NHL Stanley Cup: Kings slay Devils; wins First-ever NHL Championship

12 06 2012

A team based in Staples Center, Los Angeles won a major a title this year.  It’s not the Lakers or even the Clippers. It’s the Kings. Really? Yes they did.  The Kings won their first Stanley Cup in the franchise’s 45 year history.

Here are this year’s champs:

77 Jeff Carter 27 6-3 200 R London, Ontario 1/1/85
24 Colin Fraser 27 6-1 194 L Surrey, British Columbia 1/28/85
11 Anze Kopitar 24 6-3 227 L Jesenice, Yugoslavia 8/24/87
22 Trevor Lewis 25 6-1 195 R Salt Lake City, Utah 1/8/87
48 Andrei Loktionov 22 5-10 180 L Voskresensk, USSR 5/30/90
71 Jordan Nolan 22 6-3 227 L St. Catharines, Ontario 6/23/89
10 Mike Richards 27 5-11 195 L Kenora, Ontario 2/11/85
15 Brad Richardson 27 5-11 192 L Belleville, Ontario 2/4/85
28 Jarret Stoll 29 6-1 210 R Melville, Saskatchewan 6/24/82
13 Kyle Clifford 21 6-2 207 L Ayr, Ontario 1/13/91
12 Simon Gagne 32 6-1 193 L Ste. Foy, Quebec 2/29/80
74 Dwight King 22 6-3 234 L Meadowlake, Saskatchewan 7/5/89
25 Dustin Penner 29 6-4 249 L Winkler, Manitoba 9/28/82
23 Dustin Brown 27 6-0 209 R Ithaca, New York 11/4/84
21 Scott Parse 27 5-11 188 R Kalamazoo, Michigan 9/5/84
19 Kevin Westgarth 28 6-4 228 R Amherstburg, Ontario 2/7/84
14 Justin Williams 30 6-1 188 R Cobourg, Ontario 10/4/81
8 Drew Doughty 22 6-0 212 R London, Ontario 12/8/89
44 Davis Drewiske 27 6-2 218 L Hudson, Wisconsin 11/22/84
2 Matt Greene 29 6-3 231 R Grand Ledge, Michigan 5/13/83
27 Alec Martinez 24 6-0 205 L Rochester Hills, Michigan 7/26/87
33 Willie Mitchell 35 6-3 212 L Port Mcneill, British Columbia 4/23/77
7 Rob Scuderi 33 6-1 216 L Syosset, New York 12/30/78
26 Slava Voynov 22 5-11 193 R Chelyabinsk, USSR 1/15/90
45 Jonathan Bernier 23 5-11 186 L Laval, Quebec 8/7/88
32 Jonathan Quick 26 6-1 212 L Milford, Connecticut 1/21/86
Coach: Darryl Sutter

*lineup courtesy of ESPN

LA won the Cup with a dominating postseason.  After barely qualifying for the playoffs, they beat the Top 3 seeds in the West with ease to qualify for its first finals since NHL legend Wayne Gretzky lead brought them to the 1993 finals.  They were 12-2 coming out of the West finals.

In the Stanley Cup finals, they faced the New Jersey Devils.  They stole games 1 and 2 with 2-1 overtime victories.  They took a 3-0 series lead after a 4-0 rout in Game 3.  They, however, lost in Games 4 and 5.  They prevented a total collapse by winning the clincher in LA, 6-1, in front of LA fans hungry for some championships to come after the Lakers and Clipper’s playoff campaigns fizzled last month. Congratulations LA Kings!!!



End of an era: Nicklas Lidstrom retires

1 06 2012
Nicklas Lidstrom was Detroit's third choice in...

Nicklas Lidstrom was Detroit’s third choice in the 1989 NHL Entry Draft. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of the greatest players who  donned the winged-wheel uniform retired today.  Niklas Lidstrom, arguably the best defender in his generation, hanged up his skates and retire from the Detroit Red Wings and the National Hockey League.  Lidstrom won four Stanley Cups at Detroit and he was won 7 Norris trophies as NHL’s best defender.

The 42 year old team captain played 20 season with the vaunted Red Wings. He played  1,564 games in the NHL, all with Detroit. He scored 264 goals along with 878 assists for a total of 1,142 career points.  Lidstrom also played in a team record 263 playoff games scoring 54 goals and having 129 assists for 183 total career playoff points.  The Red Wings played in the post season in all of Lidstrom’s 20 years with the team.

Niklas Lidstrom retired after having one of the most accomplished careers in NHL history or perhaps hockey history.  He was the first European team captain of a Stanley Cup Winner (2007-2008).   He competed in the Olympics 4 times and won a gold medal in 2006 after making the game winning goal in the gold medal match between his Sweden and Finland. He has won the Conn Smythe Trophy in the 2002 Stanley Cup conquest.

The retirement of Lidstrom will be create big hole in the Detroit Red Wings’ line-up.  Dubbed as “The Perfect Human” by teammates, the legendary Swede will be forever in Red Wings’ lore. Detroit will lose one of the most beloved players by the fans. No.5 will surely be missed! Good Luck Nick! We will never forget you!!

Stanley Cup: 8th seeded LA Kings is the king of the West

23 05 2012
Los Angeles Kings

Los Angeles Kings (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Southern California will be represented in the Stanley Cup Finals after the Los Angeles Kings beat the 3rd seeded Phoenix Coyotes ,4-3, in Game 5 of their Best of 7 Western Conference Finals match-up. LA will be battling NHL’s grand trophy for the first time after 19 years of waiting.  It was the last finals played by the legendary Wayne Gretzky. The Kings are hoping for a better result this time as they lost to the Montreal Canadiens in the 1993 Finals.

