Here’s the link to the story in today’s Globe and Mail: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/hockey/leafs-skating-fine-line-between-success-and-mediocrity/article17868054/
Here’s the link to everything you need to know about the players who could be coming to the NHL (and the Kings) sooner rather than later: http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=712864&navid=nhl:topheads
The draft lottery is next Tuesday, by the way.
The Kings on Saturday recalled hulking defenseman Andrew Campbell from their American Hockey League affiliate in Manchester, N.H. The 6-foot-4, 206-pound Campbell played in 68 games for the Monarchs this season and had three goals and 13 assists. Campbell, 26, has yet to appear in an NHL game. He was the Kings third-round draft pick (74th overall) in 2008.
The KIngs recalled rookie forward Linden Vey from Manchester (N.H.) of the American Hockey League on Thursday. Then they loaned him to Ontario (Calif.) of the ECHL on Friday. Vey appeared in 18 games earlier this season with the Kings and recorded five assists. Thursday’s recall was his fourth in 2013-14.
Rest or rust is always an issue at this point in the season as coaches and players balance two apparently conflicting goals before the end of the regular season. Healing old wounds (and avoiding new ones) is critical if a team wants to make a long run in the postseason. Staying sharp with only a few meaningless regular-season games remaining is important, too. But you can’t win in the playoffs without healthy players. Many a team has ended the regular season with a limp.
Consider the case of Kings defenseman Drew Doughty, who suffered an apparent left shoulder injury while making a routine-looking check on the San Jose Sharks’ Tyler Kennedy on Wednesday. Doughty did not return to the game and the Kings said he suffered an unspecified upper-body injury. The Kings lost the game 2-1, but Doughty’s health was of far greater concern.
Doughty played in his 199th consecutive game Wednesday, but it wasn’t immediately clear whether his streak would continue when the Kings (45-27-6) faced the Canucks (34-32-11) on Saturday. Vancouver is all but eliminated from the playoff race; the Kings are locked into third place in the Pacific Division. Most likely, the Kings will play the Sharks in the first round.
The smart money is on Doughty sitting out until he’s back to something close to 100 percent. Shoulders are tricky things. You can’t play the hard-nosed style the Kings do without having two healthy shoulders. Or knees. Or ankles. Or you name it. So, expect to see Kings coach Darryl Sutter give some of his best players a little bit of rest here and there for the rest of the regular season.
Better to lose a little now and rest up for the more important games coming up.
The Kings on Thursday recalled forward Linden Vey from their American Hockey League affiliate in Manchester, N.H. Vey, a 22-year-old, was recalled for the fourth time. He had five assists in 18 games earlier this season, his first in the NHL. He also had 44 points, including 12 goals, in 40 games with Manchester this season.
The Los Angeles chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association announced Thursday that defenseman Willie Mitchell is the Kings’ nominee for the 2014 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy. The PHWA awards the trophy annually to honor the late North Stars player, who exhibited the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedicati.on to the game of ice hockey. Masterton died as a result of an on-ice injury Jan. 15, 1968.
Mitchell has long exemplified the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey that the Masterton is intended to recognize, most recently with his comeback from a knee injury that forced him to miss all of last season.
In addition to his steady on-ice play, Mitchell also is involved in a number of charities and sits on the board of the Fishing for Kids tournament in his native British Columbia, Canada. The event has generated more than $5 million for children’s charities in the province. He’s also on a board member of the SOS Marine Conservation Foundation, which tries to protect Pacific salmon. In addition, he is a supporter of the Pacific Salmon foundation.
In the past, Mitchell has helped obtain hockey equipment and pay registration fees for kids in and around his hometown of Port McNeill, British Columbia.
Here’s Kings captain Dustin Brown’s reaction to the Stanley Cup playoff-clinching victory Wednesday over the Phoenix Coyotes: “With the evolution of this team, maybe four or five years ago, this was a big deal. Now, it’s just part of the process. It’s good to get it out of the way and get our game going. There’s nothing to celebrate about making the playoffs. It’s not a goal, it’s an expectation.”
The usually empty Kings’ dressing room was emptier than usual after their 4-0 rout of the Coyotes sent them to the postseason for the fifth consecutive season. Brown was the only player at his locker stall when reporters were granted access to the dressing room. Alec Martinez was later summoned from the off-limits area and he spoke along the same lines as Brown, saying it was a bigger deal to play well.
It’s been quite a week for Nic Dowd, a 23-year-old senior forward from St. Cloud (Minn.) State. On Tuesday, he signed a one-season entry-level contract with the Kings. On Wednesday, he was named one of three finalists for the Hobey Baker Award, college hockey’s version of the Heisman Trophy. Dowd had 40 points, including 22 goals, in 38 games this past season with St. Cloud State.
Greg Carey, senior forward from St. Lawrence University, and Johnny Gaudreau, junior forward from Boston College, are the other finalists. The winner will be announced in a ceremony April 11 from Philadelphia.