Voynov shines in AHL Skills Competition.

If only Slava Voynov were playing for the Kings …

Complete that hypothetical scenario in your minds as you wish. Here’s one possibility: He would have been the second-fastest skater in the NHL had he been invited to the NHL SuperSkills competition Saturday.

The defenseman gained the title of fastest skater in the American Hockey League on Sunday with a timed skate of 14.197 seconds in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Compare that to Saturday’s competition among NHL All-Stars in Raleigh, N.C., won by the New York Islanders’ Michael Grabner – 14.061 seconds in the preliminary round; 14.238 in the final.

The Manchester Monarchs duo of Voynov and Martin Jones are the only Kings prospects taking part in the AHL’s All-Star weekend. The game itself is tomorrow at 4 p.m. (Find the complete broadcast listings here; it looks like the best local viewing options are on Time Warner Cable channel 101, ahllive.com and NHL Center Ice.)

Goalies are usually the sacrificial pawns of hockey all-star games, but Jones was credited with the second-best save percentage at the skills competition. The rookie stopped 21 of 29 shots (0.724 save percentage) for the Eastern Conference. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins goaltender John Curry claimed the top goaltender award by stopping 21 of 28 (.750).

The East beat the West 19-7.

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Video: Kopitar scores twice in winning effort.

Anze Kopitar made the most of his second All-Star Game invite Sunday, scoring two goals as Team Nicklas Lidstrom came back from down 4-0 to beat Team Eric Staal 11-10.

It was just an exhibition of course, but Kopitar’s first goal started the “big comeback.” With 9:50 left to play in the first period, he got the Lidstroms on the board with this forehand-to-backhand move:

Then, with his side down 6-4 at 10:08 of the second period, Kopitar finished this pretty sequence with Dallas’ Loui Eriksson:

Kopitar’s final stat line: 16:10 time on ice, 10 shifts, two goals, three shots, no assists, 6-7 on faceoffs, three takeaways and one giveaway. Shame on him.

Chicago’s Patrick Sharp was named the game’s MVP – a curious choice considering that his team lost, and his three points (one goal, two assists) were matched or eclipsed by five players, including four on the winning team. One guess: Sharp was credited with three assists in the first period. One assist was taken back during the second period, but some of the voting contingent literally might not have gotten the memo before their votes were cast.

(Videos courtesy of NHL.com)

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Another honor for Bob Miller.

Kings play-by-play announcer Bob Miller was announced today as one of five inductees to the California Sports Hall of Fame’s 2011 class.

Miller will be inducted Sunday, Feb. 27 at the Ontario Convention Center, along with Dick Vermeil, Ken Norton, Mike Haynes and boxer Tony Lopez. In his 38th season with the Kings, Miller recently won the top TV Play-by-Play award at the Southern California Sports Broadcasters luncheon for the seventh time.

The induction reception for the Hall’s fifth class begins at 5 p.m., and the dinner/ceremony begins at 6 p.m. Tickets are $400, or $260 for just the dinner/ceremony. More details are available on the California Sports Hall of Fame’s website.

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No more test pattern, and Kopitar’s team is revealed.

As you probably know by now, Anze Kopitar is in Raleigh, North Carolina, a newly-minted (and not lastly-drafted) member of Team Nicklas Lidstrom. I am sitting on a couch in Ontario, California, blogging about hockey and listening to jazz. Unlike Anze, I find myself in this position quite often.

When the Los Angeles Newspaper Group handed me the keys to this blog a couple days ago, I spent at least 24 hours trying to think of a clever analogy for the situation. Rich Hammond turned this space into one of the most popular NHL blogs in the world, then it sat dormant for about a year and a half – from the beginning of the 2009-10 season to the 2011 All-Star break – then it was given to me. Maybe if Jay Leno handed the “Tonight Show” to Conan O’Brien, but instead of giving it to Conan right away, NBC showed a test pattern every night from 11:30 to 12:30 for a year and a half, then turned it over to Conan …

Anyway, it’s because of the unique nature of this transition that I didn’t want to write two paragraphs about Anze Kopitar getting picked in the 15th round by Nick Lidstrom, and calling that the “first blog entry.” I only get to write the first entry once and, if it was two grafs on Kopitar, I would be afraid of waking up to 100 comments calling for LANG to go back to the test pattern.

The truth is, in terms of quantity, I’m not going to be restore this blog into what Rich made it. Unlike Rich, I cover three teams (I also pen blogs about the Anaheim Ducks and Ontario Reign). I think I tried the quantity-over-quality approach on my blogs during training camp two years ago, and drove myself nuts. Realistically, you can expect this space to be a source for the most important breaking news as soon as I can get it (which is usually pretty quickly), qualitative analysis on the big stuff (for example, when Jason Bailey sued the Ducks three days ago) and, most importantly, a forum to express yourself. Same rules as Rich.

The news for now is that Kopitar is in Raleigh. He’ll be participating in the “SuperSkills” competition from 4 to 6 p.m. tomorrow (televised on Versus) and the game on Sunday at 1 p.m. (also on Versus). Here are the rosters for both teams. If you missed the draft tonight, you may have missed the most interesting part of All-Star weekend, but we’ll see if Kopitar has any tricks up his sleeve.

Questions or comments, fire away.

And thanks in advance for coming back (again).

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