Veteran Los Angeles Kings defenceman Robyn Regehr says he’s ready to call it quits after 15 seasons in the NHL.
Regehr told reporters after the Kings’ last game of the season on Saturday that he intends to hang up his skates, just one week before his 35th birthday.
Regehr won a Stanley Cup with the Kings last year and came within two wins of another Cup in 2003-04 as a member of the Calgary Flames.
By golly, the anti-analytics crowd is going to have a field day with this one, yes it will. Those who poo-poo the fancy stats can look at the NHL standings today and point out that the best possession team in the league, the Los Angeles Kings, missed the playoffs, while one of the worst possession teams in the league, the Calgary Flames, lost their best defenseman and punched their ticket to the Stanley Cup dance.
Take that and stick it in your pocket protectors, or something like that.
It’s remarkable, really. Over the past couple of years, the hockey world has been led to believe that advanced stats are the best harbinger for team success. Teams that have good possession numbers have far more success than those that don’t. So how do you explain how a team with a shot attempt differential of plus-733 has missed the playoffs, while one with a minus-847 (a difference of 1,580) can make it? Read more
Watching the NHL’s action play out Thursday night was kind of like covering a political election and seeing the polls come in and herald a new leader for a new era. In one polling station, you had the Boston Bruins – the league’s top regular-season team last year – falling to the Florida Panthers and putting their playoff fate in the hands of the surging Ottawa Senators and wobbly Pittsburgh Penguins (who, like the Bruins, won a Stanley Cup not too long ago); In another station, you saw the Calgary Flames hold off the desperate Los Angeles Kings and register a 3-1 win, eliminating the defending Cup champions from the post-season and securing a playoff berth for the Winnipeg Jets.
Change was everywhere, and more change could be coming. Depending on what happens Friday and Saturday, the Eastern Conference playoff picture could have three teams (the Sens, Capitals and Islanders) who weren’t in the 2014 post-season, and the Western Conference will have four teams (Vancouver, Nashville, Calgary and Winnipeg) in this year’s playoffs who weren’t there last year. A 43.75 percent playoff turnover rate is one thing, but it’s not just the fact there are potentially seven new post-season teams this year that’s so intriguing; it’s the great distance teams are falling that has NHL executives clenching their teeth and always worrying about what’s ahead. Read more
If there’s one team that could ill afford an injury at this point of the season, it’s the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings. Unfortunately, however, they’ll have to battle for their playoff lives without the services of Tanner Pearson and Andrej Sekera.
Pearson has been out since Jan. 10 with a fractured left fibula, and the leg injury has kept him on the shelf since then. He did, however, resume skating in March and participated in a full practice on March 22. While there was the slight hope he could find his way back to game action when the Kings needed him most, it appears that won’t be the case and he’ll likely only slot into the lineup should Los Angeles make it to the post-season.
As for Sekera, who was the Kings’ major acquisition at the trade deadline, a lower body injury suffered March 30 against the Chicago Blackhawks will be the end of his regular season and the Kings will have to re-evaluate whether or not he can play if they make the playoffs. Read more
With only two games remaining in the season for every team save the Boston Bruins and Columbus Blue Jackets, one would have expected playoff matchups to be set and the post-season-bound teams separated from those who are heading towards early summers.
However, the Western Conference still boasts three teams who have yet to formally lock up their ticket to the dance, with Los Angeles on the brink of elimination. And in the Eastern Conference, there are five teams within three points of each other and it appears that no one’s playoff berth is safe just yet due to the never-say-die attitude of the Ottawa Senators.
The frantic finish of the regular season will include teams scoreboard watching and clinching playoff berths with opposition losses, playoff atmospheres in final-day tilts and a couple of fan bases devastated because they came this close to their shot at playoff glory. Read more
Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that the Los Angeles Kings are hanging onto the prospect of a playoff spot by their fingernails and the grip is getting less tenuous by the day. What might be more shocking is that the Kings have been able to even get this close to the playoffs in the first place.
As you all know, the Kings playoff hopes took a wallop to the solar plexus Tuesday night when they lost 4-2 to the lowly Edmonton Oilers, one night after dropping a 2-1 shootout to the Vancouver Canucks. That dropped their tragic number down to two – meaning any combination of points gained by the Calgary Flames and Winnipeg Jets and points lost by the Kings adding up to two means they’re out of the playoffs. Read more
The NHL’s 82-game season can be hard on players. No matter how tough a guy is, getting hammered into the boards on a nightly basis by 190-pound opponents takes its toll in the form of injuries and fatigue. And with the game faster and the players stronger than they’ve ever been, the number of hits a player sustains can really add up.
They certainly seem to have added up for the Los Angeles Kings, Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks, all recent Stanley Cup champions who have been hampered by injuries or fatigue this year, and who have been hit more often than any other potential playoff team in the league.
News Wednesday that actor and famous hockey/Boston Bruins fan Denis Leary was producing for IFC a new series centered around an amateur hockey team should inspire puck fans to pitch more hockey-themed shows to TV networks in the hope they might get picked up and put on air. Here, I’ll show you what I mean, using titles of TV series as examples:
The Walking Dead An outbreak of a mysterious virus ravages the Sabres, Coyotes and Maple Leafs and leads to locals staggering aimlessly and dead-eyed in the streets in Buffalo, Arizona and Toronto. While death sometimes seems to be a merciful option for our heroes during such a bleak time, they bravely continue to search and hope for a place to settle and grow. Read more