this current situation in L.A. is much different from the one in Philadelphia, but the fact remains they’re the only two that have actually experienced such a comeback and, in the case of Richards, led the charge — he scored five points over the final four games to help pull the stunner.

“Our mindset was if you are going to go down, you are going to go down swinging,” Richards said after dispatching of Boston. “We took it one goal at a time.”

That’s the mindset the Kings have adopted after falling behind 0-3 to the Sharks, though there also appeared to be some of Sutter’s never-say-die attitude sprinkled in, too.

“It’s a tough hill,” Sutter said after losing Game 3, per the Kings website. “We won’t go away quietly. That’s for sure.”

Kings put Gaborik on IR because of lower-body injury

Los Angeles Kings' Marian Gaborik celebrates his goal against the Boston Bruins during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Boston Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
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By Marian Gaborik‘s often-fragile standards, he’s been relatively sturdy as a member of the Los Angeles Kings.

Still, few should be shocked when they hear of a lower-body injury for the veteran winger. In this case, it’s serious enough to land him on injured reserve, as the team announced on Saturday.

Gaborik had a bumpy time with zero points from Jan. 9-23, but he’s been more productive lately, scoring five points in his past seven contests.

And, again, it was an unusually healthy run for Gaborik:

LA Kings Insider’s Jon Rosen indicates that Gaborik was placed on IR in part so that the Kings could make room for Peter Budaj.

Minnesota Wild fire Mike Yeo

Minnesota Wild head coach Mike Yeo talks to Jason Zucker (16) in the first period of an NHL preseason hockey game against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh, Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
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Update: The Minnesota Wild made it official. Still no word yet on a replacement.

***

It looks like the Minnesota Wild have no love left for Mike Yeo on Valentine’s Day weekend.

Apparently an eighth consecutive loss (falling to the Boston Bruins) was the final straw, as Yeo has been fired, according to Chad Graff of the Pioneer Press and Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

Yeo confirmed as much via text (pauses for comment about this being a strange time for us all) to Russo:

The Wild haven’t made an official announcement yet. The writing certainly seemed to be on the wall with Graff reporting that there were especially long meetings between Minnesota management and Yeo after today’s loss to Boston.

Yeo mentioned that he wouldn’t quit following the game.

One big question remains: is GM Chuck Fletcher safe to work the trade deadline or will there be sweeping changes for the struggling Wild?

Also: who coaches them going forward? Will an assistant be bumped up to interim head coach or will the franchise go to someone looking for a gig? Perhaps this option …

Who knows, really. PHT will keep you up to date either way.

/paging Jacques Lemaire …

Cold for Clutterbuck? Illness sidelines Isles’ heavy-hitter

New York Islanders right wing Cal Clutterbuck (15) goes flying after tripping over Edmonton Oilers defenseman Brandon Davidson (88) in the third period of an NHL hockey game in New York, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016. The Islanders defeated the Oilers 8-1. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
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The Carolina Hurricanes probably can save a few ice buckets tonight, as the New York Islanders will be without winger Cal Clutterbuck.

The Isles announced that Clutterbuck won’t play on Saturday because of an illness. Their next game is against the Detroit Red Wings on Monday, and then they don’t suit up again until Thursday, so Clutterbuck’s sickness may not be too much of a nuisance.

According to Yahoo’s numbers, the amusingly named forward has delivered 55 hits in 14 career games against the Canes (not to mention a solid five points).

Matt Martin‘s among the most frequent hitters in the league, too, so it’s not like the Hurricanes will leave tonight’s game totally unscathed.

Here are the Islanders’ tweaked forward lines:

If Wild want Yeo out, they’ll probably need to fire him

Minnesota Wild head coach Mike Yeo argues a call in the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Nashville Predators Tuesday, March 17, 2015, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
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If the Minnesota Wild want to make a coaching change, it sounds like Mike Yeo won’t make it easy for them by stepping down.

“I’m not freaking quitting here,” Yeo said to reporters including the Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Michael Russo.

It also sounds like Yeo realizes that Minnesota’s morbid losing streak – now at a worrisome eight games – may very well cost him his job.

The scene sounded pretty somber after today’s loss to the Boston Bruins, and not in your usual way.

https://twitter.com/ChadGraff/status/698629021232455680

Yikes.

Firing Yeo would be a big step for the Wild, even more than usual, as he began his coaching stint in 2011. GM Chuck Fletcher was hired in 2009, so the two have been attached at the hip since then.

(And they got to know each other well in the Pittsburgh Penguins organization.)

Will one or both be gone, possibly in the near future? Even Yeo admits big changes can happen.

Wild players, meanwhile, just seem beaten down … and maybe ambivalent about Yeo?