The LA Kings just became the 2nd 8th seeded team to reach the finals.  They defeated the top 3 teams of the West. They eliminated the President’s Cup winner Vancouver in the first round before disposing off St. Louis and Phoenix both in 5 games.  Los Angeles has been proving that they are the Kings of the road in this year’s playoffs as they won their 8th straight away from the Staples Center.  The victory of the Kings somehow erases some pain felt by the sports fans in California when its two NBA teams were both manhandled in the Western Conference semifinals.

Game 5 needed an overtime to be decided. Dustin Penner scored an improbable goal 17:42 into overtime to secure the Stanley Cup finals trip for LA. Here is ESPN’s Game Recap.

The other goal scorers for LA were Anze Kopitar, Crew Doughty, and Mike Richards. The Coyote goal scorers were Taylor PyattMarc-Antoine Pouliot, and Keith Yandle.

NHL: Red Wings extend streak to 22

18 02 2012
Picture of JLA entrance steps / doors closest ...

Image via Wikipedia

Joe Louis Arena has witnessed one of the longest winning streaks in U.S. professional sports. The home team Detroit Red Wings (40-17-2) increased their NHL record of 21 straight wins to 22 when they beat the Nashville Predators (33-19-6). The 22nd win was so dramatic as the Wings managed to get Pavel Datsyuk‘s game-winner with only 5 seconds left.

Detroit has now 82 points in the season and they currently lead the NHL points standings. The next best team is the defending Western Conference champions Vancouver Canucks with 78 points with 2 games less. The New York Islanders with 79 points leads the East. Detroit has won 5 straight overall.They are just 15-15-1 in the road. They will next play the San Jose Shark to extend their NHL record home game winning streak.


NHL Undefeated Teams as of October 17, 2011: 3 Teams remain

17 10 2011
Toronto Maple Leafs

Image via Wikipedia

The Philadelphia Flyers fell out of the list of the NHL undefeated teams as they lost to the Los Angeles Kings in overtime in their last game. They were still able to salvage a point but the win goes to the visiting Kings as Jack Johnson made a game winner on a power play in overtime. Ex-Flyers Mike Richards was credited for an assist in the game winning goal.

Here are three undefeated teams left:

  1. Toronto Maple Leafs(3-0-0, 6 pts)  – Toronto edge out the visiting Calgary Flames (1-3-0, 2 pts) in their last game, 3-2. After being 1-2 in the second period, Phil Kessel followed up his hat trick with a 2 goal game including the tying and game winning goal against the Flames. Up next for them is  the streaking Colorado Avalance (4-1-0, 8 pts) who will visit the Air Canada Centre tomorrow.
  2. Washington Capitals (4-0-0, 8 pts) – Tomas Vokoun saved 33 shots to preserve a 2-1 win for the Capitals over the visiting Ottawa Senators (1-4-0, 2 pts). All 3 goals of the game were scored in the first period. Peter Regin scored the game winner. The Capitals will next host the Florida Panthers (2-1-0, 4).
  3. Detroit Red Wings (4-0-0, 8 pts) – The Red Wings are off to another amazing start as they as they visited Minnesota and beat the wild in overtime, 3-2. After being down 0-2, Ian White and Juri Hudler scored to tie the game in regulation. Johan Franzen finished off OT with a power play goal. They will almost have a week’s rest before hosting Columbus Blue Jackets (0-4-1, 1 pt).
We do not know how long the 3 teams can keep this up but it wpuld be amazing to see a team go undefeated entering November.

NHL Undefeated Teams as of October 15, 2011

15 10 2011
The Stanley Cup.

Image via Wikipedia

The 2011-2012 National Hockey League (NHL) Season is underway. The NHL will try to fill some of the vacuum left by the NBA lockout. Here are the teams that are currently undefeated in the new season:

  1. Philadelphia Flyers (3-0-0, 6pts) – Claude Giroux is leading a team that is currenly 5th in goals per game (3.3). Russian GK Ilya Bryzgalov is only conceding 1.67 goals per game. They will host the L.A. Kings (1-1-1, 3pts)) in their next game.
  2. Toronto Maple Leafs (2-0-0, 4 pts) – The Leafs won their 2 games in contrasting fashion. The first one is via a shutout by Winnipeg-native James Reimer. The second one was shootout with the Senators. Phil Kessel scored a hat trick in that game. They will host the Calgary Flames (1-2-0, 2 pts) in their next match.
  3. Washington Capitals (3-0-0, 6pts)– The Caps rely on balanced scoring in starting the season with a 3 game winning streak. 16 players earned a point already led Niklas Backstrom’s 4 pts (4 assists) and Jason Chimera (3 goals). Washington is averaging 4 goals a game. They won a big match at Pittsburgh last Thurday and they will face Ottawa (1-3-0) at home for their next game.
  4. Detroit Red Wings (3-0-0, 6pts) – The Red Wings are the only undefeated western conference team left. The perennial Stanley Cup contender is giving up just 1 goal a game (best in the league). The combination of Ty Conklin and Jimmy Howard at the goal has resulted to 2 straight shutout wins so far. Up next for them is a visit to Minnesota (2-1-1, 5 pts).

Only four undefeated teams are left. Let’s see how long can these teams keep it up.