Los Angeles Kings v Anaheim Ducks - Game Five

Doughty: ‘I love these opportunities, I love the pressure’


Drew Doughty is relishing the opportunity to, once again, fight back from the brink of elimination.

“I love these opportunities, I love the pressure,” the Kings’ top defenseman said, per NHL.com. “I know that going into these situations I’m going to be counted upon and in order for us to win I’ve got to be at the top of my game, so, I just look forward to these opportunities.”

Down 3-2 to the Ducks, the Kings have to win tonight at home and Friday in Anaheim to advance to the Western Conference Final. One loss and their season is over.

Doughty was excellent in the four must-win games the Kings played in the first round against the Sharks, with a goal and three assists combined…


…but in three consecutive losses to the Ducks, after L.A. won the first two games of the series, he’s been held pointless, with a minus-2 rating.

“I just want to go out there and play defensively,” Doughty said. “That’s always my main thing, shutting down the other team’s top line, and then after that, trying to get involved in the offense, and still don’t think I’ve played my absolute best this series, so I’m going to need to do it at home [tonight].”

Kassian suspended without pay, placed in Stage 2 of Substance Abuse Program

Anaheim Ducks v Vancouver Canucks
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Zack Kassian may have avoided major injuries stemming from his Sunday car accident, but it likely sent the signal that he may need help.

The response: he was placed in Stage Two of the Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program (SABH) of the NHL and NHLPA on Monday.

According to the league’s release, Kassian “will be suspended without pay until cleared for on-ice competition by the program administrators.”

Speaking of being suspended without pay, here’s a key detail:

The 24-year-old ended up with a broken nose and broken foot from that accident. The 2015-16 season was set to be his first campaign in the Montreal Canadiens organization after a tumultuous time with the Vancouver Canucks.

Kassian spoke of becoming more mature heading to Montreal, but the Canadiens were critical of his actions, wondering how many wake-up calls someone can get.

In case you’re wondering about the difference between stage one and two:

Add Lecavalier to list of expensive Flyers healthy scratches

Vincent Lecavalier

Are the Philadelphia Flyers aiming for some sort of record when it comes to expensive (potential) healthy scratches?

While lineups are obviously subject to change, CSNPhilly.com notes that Vincent Lecavalier appears to be among a rather rich group of Flyers who are expected to sit during their season-opener.

Also likely to be in street clothes: Sam Gagner and Luke Schenn.

That’s $11.3 million in cap space rotting on the bench.

“I really don’t know what to say,” Lecavalier said. “I’ll practice hard and be ready when they call me up.”

The CSNPhilly.com quotes from Lecavalier, Gagner and Schenn only get sadder from there, a reminder that there are human beings attached to these numbers – whether you focus on disappointing stats or bloated salaries.

Flyers fans with the urge to reach for an Alka-Setzler can at least take some comfort in knowing that the team will see $6.8 million in savings after this season, as both Gagner and Schenn are on expiring deals.

It could be a long season, though, and this Lecavalier headache may not truly end until his contract expires following the 2017-18 campaign.