The Los Angeles Kings couldn’t have been much more dominant in their road to the Stanley Cup Finals. With a 12-2 record, can the winner of the New Jersey Devils-New York Rangers series possibly stand in their way? Yes, actually. In fact, if anything, history is not on the Kings’ side.
The last four squads to post a 12-2 record through three rounds lost in the Stanley Cup Finals. They were Chicago (1992), Detroit (1995), Anaheim (2003), and Pittsburgh (2008). In fact, since the opening round became a best-of-seven series, only the Edmonton Oilers in 1987 and 1988 managed to win the Stanley Cup after breezing through with a 12-2 record.
Of course, history lessons like that should be taken with a grain of salt. The odds aren’t automatically against the Los Angeles Kings just because the majority of past teams that cruised to the Stanley Cup finals ended up faltering.
A more positive way to look at it for Los Angeles is that they’re closing in on some playoff records. Los Angeles has a perfect 8-0 road record and no team has ever won more than 10 road games in a single postseason run. If the Kings sweep the Stanley Cup Finals, then they will tie the 1988 Edmonton Oilers – a team that included Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, and Jari Kurri – for the least games needed to win a Stanley Cup under the current playoff format.
History might not be on the Kings’ side – but then, how many eighth seeds get to the Stanley Cup Finals in the first place? History was never their friend, but that’s fine because they’re rewriting it.
Predators’ P.K. Subban named EA Sports NHL 19 cover athlete
As announced during Wednesday’s NHL Awards, P.K. Subban of the Nashville Predators will be the cover athlete for EA Sports’ NHL 19 video game.
This is Subban’s first time on the cover of the series, which featured Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid last year.
More details from EA:
For the first time in franchise history, NHL® 19 allows players to journey from the pond to the pros and play on outdoor rinks in new and returning game modes. Players can create a character and express their look and playstyle with over 900 new customization items including, for the first time, lifestyle apparel inspired by pond hockey. On the ice, the cutting-edge animation technology Real Player Motion (RPM) Tech delivers explosive-edge skating with more acceleration and responsiveness that looks and feels better. NHL® 19 also lets players compete with and against over 200 of the greatest hockey legends to ever play the sport, including Wayne Gretzky.
In NHL® 19, the sport returns to the ponds where players can compete under a unified progression hub called World of CHEL that unites EA SPORTS Hockey League, NHL THREES™ Drop In and two new modes, NHL ONES™ and Pro-Am. NHL ONES™ pits three players against each other in a 1v1v1 free-for-all with no rules and no stoppages. Players can win to rank up to new outdoor locations and defend their position as king-of-the-hill. Players can also play in any World of CHEL mode to progress their online Create-A-Character, unlock rewards, and customize their look and their playstyle.
Here’s the full trailer:
The game is set to be released Sept. 14 for Playstation 4 and XBOX One.
William Karlsson just finished a fantastic season, so it’s nice to see him take home a trophy at the 2018 NHL Awards.
Karlsson generated 43 goals, 78 points, and just 12 penalty minutes during the 2017-18 season on his way to winning the Lady Byng Trophy. The other finalists were Aleksander Barkov and Ryan O'Reilly.
(Note: it’s unclear if Karlsson edged out his competition by way of hair flips.)
Here are the voting results. Note that this was cut off at the top 20, while 49 players received at least one vote. As a reminder, the Lady Byng is “given to the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.”
This is a nifty factoid about Karlsson’s win:
Karlsson was named on 126 of the 164 ballots to become the first player to win an end-of-season trophy for a team in its inaugural campaign since 1979-80 (Wayne Gretzky w/ EDM). #NHLAwardspic.twitter.com/0Uq8tgzGvF
Brian Boyle of the New Jersey Devils is the recipient of the 2018 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy
The award is given to the player “who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey.” The Professional Hockey Writers’ Association nominate a player from each of their 31 chapters and three finalists are named after a vote.
The Devils forward didn’t only deal with a cancer diagnosis this season. Boyle and his wife, Lauren, also went through an ordeal where doctors believed their two-year-old son Declan was possibly dealing with Ewing sarcoma of the mandible. Turns out it was a rare condition that impacts blood flow and oxygen circulation, and after a handful of procedures the situation is under control.
Mathew Barzal became the fifth New York Islander to win the Calder Trophy, which was handed out during Wednesday’s NHL Awards show in Las Vegas. The award is voted on by the Professional Hockey Writers Association and given “to the player selected as the most proficient in his first year of competition in the National Hockey League.”
Denis Potvin, Bryan Trottier, Mike Bossy and Bryan Berard were the previous Islanders players to win the rookie of the year award.
“This is an amazing honor to win the Calder Trophy,” Barzal said. “The players that have won this award, within the Islanders organization and then others around the league, includes Hall of Fame players and Stanley Cup Champions. To have my name next to those guys in the record books is very humbling.”
Barzal led all rookies with 85 points and 27 power play points, and finished sixth in goals with 22. He was also the only rookie to average over a point per game (1.04). He finished the season as the Islanders leading scorer and was fourth on the team in goals.
One of the many highlights of Barzal’s rookie season was the three 5-point games he recorded, which made him him the second rookie in league history to achieve the feat. Joe Malone last did it 100 years ago during the NHL’s first season in 1917-18.
Here’s what the voting looked like as Barzal beat out the other two finalists, Brock Boeser of the Vancouver Canucks and Clayton Keller of the Arizona Coyotes.