Top 10 Norris candidates: Letang the leader?

Kris Letang (Photo by Gregory Shamus/NHLI via Getty Images)

Year in and year out, one of the most heavily debated awards is the Norris Trophy.

The award given to the NHL’s most outstanding defenseman has, in recent years, had a tendency not to go simply to the best defenseman, but rather the one with the most points. At times, it feels as though the trophy should be split in two, with one award going to the defenseman with the most points and another to the best overall defenseman.

However, in our ranking of the top 10 Norris candidates, we did our best to take into account all facets of defense in hopes it gave us a true picture of the Norris race. By using the standard statistics like points, average ice time and shorthanded time on ice – a key defensive situation – mixed with advanced statistics like Corsi for, quality of competition, and defensive zone starts, the things that can help tell us which players are driving play and not just benefitting from sheltered minutes.

There are a few surprises, but for the most part, it’s the usual suspects. Read more

Dwight King skips puck past Martin Brodeur from center ice

Jared Clinton
Martin Brodeur featured Blues

Martin Brodeur didn’t have the best night last night in Los Angeles. He surrendered six goals, the Blues blew a 3-0 lead, and to top it off, he allowed a goal from center ice.

While this isn’t exactly in Rob Davison/Vesa Toskala territory, this is certainly in the conversation of craziest hops to end up in the back of the net. Check out Dwight King’s hopping, skipping, seeing-eye shot that finds its way past the veteran Brodeur: Read more

Top 10 Vezina candidates of 2014-15: Rinne rules

Pekka Rinne (Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)

Goaltending can make or break a team’s season. Just ask the Edmonton Oilers, who for years have looked promising but have been unable to secure a goaltender to give them the big save they need.

You won’t find either Oilers goaltender, Ben Scrivens or Viktor Fasth, on this list of the top 10 Vezina candidates. Nor will you find Michael Hutchinson, who currently leads the league in save percentage and is second in goals-against average. The reason being Hutchinson just hasn’t had the workload, and including his numbers also put goaltenders like Colorado’s Calvin Pickard and injured St. Louis netminder Brian Elliott into the conversation.

Instead, many familiar faces are among the contenders, though not a single one has won the Vezina in their career. Read more

Rumor Roundup: Kings must free up space for Williams, Jets search for blueline help

Justin Williams

ESPN.com’s Pierre LeBrun reports the Los Angeles Kings last week opened contract talks with right wing Justin Williams, winner of the 2014 Conn Smythe Trophy during the Kings’ march to the Stanley Cup last spring.

LeBrun reports the Kings really want to retain the 33-year-old Williams, who loves playing and living in Los Angeles. Williams’ agent, however, has informed management his client prefers not to negotiate during the season. If a deal isn’t reached soon, talks could be shelved until season’s end. Read more

Top 10 Calder Trophy candidates: Can anyone catch Filip Forsberg?

forsberg2

There’s been no shortage of great stories this season, but one of the most surprising things is the cast of rookies who have quickly made names for themselves in the league.

The thing with rookies is they’re one of the most difficult groups of players to accurately forecast. With little known about how well adjusted they’ll be to the NHL, they can either boom or bust, and in some cases an injury or unfavorable situation can send the early Calder Trophy favorite to the bottom of the ballot.

Take Tampa Bay’s Jonathan Drouin, for instance, who some people thought would run away with the award but doesn’t even appear on our list. Or John Gibson, the THN consensus pick for the Calder, who had a shot at leading the Ducks this season before injury derailed his season.

These are the top 10 Calder Candidates at this point in the season: Read more

Kings unveil new Stadium Series jersey…but about those pants…

Adam Proteau
Kings Stadium Series jersey (image via L.A. Kings)

The Los Angeles Kings unveiled their new Stadium Series jersey Tuesday night – and while it’s up for debate whether they’re a fashion crime or not, the hockey pants that go along with them need to be imprisoned for life.

The sweaters themselves – which will debut at California’s Levi Stadium when the Sharks host the Kings in an outdoor game Feb. 21 – aren’t eyesores, even if the actual design takes some getting used to:

L.A. Kings Stadium Series jerseys hang in the team store. (image via L.A. Kings)

(image via L.A. Kings)

However, the overall look – specifically, the white pants that match the bottom part of the jersey – just looks wrong. I’m not going to say they appear diaper-like, but they do smack of Cooperalls, and that’s reason enough to demand a redesign: Read more

Police say Voynov punched, kicked, choked wife; case will go to trial

Jared Clinton
Slava Voynov's salary will no longer count as part of L.A.'s cap hit while he is suspended. (Photo by Juan Ocampo/NHLI via Getty Images)

During a preliminary hearing, a Rendondo Beach, Calif. police officer has testified that Slava Voynov’s wife told police the suspended Los Angeles Kings defenseman punched, kicked, and choked her.

The testimony stated that Voynov’s wife was left with a cut over her eye, red marks and scratches on her neck, and was also pushed to the ground repeatedly. Voynov has been charged with a felony count of corporal injury to spouse with great bodily injury.

Nathan Fenno of the Los Angeles Times was in court, reporting the testimony as it happened.

(Warning: The reported information is graphic.) Read more

Kings might want to flip the switch anytime about now

Ken Campbell
Joffrey Lupul and Jonathan Quick (Graig Abel/NHLI via Getty Images)

If the Stanley Cup playoffs were to begin right now, the Los Angeles Kings would be in them by the skin of their teeth. They would have limped into the post-season with four losses in their past five. They would enter the tournament with their most productive players in terrible slumps – Anze Kopitar with one goal in his past 13 and Jeff Carter with one in his past 12. Nobody is talking about Drew Doughty as a candidate for the Norris Trophy and Marian Gaborik has alternated between being injured and ineffective.

They’d be preparing to play one of the league’s hottest teams, one that has nine wins in it’s past 10. That team would be the Chicago Blackhawks and we all know what happened when they faced each other last spring. Read more