Mike Halford

Darryl Sutter

Kings cancel another practice due to ice problems


EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) — The Los Angeles Kings’ practice schedule is on thin ice these days while power outages plague the neighborhood around their training complex.

The Kings were forced to cancel the on-ice portion of practice Monday for the second time this month because the ice at the Toyota Sports Center wasn’t playable.

The area just southeast of Los Angeles International Airport has endured multiple power outages in October. The training complex is also home to the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Kings didn’t know about the bad ice until it was too late to find another rink for practice. They are participating in a charity golf tournament Tuesday, which means they won’t get back on ice until Wednesday.

Los Angeles has won two straight games after losing three straight to start the season.

Flames ‘sick and tired of the musical chairs’ in net, says Hartley

Bob Hartley

The goalie situation in Calgary doesn’t seem to be getting any better.

The Flames are off to a 1-4 start and sit bottom-five in both GAA and save percentage, while still carrying three netminders — none of whom have made the case for the starting gig.

And it’s starting to annoy head coach Bob Hartley.

After Jonas Hiller allowed five goals on 28 shots in Saturday’s loss to Edmonton, Hartley said he’ll go back to Karri Ramo for Tuesday’s date against the Capitals — meaning the Flames will have a new starter for the fourth straight game.

Clearly, Hartley wants to see one of his netminders get on a roll, but neither Ramo nor Hiller has been able to.

Which begs the question: What about Joni Ortio?

Throughout this lackluster start, Ortio has sat idly by without getting a minute of action. The Flames originally kept him up because sending him down to the AHL would require a trip through waivers, and conventional thought suggested someone would snag the 24-year-old, who was named to the American League’s all-rookie team in ’13-14.

With the way things are going, shouldn’t Ortio get a shot at playing?

The Finn said in training camp he was looking to “steal that No. 1 job” and obviously believes he’s on par with Hiller and Ramo. The Flames must think it too, as GM Brad Treliving opted to keep all three guys — even though he said “a wise man one told me there’s only one net,” and “carrying three goalies, you can do it for a short period of time, it doesn’t make sense.”

It’ll be interesting to see what happens next.

The Flames have two games left on their current home stand — against the Caps and Red Wings — before embarking on a tough stretch. From Oct. 25-Nov. 15, the team will play nine of 12 on the road, which includes difficult games against the Rangers, Islanders, Lightning, Caps and Blackhawks.

In short, it won’t get any easier on the goalies.

Related: Struggling Flames need to ‘get the ball rolling’

Coyotes bring up ‘big, skilled’ German free agent signing Plachta

Canada v Germany - 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship

Potentially noteworthy move out of the desert on Monday — Arizona has recalled former German League power forward Mattias Plachta from its AHL affiliate in Springfield.

Plachta, 24, signed with the Coyotes in May after spending the last three seasons with Adler Mannheim. Last year he showcased a mix of offensive prowess (35 points in 47 games) and grit (73 PIM) and, at 6-foot-2, 220 pounds, brings some good size to the Coyotes.

He’ll presumably get a shot at a bottom-six forward role, replacing checking forward Joe Vitale (who was put on IR today in a corresponding move.)

Described as a “big, skilled winger” by Coyotes GM Don Maloney, Plachta isn’t the first undrafted power forward to be plucked out of the German League.

Last year, Calgary signed 6-foot-3, 225-pound David Wolf from Hamburg, who appeared appeared in three regular-season and one playoff game.

Just a couple weeks prior to the Plachta deal in Arizona, Colorado inked Norwegian power forward Andreas Martinsen, who tips the scales at 6-foot-3, 220 pounds.

Oilers put Hendricks (foot) on IR

Matt Hendricks

Edmonton put veteran forward Matt Hendricks on injured reserve Monday with a foot injury, and recalled Andrew Miller from AHL Bakersfield.

Hendricks, 34, had gotten off to a fairly decent start with the Oilers before missing Sunday’s win over the Canucks. Chosen as an alternate captain while Jordan Eberle (shoulder) is out, Hendricks was averaging over 15 minutes per night — even getting a twirl on the top line next to Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins — and scored his first point of the season in Saturday’s 5-2 victory over Calgary.

As for Miller, the 26-year-old has shown good offensive flair. Last year he scored six points in nine games while making his NHL debut; this year he has three points in four games for the Condors.

Goalie nods: Avs park struggling Varlamov, Berra to face Ducks

Semyon Varlamov

Patrick Roy isn’t happy with his team.

And it sounds like he’s really not happy with his goaltending.

The Avs head coach announced that, for Friday’s tilt in Anaheim, backup Reto Berra will get his first start of the year, replacing struggling No. 1 Semyon Varlamov.

The decision to park Varlamov comes with the Russian ‘tender boasting some ugly numbers: 5.06 GAA, .841 save percentage and one big ol’ hook after just 35 minutes in Wednesday’s loss to the Bruins, during which he allowed five goals on 19 shots.

Berra took over for Varlamov against Boston, his first action of the year. He stopped all five shots faced.

All things considered, this is a tough spot for Berra. The Avs aren’t playing well, having lost two of their first three, and the Ducks are an angry team, having started the season slow themselves (0-2-1).

Anaheim is also looking to bust out offensively, having scored just once all season.

For the Ducks, Frederik Andersen will get the start in goal.


Martin Jones, he of the .987 save percentage and perfect 3-0 record, goes for San Jose. He’ll be up against Cory Schneider, who has missed New Jersey’s last two games due to the birth of his son.

James Reimer and Sergei Bobrovsky start as the Leafs visit Columbus. Bobrovsky is certainly one to watch; despite having “zero confidence” right now, he’ll make his fifth straight appearance as the Blue Jackets aim to avoid starting 0-5.

Cam Ward and Jimmy Howard square off as the ‘Canes take on the Red Wings. Howard has been terrific to start the year, and currently boasts a .977 save percentage.

— Winnipeg goes with Ondrej Pavelec in its home opener, while the Flames come back with Karri Ramo. Ramo hasn’t played since allowing four goals on 44 shots to Vancouver in Calgary’s season-opener nine days ago.

— After Brian Elliott beat Edmonton last night, the Blues are will start Jake Allen in Vancouver. The Canucks are likely to go with Ryan Miller, who’s played every minute this year but has looked rock solid in doing so. Also helping Miller’s cause is the fact that backup Jacob Markstrom is still out injured, and the replacement backup is AHLer Richard Bachman.

Darcy Kuemper gets his first start of the year for Minnesota, after Devan Dubnyk beat Arizona last night. Jonathan Quick is likely for L.A.