I know, right? You’d never expect that, certainly they didn’t mention it 10 times per broadcast back in the day.
The Kings (21-16-6, 3rd in Pacific) are supposed to be rebuilding — or “retooling” as they optimistically describe it these days — around their aging star core. But somewhere along the way they got off to a good start, so they’re part of a pretty entertaining wild card chase out west that realistically includes the Kings, Ducks, Oilers, Stars, Sharks and Jets. (Points-wise, the Flames are in that mix, but they have a COVID-induced batch of games in hand, and former Kings boss Darryl Sutter currently has them murdering opponents.)
Anze Kopitar leads them in points, Quick is getting the majority of starts in goal and doing well, and Dustin Brown is...also playing.
Alas, tonight is an ESPN+/Hulu exclusive.
First Islanders Goal picks go here.
- General preview of tonight’s game: The Kings average the fourth most shots per game in the NHL at 35.4 shots. Conversely, they relinquish the fifth fewest amount... [Isles]
- The special teams have been good lately. That sure helps. [Newsday]
- The Islanders have to prove it against decent teams like tonight’s opponent. [Post]
- It’s a podcast! It’s a live Q&A! It’s sort of both, with the newest Isles beatwriter. [Athletic]
- John Tonelli joins the Talkin’ Isles podcast. Yes, he discusses the 1982 dynsaty-saver, playing with Gretzky in LA, and a Clark Gillies story (this was recorded before #9’s death). [Isles]
- Stan Fischler shares memories of Gillies. [Isles]
- Zach Parise has busted his tail all season, and the rewards may finally be coming. [AMNY]
- Mostly without stars, the Isles are built to win with what they have. [WFAN]
Last night’s NHL scores include the Capitals losing at home to the Sharks, and the Blackhawks scoring a bunch of goals against the Red Wings, who scored a slightly smaller bunch.
- The Canucks have hired a general manager, a Swede who worked under Jim Rutherford with the Penguins. [NHL | Sportsnet]
- Meanwhile, the Blackhawks GM search will include people inside and outside of hockey. [Sportsnet]
- Former King Jeff Carter gets a two-year, $6.25 million extension with the Penguins. [NHL]
- Aaron Dell gets a Ross Johnston-length three-game suspension for his interference the other night, which leads me to believe the NHL discipline department is currently in a waxing rather than waning phase. [NHL]
- After stomping the Blues 7-1 the other night, the Flames headed to Columbus and set a club record with 62 shots as they torched the Blue Jackets, 6-0. [NHL | Sportsnet]
- “Rest assured,” “Make no mistake,” something something Brooks about Ryan Strome needing a contract extension. [Post]
- A wild series of events has Josh Ho-Sang as a very appreciative Team Canada Olympian. [Sportsnet]
- Alex Tuch wants to embrace Buffalo and help revive the Sabres. [Athletic]
- The Flyers will only trade Claude Giroux if he wants it. Because he has a no-trade clause, so... [ESPN]
- Their team is terrible, but Chuck Fletcher retains a “blank check” to steer the team. [NHL]
- Meanwhile, Calvin de Haan is happy where he is in Chicago but knows a trade could be coming. [Athletic]
- Carey Price, who is on a really long and really expensive contract, is frustrated with the slow pace of his knee rehab. [TSN]
- Mailbag: Could the Sharks trade two of their stars? [Athletic]
- The Flyers have full excuse now to go Full Tank: Sean Couturier and Ryan Ellis are definitely out the whole season. [Athletic]