Thanks for all the great questions, and feel free to keep asking them. It’s been a busy day, so sorry for the delay in getting to the answers, but here’s the first set…
The open forum sessions are always fun and generate some good questions, so now that we’re on the cusp of the “second half” of the season, it seems natural to throw it open to questions. Ask away!
Now that we know Oscar Moller (fractured clavicle) has been ruled out to play Thursday and has yet to be medically cleared, the question is whether he’ll travel on the roadtrip that starts Saturday. Terry Murray’s policy is that he doesn’t like to travel with injured players so they can rehabilitate at the Kings’ training facility, but he will work with the front office to make a decision. The team leaves Friday.
Dustin Brown missed yesterday’s practice because he still was traveling back from Montreal for the All-Star Game. Brown said he wasn’t able to get on the early flight, so he didn’t get back to Los Angeles until 10 p.m.
“It was a great experience, especially being in Montreal,” Brown said. “It was a good chance to get to know those guys.”
He was thrilled to get to know Shane Doan and Mike Modano, guys he’s played against but never had a chance to get to know.
Brown hadn’t had much time to chat with his teammates since returning, but he said he’s not going to prompt a conversation about it.
“If they ask about it I will, but it’s something I’m sure a lot of these guys will experience,” Brown said. “I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the NHL wants you to go up there and have a good time.”
Erik Ersberg said he’s ready to play on Thursday if needed, so the Kings won’t need to call up Jonathan Bernier. Jonathan Quick will get the start against Thursday.
“I’m not thinking as much about my knee,” Ersberg said.
Oops! Now we know the injury is to Ersberg’s knee. Not that it was much of a mystery, but we weren’t officially sure whether Ersberg had a knee or ankle injury. The sport has a long history of not divulging much about injuries. Ersberg felt fine in Tuesday’s practice and proclaimed himself ready if need be.
“That was the good thing. Last night, I felt OK,” Ersberg said. “Obviously, it’s going to be a little sore, but I don’t think there are too many players that don’t feel anything … I’m good enough to be on the bench, and I’m good enough to play, too.”
Jill was out at practice today, and she reports a couple quick things…
— The Kings will not need to call up Jonathan Bernier. Erik Ersberg will be ready to go Thursday, although I’d have to assume that Jonathan Quick will get the start.
— Oscar Moller has been ruled out for Thursday’s game, as expected.
Jill has more stuff that she will post a bit later…
Teddy Purcell had five assists in Monday’s AHL All-Star Game, but his Canadian All-Stars lost to the PlanetUSA All-Stars, 14-11. Purcell tied an AHL record with eight career All-Star points. Last season, he was the MVP of the All-Star Game when he scored three goals in regulation and the game-winner in the shootout.
We all know that statistics don’t always tell the whole story, and that they can be bent and shaped to fit different arguments, but here are some interesting raw numbers about where the Kings are, coming out of the All-Star break…
Through 46 games this season, the Kings have scored 117 goals and allowed 131 goals. Through 46 games last season, they had scored 132 and allowed 155. So, from last season to this season, that’s minus-15 in goals scored and plus-24 in goals against, for a net improvement of nine goals.
To go back another year, through 46 games in 2006-07, the Kings had scored 132 goals and allowed 167 goals. Following the same formula, that’s a net improvement (in 2008-09) of 21 goals.
The Kings have seen a dip in power-play efficiency (20.6 percent through 46 games last season, 18.2 percent this season) and an improvement in penalty-kill efficiency (77.0 percent through 46 games last season, 82.1 percent this season).
The Kings have put together a complete statistical breakdown:
Kings at the break
“The Golden Boy.” That’s how the Seattle Times describes Kings prospect Thomas Hickey in a feature story that was published this morning. The story talks about Hickey’s return to the Seattle Thunderbirds after his successful stint as Team Canada captain at the World Junior Championships.
Thunderbirds’ Thomas Hickey is a national hero in hockey-mad Canada
Kings broadcasters Nick Nickson, Bob Miller and Jim Fox were all honored at the Southern California Sports Broadcasters Assn. awards luncheon Monday. Nickson was inducted into the association’s Hall of Fame, while Miller won the annual award for best television play-by-play announcer and Fox won for his work with the “Kings Live” pre/post game show.