Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick didn’t become one of the NHL’s very best at his job because he could steal his team a win once in a while. He got to that level because he can steal wins on a regular basis. And although he fell just short Wednesday in L.A.’s 6-5 shootout loss to Anaheim, a save he made on Ducks center Rickard Rakell was the latest demonstration of Quick’s staggering skill and athleticism.
It was late in the second period with the Kings holding a 3-2 lead when Anaheim broke in quickly on a 3-on-2; Ducks forward Andrew Cogliano fired a shot at Quick, who made the save but gave up a rebound that went, with no small amount of speed, right onto the stick of Rakell. He snapped the puck back at the Kings net immediately, and if there had been almost any other goalie between the pipes, he would’ve scored the first goal of his NHL career. Unfortunately for him, he was facing someone with the instincts and ability to do this: Read more
The Anaheim Ducks announced late Wednesday that star right winger Corey Perry and cornerstone blueliner Francois Beauchemin had (a) been diagnosed with the mumps, (b) are in various stages of treatment for the viral infection and (c) are sidelined on a day-to-day basis (Perry is considered closer to returning). Mumps aren’t a normal diagnosis for any NHLer, but over the course of league history, there have been a handful of out-of-the-ordinary medical situations like this to confront players. Here are a few examples:
• In 2009, Bruins center David Krejci was separated from the team during the season and quarantined with the H1N1 virus (a.k.a. the swine flu) until he stopped showing symptoms or a fever. Krejci was one of five NHLers (including Doug Weight, Ladislav Smid and Peter Budaj) to contract the virus that season. None of the affected players suffered serious aftereffects. Read more
“Ping” may be the sweetest sound in the world for Vancouver Canucks fans today. Last night, with the game on the line, former Canuck Ryan Kesler skated in on Vancouver’s Eddie Lack in the shootout and rang one off the crossbar. One of the players he had been traded for, Nick Bonino, had already scored in the skills competition, so there’s your neatly-packaged storyline right there. But how about a shout-out to rookie GM Jim Benning for making that all possible in the first place?
There are some bitter rivalries in the NHL, but few groups of fans share as much disdain for each other as those of the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks.
That’s what makes this incredible prank so much better. It appears while a coworker was away on vacation, some big Kings fans took it upon themselves to make a rival Ducks fan feel some pain: Read more
The moment Ryan Kesler slipped on an Anaheim Ducks jersey, he felt a rush of excitement. Beneath it all, however, was an undercurrent of anxiety.
Kesler’s time as a Vancouver Canuck was up. The team needed a fresh start and so did he. But a cross-conference trade, or at least one out of his division, would’ve been a bit less awkward. Instead, he ended up a Duck, where he’d join forces with some of his mortal Pacific Division enemies, like a picked-on kid paired off with the class bullies for a school project.
The Ducks belong to captain Ryan Getzlaf and sniper Corey Perry, both of whom have traded blows with Kesler in the past. The 6-foot-4, 218-pound Getzlaf rag-dolled the 6-foot-2, 208-pound Kesler in Dec. 2008, and Perry threw down with Kesler in 2009 and 2010. Both Perry-Kesler tilts happened in the pre-season. That’s when you know there’s bad blood. So Kesler, understandably, didn’t know what to expect after the trade. But the Ducks quickly let him know bygones were bygones – their leader in particular.
“Ryan Getzlaf, really great captain, really great guy,” Kesler said. “But, really, all the guys made me feel at home. They were all welcoming. That was my biggest thing, playing against those guys, being in a rivalry against those guys. You develop hate towards them. But off the ice, they’re all good dudes and we got over it.”
Kesler said he, Getzlaf and Perry reminisced about their fights and had some laughs. But washing away bad blood is just one hurdle a player must overcome after a trade. The simple change of scenery is life-altering.
Former San Jose Sharks captain Joe Thornton has no intention of waiving his no-movement clause anytime soon. Despite an off-season in which Thornton was stripped of the captaincy and mentioned in trade rumors, he told the Toronto Sun’s Mike Zeisberger he considers the Sharks a very good team capable of doing something.
During the summer, there was speculation claiming Sharks management might try to pressure the 35-year-old into accepting a trade. The rumors carried over into this season, as Zeisberger cited a recent report linking Thornton with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Read more
After the NHL began the regular season rather quietly on the supplemental discipline front, players have been making up for lost time of late – including Anton Volchenkov’s four-game suspension, Jordan Nolan’s two-game ban for boarding, and Andrew Ference’s three-game suspension for an illegal check to the head. And after Sunday night’s game between the host Colorado Avalanche and Anaheim Ducks, there ought to be another.
See it with your own eyes. Look at the footage of Avs star Gabriel Landeskog barreling into Ducks winger Corey Perry, and ask yourself, would you suspend him or not? Read more
After going winless in October, the Carolina Hurricanes opened November with their first two victories of the season, downing the hapless Arizona Coyotes and the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings. This recent bout of success, however, won’t stem the growing tide of trade speculation dogging the Hurricanes this season.
ESPN.com’s Pierre LeBrun reports Hurricanes GM Ron Francis is getting phone calls from other clubs interested in making deals with him. Francis claims none of them are willing to make a hockey trade which that makes sense for his club, as they’re attempting to dump bad contracts upon the Hurricanes. Read more