Watch the Stadium Series rink get built in under two minutes

Jared Clinton
Stadium Series Time Lapse

If there’s something about the spectacle of outdoor NHL games that won’t wear off, it’s seeing how everything comes together to make the entire experience happen comes together.

Over the course of the preparation for the Stadium Series game between the San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., there has been a camera perched on top of the stadium overlooking the exact spot where the rink was to be placed. Watch as workers speed around in time-lapse fashion to change the home of the San Francisco 49ers to the one-night home rink for the San Jose Sharks. Read more

Jonathan Quick’s save on Alex Tanguay was robbery

Jared Clinton
Jonathan Quick (Getty Images)

Jonathan Quick hasn’t been quite as good as the Los Angeles Kings have needed him to be this season, but all will be forgotten if he keeps making saves like his one on Alex Tanguay last night. Really, if he does that, we could be talking about the Kings again come June.

With the Kings up 3-1 over the Avalanche, John Mitchell picked up a loose puck on wing and skated down below Los Angeles’ right wing circle. Across the ice he saw a wide open Tanguay and put a perfect pass right on his tape. If you recreated this play 100 times, it would be a goal more than 90 percent of the time, but Quick wasn’t having any of it. Check out the incredible splits save he makes: Read more

Bird’s-eye view: NHL’s Stadium Series webcam gets a surprise visitor

Adam Proteau
A crow checks out the NHL's camera inside Levi Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. (Image via NHL/Youtube.com)

As the NHL’s Stadium Series game between the San Jose Sharks and L.A. Kings approaches, the league’s webcam documenting the building of the rink at Levi’s Stadium received a surprise visitor: a curious crow that made a brief, but memorable cameo.

The Stadium Series game – scheduled for this Saturday at the massive outdoor venue normally used by the NFL’s San Francisco 49ersis officially sold out with some 69,000 seat sold, and the NHL’s highly skilled ice crew is hard at work to ensure the event goes off without a hitch. The league had been using a stationary webcam to give fans the full view of the rink being set up, but the aforementioned crow decided to insert itself between the camera lens and the field for a handful of captivating seconds:
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Why Jonathan Quick is key to Los Angeles’ playoff hopes

Jared Clinton
Jonathan Quick. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

On the face of things, the Los Angeles Kings have had a nightmarish season. They’re the defending Stanley Cup Champions, have talent top to bottom, but are still struggling to get into one of the two Western Conference wild-card spots.

There have been distractions, such as Slava Voynov’s alleged off-ice actions and the demotion of Mike Richards, and through it all the Kings have not looked quite like themselves.

Over their past five games, however, the Kings have appeared every bit the team that won two Stanley Cups in three seasons (and back-to-back championships in full 82-game seasons, their fans will have you know). So, what has made the difference for the Kings in their past five games? They’re finally getting the stops they need from Jonathan Quick. Read more

If they’re being realistic, Leafs fans should expect a five-year rebuild plan – at the very least

Rob Blake (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

As the Toronto Maple Leafs embark on an extensive, painful, absolutely necessary and long overdue rebuild, there are fans and media who’ve estimated the team will need something in the area of five years before people see a genuine Stanley Cup contender. But for as long as that sounds, it’s actually a conservative estimate. There are exceptions, of course, but to see how long it can take for a legitimate Cup threat to round into that form, look no further than the defending-champion Los Angeles Kings – or perhaps more appropriately, the St. Louis Blues franchise that is still seeking its first championship after 47 seasons.

The Kings didn’t win their first Cup until 2012. By that point, team captain Dustin Brown had been in the organization for seven seasons. Superstar Anze Kopitar had been there for six years. Elite defenseman Drew Doughty was in his fourth year as an NHLer. Brown and Kopitar had been drafted in 2003 and 2005 respectively, and the Kings still failed to make the playoffs for five straight seasons after taking Brown 13th overall in 2003.

The Blues selected Backes – in the second round, 62nd overall – in the same season the Kings selected Brown. Winger T.J. Oshie was selected 24th overall in 2005; Vladimir Tarasenko and Jaden Schwartz were drafted in 2010. Alex Pietrangelo and Jake Allen were selected in 2008. In those seasons, the Blues missed the post-season five out of six seasons and still have only won one playoff series since 2002.

So, about that five-year window the Leafs are looking at to be a “winner”? It’s more than likely more than a little optimistic. Team president Brendan Shanahan and his management group could speed up the process with some good fortune, augmentative trades and free agent signings, but the reality is, five years is almost certainly going to be the minimum it takes to truly build Toronto’s team or any team into one that has the depth and talent to compete with the NHL’s elite teams. And Kings assistant GM Rob Blake agrees.

“It does take many years,” Blake told The Hockey News Monday. Read more

Ontario Reign unveil jerseys they’ll wear when they make jump to AHL next season

Adam Proteau
The new Ontario Reign logo (image courtesy of L.A. Kings)

The ECHL’s Ontario Reign is part of the groundbreaking new American League Pacific division – and Wednesday, the L.A. Kings affiliate unveiled their new jerseys and logo when they make the jump to the AHL next season.

The Reign, who’ve won four ECHL Pacific Divsion championships, were aiming for a new look that establishes a connection with their parent team in Los Angeles – and they can pat themselves on the back knowing the mission was accomplished. When you look at the logo and jersey, you can’t help but think Kings, and not simply because of the colors. Speaking of: Their new home jerseys are white with black and gray stripes along the waist and elbows, and a black stripe runs along the shoulders and sleeve of the jersey; and their road jerseys are black with white and grey stripes along the waist and elbows. But the logo is unmistakably reminiscent of the Kings’: Read more

Los Angeles Kings guess their video game ratings, Alec Martinez is way off

Jared Clinton
L.A. Kings Jarret Stoll and Alec Martinez

There is nothing in sports video games as hotly contested as player ratings. Whether a person thinks players are rated too high or too low, there’s very few gamers who think each rating is right in the sweet spot. Take Kings defenseman Alec Martinez, for example.

Martinez had the best year of his career last season, posting 11 goals and 22 points in 61 games with the Kings, adding another five goals and 10 points in 26 playoff games. He scored the game-winning overtime goal in game seven of the Western Conference Final and followed that up with the Stanley Cup winning goal in double overtime against the New York Rangers.

All that is to say you couldn’t argue if Martinez were to guess his player rating was somewhere in the mid-80s. What did Martinez estimate? Let’s just say it’s way less than 80. Watch as Martinez and teammates try to gauge how they stack up in EA Sports’ NHL 15. Read more

The 10 strangest injuries of the 2014-15 season

Sidney Crosby had a visibly swollen face when he met with media on Friday. (via PensTV)

On Sunday night, Philadelphia Flyers netminder Steve Mason went down with an injury during a TV timeout. It could very well have been the reaggravation of an earlier ailment, but it simply looks like the Philadelphia goaltender just had awful luck.

And strange injuries have been one of the big stories this season. Even when it’s not a strange injury, in some cities players are heading to the injured list at such a rate that it makes one wonder what’s in the water. So, in what has been an odd season for injuries, here are the 10 strangest: Read more