Clicks and Clippings: California Reading

Jack Johnson #3 and Justin Williams #14 of the Los Angeles Kings celebrate Johnson's first period goal against the Anaheim Ducks at Staples Center on September 28 2010 in Los Angeles California. The Kings defeated the Ducks 8-3. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Another late night game for the Carolina Hurricanes, but if it's anything like last night, you'll be mad at yourself if you don't watch it. Then again, as Bob's game preview pointed out, this team is an entirely different story from those highly paid regarded but struggling veterans in San Jose.  Next stop will be Phoenix, Arizona, taking on the former Cane Ray Whitney's Coyotes (how cool is that that they play three consecutive games without needing to break out their passports!), for Saturday's game which starts at 9pm Eastern. Then the team is returning home.

Schedule trivia: Of the season's remaining 73 games, after they get past Phoenix,  the Canes have only four games not played the Eastern Time Zone. And nothing west of Dallas. 

This matchup tonight is particularly intriguing because of the similarities of the two teams' rosters and styles, if not the expectations from those looking outside in. It wasn't hard to find a lot of looks at the Kings today, and I've got a few here, and after the jump the usual assortment of hockey links from around the blogosphere.

 

Features on the Los Angeles Kings

The Fourth Period :: Three's Company One of the biggest training camp stories in Los Angeles was the intense battle for roster spots among the young forwards. When the Kings finally released their roster to begin the season, they revealed that Brayden Schenn, Andrei Loktionov, and Kyle Clifford all made the team. That was great news. Fantastic, even. But it didn’t really decide anything.

No Kovalchuk? No problem for Kings - Sporting News The Kings were runner-up to the New Jersey Devils in the Kovalchuk sweepstakes. Instead, GM Dean Lombardi regrouped and made his pitch for veteran defenseman Willie Mitchell, focusing on defensive depth over finding another 40-goal scorer.

Kings' fast start isn't a surprise, but Anze Kopitar's goal-less drought is - latimes.com Four games into their season the Kings are 3-1, goaltender Jonathan Quick has an 0.97 goals-against average and center Anze Kopitar's score line has a zero in the goals column.

Here's Kings Head Coach Terry Murray after practice today, answering more than a few questions on what to expect from the Hurricanes.


 

Finally in the preview Bob linked that was written by Cary native and now LA resident, hockey blogger Eric Cooney (aka Great Icepectations) offered up this interesting tidbit about the Kings' face off success, proving once again, it takes one to know one. 

The Kings are up against a team that is every bit as awful as they are on the dot tonight.

Eric will be at the game, rocking his Canes jersey with a few other Angelino members of the Caniac Nation. If we're lucky he might be tweeting photos or updates from the game. Follow him @EricCooney

 

Day off from the ridiculous

 

No flight to Phoenix following  the game tonight, as Thursday will be a well-earned off day spent in Los Angeles, according to Paul Branecky's blog post on the trip last week, where the plan was that after...

a tough stretch of three games in four nights in California,... they’ll again get a two-day break before playing in Phoenix on Saturday. 

Plans for an off day in Los Angeles Thursday include the annual rookie dinner, which will be a big event given the young roster this season, and a team trip to a taping of Jimmy Kimmel Live. 

 

The Annual Rookie Dinner? Really? For the Carolina Hurricanes? Huh. Exactly who was the guest of honor last October? And I take it was Brandon Sutter the lonely only honoree in 2008? Help me out here.

 

Interviews

 

I liked this video from perhaps the most respected member of the Kings's roster, 20-year-old Norris Trophy Finalist Drew Doughty, who sat down pre-season with Versus. NHL Interview: Drew Doughty - Versus. I like how they didn't edit out the segment where he tries to identify three good defensemen in today's NHL. Twenty years old.


 

For comparison, check out this similar  Versus conversation with Eric Staal. "Quick, Eric - name the three best coaches in the NHL." Okay, four. 


 

 

From Columbus, Ohio, Former Buckeye Zac Dalpe breaks the ice in NHL career - The Lantern On Oct. 7, as the Carolina Hurricanes were preparing to begin the 2010 season, 20-year-old Zac Dalpe sat in the locker room of the Hartwall Arena, anxiously awaiting the start of his first NHL game. Just 364 days earlier, Dalpe was still a teenager at Ohio State, getting ready to start his sophomore season against tiny Quinnipiac University.

What's even better? After the media circus around Jeff Skinner in Canada the last several days, today I found not a single interview with the smiling teenager. Nada one. 

 

The Charlotte Checkers are back in Albany

 

Checkers Chatter | An inside look at your Charlotte Checkers "It will be different to be on the other [side of the ice] tonight," said Checkers goaltender Mike Murphy. "I know some fans will be rooting for us…we have a lot of great memories here but we also now love being in Charlotte."

From Sandpiper214, the AHL photogorapher who lives in Albany, Justin Pogge was the first goalie on the ice and will start. This may his first appearance in Albany having missed much of the season with an injury after he was acquired in March. Puck drops at 7 pm, and here is the recommended link to listen. (Note that the audio is slow to load, so they ask to be patient if it doesn't go live immediately.)

Nice focus piece from the Hurricanes site here on the Checkers who stand out thus far, and a look at the expectations of Boston College Dman, prospect Brian DumoulinIn the System: Checkers Have Bright Spots in Slow Start It’s no secret that the Charlotte Checkers have had a slow start, but that’s not to say that there hasn’t been anything good to emerge.

Whitby's McKenzie making his mark in Florida, from the hometown paper for Mike McKenzie, an update on the aspiring NHLer. McKenzie, a former Bowmanville Eagle, Oshawa Legionaire and St. Mike's Buzzer, has two assists in his first two games with the Florida Everblades of the East Coast Hockey League.

 

Loose change

 

One last power ranking this week, as today we hear from The Hockey News: Exceeding expectations where the Hurricanes drop from 9th a week ago, down to middle-of-the-pack 16th, this after going 1-2 in three games since.

File this one under "Y'never know": Miracle on Ice medal for sale - The Globe and Mail The piece of history belonged to Mark Wells, who played on the U.S. gold-medal squad at the Lake Placid games in 1980.

Following up on the two-day conference on preventing concussions in the game of hockey, held at the Mayo Clinic: Helmets Not an Answer, Conference Told - NYTimes.com Concussions in hockey cannot be significantly reduced by helmet technology, according to an official from the Canadian Standards Association.

 

And finally, this 15-minute feature was shown on Versus last night, looking back on a tragedy in college hockey that occurred fifteen years ago today. If you're familiar with the book "Eleven Seconds", you already know the Travis Roy story. If not, bring your tissues.


 

See you at 10.

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