The L.A. Kings, Stanley Cup champions from two years ago and Western Conference finalists in 2013, completed history on Wednesday. As if there was any doubt they would, right?
The Kings defeated the San Jose Sharks by a final score of 5-1 in Game 7 of that Western Conference first-round series, completing a historic comeback by winning the last four games of the series after falling behind 3-0 and forced to the brink of elimination.
They fell behind in the deciding game, but fought their way back. And now a date against the Anaheim Ducks – oh, this should be fun – awaits the Kings in the second round.
The Kings become only the fourth team in NHL history to complete a comeback from down 3-0 in a best-of-seven series. The Philadelphia Flyers in 2010 were the last team to do such a thing. That team also had Jeff Carter and Mike Richards, who now play for the Kings.
A good deal of credit has to go to Jonathan Quick, who was spectacular in goal again in Game 7, making several key saves when the game was tied 1-1 in the second period. Perhaps none bigger than this glove stop off Patrick Marleau.
Doughty to HNIC re Quick: "Unbelievable. I don't know what else to say. Unbelievable." #Kings
It seems Mathew Barzal has played in his last game in a New York Islanders’ uniform for a little while.
Barzal took part in the Islanders’ preseason finale against the Washington Capitals on Sunday, but after that contest the Islanders decided to return him to WHL Seattle, per Newsday’s Arthur Staple.
He was taken with the 16th overall pick in 2015 NHL Entry Draft. That selection was well-traveled as it originally belonged to the Pittsburgh Penguins, but was involved in the David Perron trade and then moved to the Islanders as part of Edmonton’s deal to get Griffin Reinhart.
Barzal is noteworthy for his skill and speed, but he may have slipped in the draft due to a knee injury he sustained during the 2014-15 campaign.
The Islanders also reassigned Kirill Petrov, Kevin Czuczman, Scott Mayfield, and Adam Pelech to the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
Torres offered in-person hearing, potentially setting up long suspension
The 33-year-old forward that has become known primarily for his controversial hits has once again put himself in the sights of the NHL’s Department of Players Safety. They confirmed that he was offered an in-person hearing following his hit on Jakub Silfverberg Saturday night. He declined the opportunity to meet with them face-to-face, but the offer itself is an important detail because it gives the league the option to suspend him for more than five games.
It certainly seems like the stage is set for a lengthy suspension. While Torres is not considered a repeat offender as his last suspension came more than 18 months ago, the NHL still retains the right to consider his history when deciding on this matter.
Among other incidents, he was once was banned from 25 games for his hit on Marian Hossa in 2012, although it was later reduced to 21 contests after an appeal. The NHL found that Torres was guilty of breaking three rules for that hit; namely interference, charging, and illegally hitting the head. The NHL is reviewing Torres’ latest incident for the same three violations.