<span class="vcard">Jason Brough</span>

Milan Lucic

Lucic a ‘good fit’ with Kopitar and Gaborik


Milan Lucic is being given quite the opportunity to succeed in Los Angeles, where the big winger is expected to start his Kings career on a line with Anze Kopitar and Marian Gaborik.

It’s a combination that Kopitar, one of the NHL’s top two-way centers, thinks could work rather well.

“We’ve got a good shooter in Gabby and then Looch gives us a little bit more pounds on the line, too, and maybe a little bit more physicality,” Kopitar told the Daily News. “I’ll just try and do what I’ve been doing so far, and I’ll take care of both ends of the ice and try to make plays and get those guys the puck in scoring areas.”

Chemistry is a tough thing to predict. Maybe the trio works, maybe it doesn’t.

But assuming head coach Darryl Sutter would like Jeff Carter to center Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson (remember how good that line was in the 2014 playoffs), and given Dwight King, Trevor Lewis, and Dustin Brown have been told they’ll be playing a “third-line, shutdown-energy role” together, expect to see plenty of the Lucic-Kopitar-Gaborik combination during the preseason.

“We think it’s a good fit,” said Sutter, per LA Kings Insider. “Finding out where Looch fits, where [new defenseman Christian Ehrhoff] fits, where two or three of the young guys fit, so the best way to find out is during the game. You can practice all you want.”

Related: Lucic says sticking with Kings would be ‘perfect scenario’

Murray: ‘I haven’t felt this good since I was a kid’

Ryan Murray


So far, they’ve been the story of Ryan Murray‘s young career.

In 2015-16, he’d love — and expects — for that to change.

“I want to stop talking about injuries,” the 21-year-old defenseman told the Columbus Dispatch recently. “I just feel really good now, so keep it up. I worked pretty hard this summer. I couldn’t do that last summer (because of his knee), remember? I’ve been here in Columbus for a while, skating a lot. I haven’t felt this good since I was a kid.”

Murray, the second overall pick in the 2012 draft, was limited to just 12 games last season. According to The Dispatch, the plan this season is for him to skate with David Savard on the Jackets’ top D pair, followed by a Jack JohnsonFedor Tyutin duo.

If you had to identify a potential Achilles’ heel of the Jackets’ roster, the defense may be it. But if Murray can stay healthy and play the steady-hand role he was drafted to provide, this could be a playoff team, with the talent up front and in goal to do some damage once it gets there.

Related: Murray has to “show up and prove it”

Ovechkin got a ship — sorry, make that a sheep

Alex Ovechkin

Alex Ovechkin turned 30 yesterday.

So, did he get any cool gifts?

From CSN Washington:

“In Moscow, in Russia, they gave me a ship,” Ovechkin said. “It’s at my country house right now, so it’s kind of funny.”

“A ship?” Ovechkin was asked.

“Yeah, a ship,” Ovechkin replied.

“A real ship?” Ovechkin was asked.

“Yes, a real ship,” Ovechkin confirmed.

“How big is it?” Ovechkin was asked.

“I didn’t see it,” Ovechkin said. “I have a picture, but a picture is one thing but to see it in real life is maybe something.”

Anyway, turns out it wasn’t a ship. It was a sheep.



CSN Washington has video of the exchange between Ovechkin and reporters.

(It really did sound like he said ship.)

Ho-Sang late for training camp, sent back to junior

2014 NHL Draft - Portraits - Round 1

You know how some people think Islanders prospect Josh Ho-Sang has an attitude problem?

Well, this won’t help his case to disprove that notion.

From Newsday’s Arthur Staple:

Ho-Sang was among the OHL’s top scorers last season, piling up 81 points in 60 games with Windsor and Niagara.

But he didn’t escape controversy. He was traded to Niagara early in the season, with Windsor coach Bob Boughner saying later:

“It was mandatory that we had to trade him. For many, many, numerous internal reasons, the people that truly know what went on behind the scenes would understand why we had to trade him. We might not be a better team in the standings because of it, but we’re definitely a better team within our four walls and it’s only going to help for the future.”

Now, to be fair to Ho-Sang…

Still, this won’t help his reputation, that’s for sure.

Related: Isles’ Ho-Sang among notable Canada junior camp snubs

Morrow likes Bruins’ new system

Carolina Hurricanes v Boston Bruins

Joe Morrow is optimistic that the Bruins’ new defensive system — one that’s predicated on skating and puck-moving — will fit his game and help the team.

“Absolutely, with my skating ability and the things I can do on the ice, I think it will be more effective come game time,” Morrow said, per NESN.

“It’s just more of an offensive-minded approach. Push the pace of play and show more of a skill level this year rather than the gritty performance and gritty defensive aspect of things. It’s still going to be there 100 percent, that part is not going to change at all, but you will see a lot more of the skilled forwards and skilled defensemen contribute to the offense a lot more.”

Yet another reason, beyond the departure of Dougie Hamilton, that the Bruins’ blue line will be very much under the microscope this season.

Morrow, 22, was a first-round draft pick of the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2011. Since then, he’s been traded twice while appearing in just 15 NHL games.

Despite still being on a two-way contract, Morrow is no longer exempt from waivers, according to war-on-ice.com.

Related: Zach Trotman is looking to make the leap