Friday, September 24, 2010

Frolov's Rangers Debut

I promise I won't keep updating you on what Frolov does during the regular season.  Well, unless he scores 40 goals this year like I think he will.  He was the game's first star last night and had this nice little dangle.

ESPN Interviews Rich "Clunatic" Clune

ESPN's Pierre Lebrun was in LA on Monday covering the Kings. He discussed the Doughty/Mitchell D-pairing, the Kings backup goaltending situation, and Rich Clune.

What We Learned Tonight

Kyle Clifford
"Yes Kyle...You still look just as crazy on the beautiful new Panasonic HD scoreboard."
Lessons learned from the first home preseason game of the season.
  • Staples Center should have installed an HD Scoreboard a long time ago.  That thing is beautiful.
  • Kyle Clifford is crazy.  He racked up 19 minutes of penalties trying to retaliate on a clean hit.  He's the forward version of Colten Teubert.  I know alot of people are excited about him possibly making the team this year but I just don't see it. 
  • Clifford fought Paul Bissonnette.  Bissonnette has a twitter (BizNasty2point0): "Drew 5 minors tonight. Is that a league record? And clifford suckered me 3 times, dropped my mits and pumped him with 3 then he wrestled me. Anyone who saw the fight as a win for clifford ur a meat stick. But then again there are a lot of u out there. Go yotes. Boom."
  • Our top four defensemen: Doughty, Mitchell, Johnson, and Scuderi were all shaky.  They allowed Phoenix way too much room to operate in the offensive zone.  Mitchell's play along the boards was strong but he didn't look comfortable handling the puck at all.
  • Wayne Simmonds was outplayed by Kings ECHL/AHL prospect Dwight King tonight.  Not a good sign.  Simmer didn't look good in Monday's scrimmage either.
  • Brayden Schenn got credit for the Kings' lone goal but Dustin Brown did all the work setting him up.  Schenn's going to be awesome but I think he's back in Brandon for one more season.
  • Andrei Loktionov has continued to impress me.  His offensive instincts are NHL-ready.
  • Brandon Kozun was checked off the puck at least four times in the first period.  Gabe Gauthier? Justin Azevedo? Mike Cammalleri?  Too soon to tell...
  • Jake Muzzin & Johan Fransson could be a nice Manchester.  Sheldon Souray?
  • Gone but not forgotten.  Patrick O'Sullivan scored in Carolina's 3-1 defeat of Nashville.  Alexander Frolov had a 3-point night (1 G, 2 A) in the Rangers 4-3 OT win.
Check out some photos from last night's game after the jump.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Old Friend Says Hello

So I visit TSN to catch up on all the exhibition games from tonight and who's there on the homepage waiting to say, "Hello!"

Why it's former Kings enforcer Raitis Ivanans!  In true 'Ivanans Form,' Raitis managed zero points, zero shots, -1 and a minor tripping penalty in 6:28 of ice-time.  Looks like Raitis may have played on a line with Bryan Cameron, an unsigned 3rd round pick of the Kings in 2007.  Cameron led the CHL in scoring with 53 goals for the Barrie Colts during his overage season in the OHL.

Bud Vision: Bud Holloway

Bud Holloway
Bud Vision: Bud Holloway

The Manchester Monarchs look like they've handed Kings prospect Bud Holloway a Flip video  cam to document some of the off-ice experiences of training camp.  An exclusive interview with Monarchs defenseman David Kolomatis and a trip to 'supper' with some of the Kings top prospects. Pretty entertaining videos.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Photo Drop: Training Camp Opens!

Jonathan Bernier

Finally finished going through all the photos.  You can check them all out on my Flickr page.  Day One here.  And Day Two here.  Check out a few of my favorites after the jump.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Round 4 Home Game 1

I'm working at a feverish pace trying to get through all the pictures I took at Training Camp this weekend.  Hopefully, I'll have them uploaded tomorrow.

Went to check on Fro in New York.  He didn't do much.  Just a hat-trick playing alongside Marian Gaborik in the first scrimmage of camp.  Sigh.

Our season tickets came in the mail a while ago.  No upgrades, no free jersey, not much of anything really but they did include all the postseason tickets in the booklet this year.  A bit of a tease perhaps...but Round 4 Home Game 1!  Let's do it!

Friday, September 17, 2010

I'm So Excited!

Training camp opens tomorrow.  I plan on being there all day.  Hopefully, I get some decent pictures to post up here in the next couple days.  Hammer has all the details regarding the groups and schedule for this weekend and the next couple weeks.

See you there!

(P.S. The track on this video reminded me...Linkin Park's new album is awesome!)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sheldon Souray Anyone?

Edmonton Oilers GM Steve Tambellini issued a statement Monday evening that the organization would not allow defenseman Sheldon Souray at camp when it opens this weekend.  Per TSN.
"We've been trying to move the player for some time obviously," Tambellini explained to reporters at the Young Stars Tournament in Penticton, B.C. "Sheldon has expressed strong interest over a long period of time that it's best for him to move and we're going to try and help him with that. I couldn't get that done prior to this camp. I hope to get it done during camp, but it's best for the Oilers for him not to be at camp right now."

