Posts Tagged ‘Los Angeles’
The headline of an article published on Boston.com today asks, “Why Are We So Mum On The NHL’s Response To Domestic Violence?”
The question grabbed me a bit more than usual. Just last night I took 15 minutes out of my evening to discuss the NHL’s response to domestic violence with Norm Rumack on SiriusXM Canada.
But hey, maybe I was missing something.
Turns out I was not.
To begin with, it’s a flawed question. Some of us are discussing the topic — on a radio station with more than 1.8 million subscribers at last count.
That might be a smaller audience than most Ray Rice-related dialogue, and the second paragraph of the story asks, “why aren’t we talking more about this”?
Twenty years is a long time. It didn’t hit me until this weekend that’s how long it’s been since the Rangers went to the Stanley Cup Finals. I was 10 years old when that happened and although I was somewhat pulling for Vancouver (I liked their logo, and we all did dumb things when we were younger), I remember being happy for New Yorkers when the Rangers won. The celebration was massive. ESPN — ESPN! — showed the victory parade. I’ve only rarely seen a city so grateful to win a title.
That 1994 squad was led by center Mark Messier, defenseman Brian Leetch and goalie Mike Richter and its top-to-bottom depth was impressive. New York ended up winning the President’s Trophy that season and set a team record for points in a season. After easily dismissing the Islanders and Capitals, the Rangers had to gut out a memorable seven-game series against the Devils. Once the Finals rolled around, New York was in control before teasing the Canucks with the possibility of a Game 7 upset at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers won the game 3-2 and the series 4-3.
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I hadn’t lived in this city for more than a month when a shouting match erupted as I walked through my new neighborhood one afternoon. I looked up to see a man running away from a woman on a sidewalk in front of a newsstand across the street. Something was odd about the unfolding scene, however: Both the man and the woman were badly overdressed for the weather, and the man wasn’t running very fast. He stopped when he could go no further. A couple more strides, and he would have run into the cameraman.
The matchup most expected for the Eastern Conference finals came to fruition as the time zone’s deepest squads, Pittsburgh and Boston, clash with a berth in the Stanley Cup finals on the line.
Much like the East, the Western Conference finals between Chicago and Los Angeles should be awesome to watch.
Here’s how they stack up, and who we think will reach the Finals:
In the first round, we predicted six of the eight series correctly. The two we were most unsure about were the two incorrect picks – no surprise at all that New York or Los Angeles won.
Now that the second round is here, the picture becomes a little more clear. Only one of the four series will go the full seven games. Which will it be, and who will move on?
The playoffs have been interesting so far. Some teams have surprised me. Others haven’t at all.
The biggest surprise was the play of the New York Islanders. I thought Pittsburgh would wipe the floor with the Isles and that they should feel lucky if they pick up one game in the series. New York ended up staying with the Penguins in almost every game, and lost two heartbreakers at home in overtime. I never thought I’d say this, but the Islanders look as if they are finally turning things around. (Just in time for their move to Brooklyn!)
Another surprise was the performance of the Minnesota Wild. I’m not surprised that they lost to Chicago, but because they got bounced in only five games. Losing their top goaltender didn’t help, but Minnesota’s offense was stagnant the whole series. The Wild also looked terrible in Game 4 as they got shut out at home and handed the Blackhawks all the momentum in the series. Nevertheless, Minnesota looks stable and if they can add another scorer and fix their inconsistency in the net, they should be a force next season.
Speaking of net consistency, here’s Vancouver. The Canucks’ first-round sweep didn’t surprise me at all. They looked flat-out awful against the Sharks. Roberto Luongo started the first two games in net and didn’t look that bad, but then he was pulled for Cory Schneider, who wasn’t an improvement. Vancouver needs to fix its goaltending problem next season, or else they can kiss their fading Stanley Cup hopes goodbye.
Anyway, we’ve said goodbye to eight teams and are now off to the Conference Semifinals. Here are my predictions for the second round.
Every now and then you’ll see one: A piece of sports championship memorabilia up for auction from a once-wealthy player hard up for cash. Or, in the case of O.J. Simpson, more than one.
The Los Angeles Kings 2012 Stanley Cup champion’s ring that you see above is up for auction, but this one’s for a good cause.
Hockey fans have been talking a lot about last June here in Los Angeles. I’ve also heard whispers about the lockout-shortened 1995 NHL season.
You can guess why last June is special to hockey fans in Los Angeles. Here’s a brief history lesson from ’94-95.
The Stanley Cup playoff brackets were decided on the final day of the regular season. The final piece of the puzzle was the Kings, who needed to win their final two games to leapfrog two teams to clinch a Western Conference playoff berth. As it often happened that year, the two games were scheduled 24 hours and 865 miles apart.
On May 2, playing their 47th game of the season, the Kings invaded Winnipeg and beat the Jets 2-1. Rob Blake and Jari Kurri scored for L.A., Randy Gilhen scored for the Jets, and Kelly Hrudey made 42 saves. One down, one to go. Barry Melrose’s bunch rolled into Chicago the next day to face a Blackhawks club that had won four straight. This one was no contest – the ‘Hawks rolled to a 5-1 win. Eddie Belfour denied Wayne Gretzky for five of his 21 saves. The losing coach, Melrose, wouldn’t coach another game for 13 years and buried himself behind a desk in Bristol, Conn.
The winning coach, Darryl Sutter, tucked a sheet of paper into his suit pocket, stepped down from the bench and headed down the tunnel to the home clubhouse without cracking a smile.
I may have made that last sentence up, but it’s not hard to imagine.
Today we introduce a new feature on AllPuck.com: Throwback Thursday.
Throwback Thursday can be anything, really, as long as it isn’t current. And there’s nothing current about the music video above, featuring then-Los Angeles Kings forwards Dave Taylor, Marcel Dionne and Charlie Simmer (the “Triple Crown” line).
Credit George Strombopoulos of CBC.ca for tipping me off to this gem a while back. It makes for a strong opening act on Throwback Thursday. Here’s the back story, according to Strombopoulos:
Back in the late seventies, the Los Angeles Kings’ Triple Crown Line that consisted of Dave Taylor, Marcel Dionne and Charlie Simmer recorded the single ‘Please Forgive My Misconduct Last Night’ under the name Marcel Dionne and the Puck-Tones. On the other side of the 45, Phil Esposito and some other Rangers performed ‘Hockey Sock Rock’. All of the proceeds went toward diabetes research, but it’s fair to say that Dionne and Esposito (no. 4 and 5 on NHL’s all-time scoring list) were better at their day jobs.
Somewhere in the Warner Home Video hard drives are unused clips from 43 seasons of NHL hockey in Los Angeles. The chosen footage comprises the first eight minutes of Warner’s “Stanley Cup Champions 2012: Los Angeles Kings.”
Eight minutes to sum up the first 43 years of the Los Angeles Kings’ existence and it doesn’t seem like they missed much.