John Stevens, an assistant coach with the Kings for the past three seasons, is considered the front-runner for the vacant Vancouver Canucks head-coaching position and is expected to be interviewed by the team later this week, according to a report. The Globe and Mail, Canada’s national newspaper, reported on its website that the defensive-minded Stevens would be a good fit for the Canucks. Vancouver fired Alain Vigneault after the San Jose Sharks upset the Canucks in the first round of the playoffs.
The Kings failed to defend their Stanley Cup championship, with the Chicago Blackhawks knocking them off in the Western Conference finals. Kings captain Dustin Brown shared his thoughts on where the Kings fell short in their bid to become the first team to repeat as champions since the Detroit Red Wings in 1997 and ’98. Said Brown:
Kings captain Dustin Brown wasn’t right during the Chicago Blackhawks’ five-game victory in the Western Conference finals. Brown revealed after the Kings’ double-overtime loss in the decisive Game 5 that he played with a torn knee ligament. Days later, in his exit interview with reporters, he detailed how the injury impacted his play.
Kings winger Dustin Brown acknowledged playing the Western Conference finals with a torn knee ligament. He said he was hurt in a collision with Dan Boyle of the San Jose Sharks in Game 6 of the Kings’ second-round victory. Surgery isn’t necessary, but Brown will need rest and time in order to be sound again before training camp.
Kings center Mike Richards said he felt helpless while sitting out with a concussion for three games during their conference finals loss to the Chicago Blackhawks. Here’s more from the veteran, who returned to the lineup and scored an unforgettable goal on a deflection in the closing seconds of regulation play to force Game 5 to overtime:
Mike Richards sat out three games during the Kings’ conference finals loss to the Chicago Blackhawks because of a concussion suffered when Dave Bolland cracked him behind the net late in Game 1. So, Richards knows how hard-hitting the Kings’ playoffs were in 2013. Here’s more on his view of the physical play, starting with the first round victory over the St. Louis Blues: “I know, personally, it was one of the most grueling first series I’ve played. … I think this was the most physically draining (postseasons).”
The 25th annual Dave Taylor/Jim Fox Golf Classic will be held Monday (June 24) at the Moorpark Country Club in Moorpark. It’s for a good cause, benefiting cystic fibrosis patient care and research. You can sign up to play or become a sponsor by calling 323-939-0758 or by visiting losangeles.cff.org/golf. Several members of the Kings alumni will be on hand, although the exact list hasn’t been released as of Monday afternoon.
The conference finals series between the Kings and the Chicago Blackhawks and the Boston Bruins and the Pittsburgh Penguins generated the highest ratings in 17 years, an increase of 111 percent from last season, according to NBC Sports. Game 5 of the Western Conference finals Saturday between the Kings and the Blackhawks was the most-watched non-Stanley Cup Final game since NBC began airing games in 2006.
Saving the best for last, here’s what Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick had to say about his play during the regular season and during the conference finals:
Here’s more from Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick, who shared his thoughts on his play and the Kings’ exit from the Western Conference finals:
“Well, I mean, think about it. Colorado was 30th (in the overall standings). We’re in the same boat as them, as 29 other teams. We didn’t accomplish what we set out to. We made the conference finals only one time before last year and now we have two in two years. That says a lot about what Dean (Lombardi, Kings general manger,) has put together. You put all those things together and you expect a lot. I wouldn’t say it was a lost season because we did accomplish a lot.”