The relationship between the organization and Souray has been strained almost since the day Souray signed a 5-year, $27-million deal in Edmonton.  In his first season as an Oiler, he played in a career-low 26 games after suffering a separated shoulder.  Their tumultuous relationship came to a head following Souray's criticism of Oilers' management back in April.  Per Sportsnet.
"I got challenged by management on the very first day of my first training camp. The very first day," he said. "They said, ‘When are you going to play?’ I said, ‘I have a six month (shoulder) injury and I’m at five months.’ But I played.
"I’ve had the experience of playing in great organizations (in New Jersey and Montreal), and experienced a vastly different approach to things like that. I was a captain in Montreal. I never had my character questioned there, or in New Jersey. I feel that’s all I’ve had since I’ve been here.’"
Souray has two years and $9-million on his contract with a cap hit of $5.4 million.  The Oilers placed the 34-year old defenseman on waivers back in July but he went unclaimed.  The Oilers have put themselves in a tough spot with Souray.  He's a top-four defenseman with a bad contract and there aren't many teams that can absorb $5 million.

Souray's a three-time all-star who holds the NHL single-season record for most power play goals by a defenseman.  Tambellini has most likely shopped Souray around to all 29 teams with no takers at a $5.4 cap hit.  The Oilers last ditch effort to move Souray will most likely be to put him on re-entry waivers which will cut Souray's contract and cap hit in half.

With the Kings inability to add another impact forward in the off-season; the Kings should look to add more offense from the blueline.  And at a $2.7 million cap hit, Souray could be a nice short-term fit.  With Doughty, Johnson, Scuderi, Mitchell, and a healthy Greene forming a strong top-five; Souray could round the Kings defense into the best in the league. When healthy, Souray can log big minutes in any situation.  He's only one year removed from a 23 goal, 53 point season.     Souray's ability to shoot the puck has made him one of the premier power play quarterbacks in the entire NHL.  He could immediately help the Kings already improving powerplay by quarterbacking the second unit removing Jarret Stoll from a position that he just never fit into.  He's a fluid skater who jumps into the rush.  He's a physical presence on the blueline who's willing to drop the gloves.

Souray is a veteran with some playoff experience that could bring some much needed toughness to the Kings.  At 6'4, he'd be a nice big body to have on the blueline to compete with all the great forwards in the Western Conference.  His strong two-way play could be the perfect compliment to the Kings blueline and buy another season of development for Thomas Hickey, Colten Teubert, and Jake Muzzin. 

Check out this video and learn more about Sheldon Souray...and watch Jason Strudwick give some of the most awkward answers ever.

Souray's goal reel with Montreal.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Hockey Season Has Arrived!

I always know hockey season has arrived when EA Sports releases their new NHL game.  If you're reading this blog and have a Playstation 3 or XBOX 360; you owe it to yourself to go pick up NHL 11 first thing tomorrow morning.  I've been a loyal supporter of the NHL series since NHL 94 on the Sega Genesis.  I strayed a few years to the NHL 2K series during my Dreamcast days but have been loyal to EA for quite a while now.

EA's motto has always been: "If it's in the game, it's in the game."  And this year is no different.  Tons of new gameplay tweaks, broken sticks, new revamped faceoff machine.  No longer is it the same game with updated rosters.  With the PS3's Blu-Ray Disc; developers can load up an endless amount of content into each game.

For NHL 11, EA got the licensing to the CHL.  Which means all the OHL, QMJHL, and WHL players, jerseys, logos, etc. are in the game.  If you want to play as Brayden Schenn on the Brandon Wheat Kings, you can.  If you want to play with Brandon Kozun and Martin Jones on the Calgary Hitmen, you can.  If you jump into GM Mode; all the junior players will be affiliated with the NHL team that drafted them!  Say you want to revamp the Edmonton Oilers; you can bring Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson over from his Swedish Elite League team. 

Unfortunately, the KHL refuses to be in the game because they want nothing to do with the NHL.  Pretty stupid that they're the only major hockey league not featured in the world's #1 selling hockey hockey.  But who knows...maybe there's some Russian game developers developing KHL 12.

EA's Hockey Ultimate Team has to be the most addicting mode I've ever played on a sports game.  It's awesome.  You take the reigns of a team.  Are given a salary cap and EA Pucks currency to shape your team with trading cards of every player in the game.  You can play offline or online with your team to earn more cash to spend on new cards.  It's awesome.

Anyways, I could go on for pages.  If you're on a Playstation 3; my PSN is cikiri.  Friend me & let's play if you dare.  Beware!  I'm pretty good!...haha...Just kidding....or am I...

Thursday, September 9, 2010

NHL Backup Goaltender's Twitter Controversy

It's been a while since my last blog post.  I'm still recovering from the news that Paul Kariya is sitting out all of the 2010-11 season.  I've been a bit sidetracked since the arrival of NHL 11 which I'll be writing about soon enough if I can ever put it down.  But moving on..

The majority of NHL fans have no idea who Dan Ellis is.  A few fans will remember him as the Predators starting goaltender who lost his starting job to Pekka Rinne last season.  Well with the power of Twitter; Ellis has some new found fame.  I was going to blog about Dan Ellis and his controversial tweets right after I read them.  I was too lazy but  Puck Daddy took the story and ran with itHere's what Ellis tweeted.
If you lost 18% of your income would you be happy? I can honestly say that I am more stressed about money now then when I was in college.  I can't explain it and I never thought it would be the case but it is true.  $ in no way makes u more happy or makes life much easier.  If you don't make a lot of money I don't expect u to understand the same way I could never understand what it is like to risk my life daily as a fire fighter or police officer...especially not a soldier.  There r pros and cons to every profession.  U r kidding yourself if you think money makes things any easier.
Dan may be right but talk about being insensitive and being way out of touch with reality.  He just signed a 2-year deal worth $3-million.  He made $2-million last season.  $1.5 million during the 2008-09 season.  Are we supposed to feel for him?  He gets paid to play a game.  What's causing him so much stress?