Team USA update

Jack Johnson had a big game for Team USA today in the IIHF World Championships, but the Americans fell to Sweden 6-5 in overtime in their final pool-play game. Johnson assisted on two 5-on-3 power-play goals in the second period, and his even-strength goal, 8:20 into the third period, gave Team USA a 5-2 lead. Sweden then rallied with three goals, and made it 5-5 with 3:51 remaining. Sweden won it when Kristian Huselius scored 1:59 into overtime.

Team USA finished first in its group and, if I’m reading the schedule correctly, will play France on Sunday and Switzerland on Monday. (That’s a correction…I didn’t realize I was already looking at updated standings…)

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NHL awards finalists

All of the finalists for the major NHL awards have been announced. For those who haven’t seen all of the results, here are the finalists plus, in the interest of disclosure, how I voted as a member of the Professional Hockey Writers Association:

Hart Trophy (most valuable)
Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings
Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins
Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals
I voted: 1) Ovechkin, 2) Datsyuk, 3) Sidney Crosby

Calder Trophy (outstanding rookie):
Steve Mason, Columbus Blue Jackets
Bobby Ryan, Anaheim Ducks
Kris Versteeg, Chicago Blackhawks
I voted: 1) Mason, 2) Drew Doughty, 3) Ryan

Norris Trophy (outstanding defenseman):
Zdeno Chara, Boston Bruins
Mike Green, Washington Capitals
Nicklas Lidstrom, Detroit Red Wings
I voted: 1) Green, 2) Chara, 3) Lidstrom

Lady Byng Trophy (skill, sportsmanship):
Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings
Zach Parise, New Jersey Devils
Martin St. Louis, Tampa Bay Lightning
I voted: 1) Datsyuk, 2) Jarome Iginla, 3) St. Louis

Vezina Trophy (outstanding goaltender)
Niklas Backstrom, Minnesota Wild
Steve Mason, Columbus Blue Jackets
Tim Thomas, Boston Bruins
(I did not have a Vezina vote, but would have voted Thomas, Mason, Roberto Luongo)

Frank J. Selke Trophy (top defensive forward):
Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings
Ryan Kesler, Vancouver Canucks
Mike Richards, Philadelphia Flyers
I voted: 1) Datsyuk, 2) David Krejci, 3) Patrick Marleau

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Reunited in Bern

Here’s a cool picture of Patrick O’Sullivan, Dustin Brown and Jack Johnson (plus John Michael Liles), back together after the United States scored a goal against Austria on Monday. Also, what’s with the advertisements on the helmets? Please don’t let Gary Bettman see that….


Photo by Fabrice Coffrini, AFP/Getty Images

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A look ahead

Just to set the table, here’s what the Kings’ financial situation looks like at the moment. If they had to fill a 23-man roster, at the moment, with only the players under contract, it might look something like this. The following 23 players, plus the two buyouts, would result in a salary-cap hit of roughly $43.2 million.

Kopitar 6.800 million
Handzus 4.000
Stoll 3.600
Williams 3.500
Brown 3.175
Frolov 2.900
Moller 0.875
Lewis 0.855
Simmonds 0.822
Clune 0.625
Ivanans 0.600
Richardson 0.588
Zeiler 0.544
Gauthier 0.525

Doughty 3.475 million
Greene 2.950
Hickey 1.346
O’Donnell 1.250
Harrold 0.583
Drewiske 0.525
Quincey 0.525

Quick 0.770 million
Ersberg 0.750

Cloutier 1.033 million
McCauley 0.667

Plus, there are the following restricted free agents:
Elkins (arbitration eligible)
Moulson (arbitration eligible)
Piskula (arbitration eligible)

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Thriving away from L.A.

Where were these goals for the Kings? First, Dustin Brown scored two goals in a warmup game for Team USA last week, and now Jack Johnson scored two goals for Team USA, on Saturday, in the Americans’ first game, a 4-2 victory over Latvia.

Johnson played 19 minutes, 15 seconds, in that game, second-most on the team. Brown, the captain, had one assist and played 17:41, most among American forwards. Peter Harrold played 7:05.

On Sunday, Canada throttled Hungary 9-0 and Drew Doughty had one assist.

This morning, Brown had one goal and two assists in USA’s 6-1 victory over Austria.

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Doughty: one assist in Canada win

Canada opened play in the IIHF World Championships today with a 6-1 victory over Belarus. Drew Doughty assisted on Canada’s second goal, scored on the power play by Steven Stamkos for an ’08 Draft Connection.

Russia beat Germany today, 5-0, but Alexander Frolov didn’t play and I’m not sure why. Slovakia, with Michal Handzus, plays Hungary today. USA, with Dustin Brown, Peter Harrold and Jack Johnson, opens play in the tournament tomorrow morning against Latvia.

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A serious question

What was worse?

a) Being a Kings fan this season, knowing all along that your team probably wouldn’t make the playoffs?


b) Being a Sharks fan this season, knowing that no matter how many points you accumulated, your team was probably still destined for another playoff choke?

It’s a serious question. Would you rather be Sharks Fan and enjoy the six months of success, regardless of how it ends?

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Colten Teubert note

There was a question in the comments section about Colten Teubert, and why he was a healthy scratch for the Ontario Reign in last night’s Game 7 loss to Stockton. According to the team, Teubert was not a “healthy” scratch, but instead had an undisclosed upper-body injury, which he sustained in Game 6 the previous night.

On a related subject, J.P. Hoornstra, who covered the Reign for our newspaper chain this season, talked to Bill Ranford yesterday about Jeff Zatkoff and Linden Rowat. Ranford and the rest of the Kings brass (Lombardi, Murray, Hextall, Robitaille) attended the Reign game.

Ranford on Zatkoff, Rowat

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