Author: Jason Brough

GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 16:  Goaltender Patrik Bartosak #65 of the Los Angeles Kings during the NHL rookie camp game against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on September 16, 2014 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Kings suspend Bartosak after arrest, express ‘extreme disappointment’


The Los Angeles Kings have suspended the contract of goalie Patrik Bartosak, the club announced today.

The move comes a day after it was reported that Bartosak was facing 12 charges related to domestic violence.

The Kings released the following statement:

“This morning our Club suspended Patrik Bartosak for his actions resulting in his arrest in Manchester, NH on November 16. We take this matter very seriously. Our response in this matter reflects our extreme disappointment, particularly given the programs we have instituted internally and the commitment our organization has made to educating our players on the prevention of domestic violence. This is the first step in an ongoing process as we continue to gather information related to this incident and monitor the legal proceedings.”

The Kings, of course, employed defenseman Slava Voynov before he spent time in jail for domestic violence. Voynov returned to Russia in September.

Benning: overtime record could cost Canucks a playoff spot

No team has left more points on the table than the Vancouver Canucks have this season.

And it’s not even close.

Not even a quarter of the way into the schedule, the Canucks have already blown five third-period leads.

They’ve also lost a whopping six times in three-on-three overtime.

“It could be a big part of defining our season,” Vancouver GM Jim Benning told The Province. “Because last year, in games that went to overtime and the shootout we were (12-5). That’s the difference between making the playoffs and not making the playoffs.”

One problem for the Canucks is that their two best forwards — Henrik Sedin and Daniel Sedin — are neither fast nor have particularly dangerous shots. The early evidence suggests that that’s not the greatest fit for three-on-three, and Benning conceded that coach Willie Desjardins should consider playing his younger, faster players more in overtime.

Vancouver’s seven-game road trip comes to an end tonight in Winnipeg. The Canucks went 1-3-2 in the first six games. They’re still in a playoff spot in the Pacific Division, but only barely now.

A tale of two seasons

Canucks when leading after two periods
2015-16: 5-1-4
2014-15: 30-1-3

Canucks in one-goal games
2015-16: 2-5-6
2014-15: 22-4-5

Carolina GM: ‘In five of our losses, we clearly were the better team’

Jakub Voracek, Cam Ward

Carolina GM Ron Francis believes his team deserves better than a 6-10-2 record.

“The frustrating thing for us is that in five of our losses we clearly were the better team but did not win,” Francis told the News & Observer. “That’s 10 points. That’s the difference of where we are in the standings and where we could be.

“I also know if ifs and buts were candy and nuts, we’d all have a Merry Christmas. This is an outcome-based industry and you have to win.”

We touched on the Hurricanes’ scoring issues last week. Statistically, they’ve been one of the best puck-possession teams in the NHL. Right up there with Los Angeles, Montreal, Chicago, and Washington.

But there’s more to hockey than simply possessing the puck. The key is actually doing something with the puck. (It’s sort of like that Seinfeld bit about rental-car companies. “You know how to take the reservation; you just don’t know how to hold the reservation.”)

Another key is goaltending, which Francis admits “needs to be better.” Neither Cam Ward nor Eddie Lack have been very good. In fact, Carolina is tied with Calgary for the lowest team save percentage (.880) in the NHL.

The ‘Canes host Toronto on Friday.

Report: Winning All-Star team could get a million bucks


The NHL has come up with a unique way to make the players try harder in the All-Star Game.

It’s going to bribe them.

From TSN’s Bob McKenzie, who has the details of the new 3-on-3 tournament format:

It’s believed there’ll be a significant sum on the line for the 11 members of the winning team, perhaps as much as (say it in your best Dr. Evil voice) one million dollars. That’s almost $100,000 per player on the winning team. Is that enough motivation to play at a brisk, entertaining pace for 40 minutes of 3-on-3?

Again, we’re going to find out, and that’s really the takeaway here: if this doesn’t work, nothing will.

Well, I’m not sure “nothing” would work. Didn’t Homer take Bart’s turtle hostage in The Simpsons’ hockey episode? (“Well, boy, you won. So I’m going to live up to my side of the agreement: Here’s your turtle, alive and well.”)

Do any NHLers have turtles? I feel like Brent Burns definitely has a turtle.

Anyway, I wrote yesterday that the biggest problem with last year’s game was the pace. Nobody wants to see the best hockey players in the world mess around for 60 minutes. After the first five or six goals, it gets kinda repetitive. And last year, there were 29 goals scored. That damn cannon in Columbus.

The NHL is expected to officially announce the format later today.

The All-Star Game is scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 31, in Nashville.