Saturday, February 20, 2010

Saturday preceds Super Sunday

Two-thirds of the way there and the U.S. is in pretty good shape...or are they?

A win versus Canada on Sunday gives the Americans a bye into the next round. With a loss they COULD have to play an extra game (on Tuesday, during the 'play in' round). However, even with a loss, they could still get the fourth seed....thus, still getting the bye. Especially if they send the game to overtime.

Oh, the possibilities. They seem endless. Let me think about it and get back to you.

For now, check out the current standings (to the left), courtesy of

Saturday features my second favorite team, the European Kings...or as the IOC likes to call them, team Slovakia.

Super Sunday features the six best teams in the tournament...all in head to head action. Of course, that also means Canada-USA...the game that even scalpers can't seem to get tickets for.

Fear not, I'll be tweeting live from the game.

Before that though, I'll be reporting from THE PLACE to be in Vancouver....Molson Hockey Saturday night...and we're working on a couple of possible guests.

Shhhh.....can't tell you who just yet.

Stay tuned.

The Mayor

final note: let me just send a big THANK YOU to my boy Hee Seop came through friend....miracle worker...thanks a million!

Friday, February 19, 2010

USA Leading & Former Kings Everywhere

Random Ramblings from Thursday's Olympic hockey match ups...

We had the USA-Norway at noon, followed by Canada-Switzerland and then Russia-Slovakia. Let's start with the Canada game. Why not, that's what the hockey media throughout North America seems to be focusing on.

In that game I felt sick. My stomach seriously hurt as I found myself cheering for Jonas Hiller. For three periods I was forced to suspend reality. I tried as hard as I could to forget that he's a Mighty Duck. For today, he was just some kid goaltender on an otherwise anonymous team from Switzerland. A team playing in a jersey that was so ugly, it was actually cool.

The Swiss are physical. Damn! They played rough against the Americans on Tuesday and brought their bounce house style of play again today. Perhaps the coach told them Sidney Crosby is just an overgrown Raggedy Ann doll (or would it be Andy?) because they were throwing him around from one end of the ice to the other. I guess Sid got the last laugh with his game winning goal in the shootout through. Which, by the way was his SECOND turn. You see, after the first three shooters, guys can go again. What? Who came up with this crazy rule? So weird.

Extremely exciting game - just a disappointing result. So close, so close. In fact, for a few hours it was the best game of the tournament so far.

But first, notes from the U.S. game played earlier in the day...

Nobody should be wearing #9 with USA across their chest unless the guy wearing it is Mike Modano. Period. Not even open for debate.

Jack Johnson is the man! Period. He played strong in game one and upped his game again vs. Norway today. He picked up an assist and could have easily had a goal or two. And his defense looks real good too. The short handed goal was not his fault. So don't even start. He was left out to dry on a two on one. Keep it up Jack. Sunday's your chance to show that Doughty isn't the old young stud the Kings have on D right now. Don't look now, but Jack is tied for the team lead with a +3 rating.

Dustin Brown? Well, that's a different story. It seemed like he would go long stretches without seeing the ice. Was Wilson triple shifting Drury / Parise / Kane? It sure seemed like it.

Remember when the Kings hosted Hockey Fest back in August? Tons of former players were brought back to tell stories, take pictures and sign autographs. Well, the 2010 Winter Olympics are kinda like that - just different. Everywhere you look there are current or former Kings. However, rather than mingling with the fans - they're here to play!

Tim Gleason? Hi, how are you.

The night cap featured names like Palffy, Demitra, Grebeshkov, Visnovsky, Stumpel and Handzus. I will say, it's weird not seeing Frolov out there for team Russia though. And every time I see Palffy I think of Andy Murray. Is that weird?

Zues - my were a hot mess in overtime. First you lost your helmet. Next shift your stick. Thankfully both skates were strapped to your feet.

There were also two coulda been Kings - Kovalchuk and Gaborik.

And...oh no...another goalie with ties to the Ducks...Bryzgalov for Russia. Thankfully, I was cheering against him - hoping for a Slovakia win.

What a game. Slovakia-Russia was the best game of all the (men's) hockey played this week. It very easily could have been a game 7 for the Stanley Cup...only with a shootout to decide it. Slovakia had so many chances in the third and in overtime. Then came the shootout...

First up for the Kings, Stumpel. 1-0 Slovakia.

Russia's captain, Morozov up next. Miss.

Second shooter for the Kings, Demitra. Poke checked away. Still 1-0 Slovakia.

Who else for Russia but #8? The greatest player in the NHL ties it up 1-1.

Hossa denied. Then, Datsyuk denied. So, it's 1-1 after the first three shooters.

Ovi again for Russia? Didn't we already see the 'do over' thing in the Canada game? Yep. Thankfully, different result this time. Ovi can't score on his second try of the session.

The Kings press repeat themselves and send Stumpel back out. No goal. On to round 5.

Kovalchuk for Russia...wide.

Here we go...MICHAL HANDZUS to win it for the Kings...denied. DAMN IT!

OMG! Ovi again for Russia. Third time is a...denied.

Gaborik is stopped by Bryzgalov. We're still tied.

Malkin skates in for Russia, plays with the puck and just can't get a shot off. No goal.

Demitra up next. He does the big wide turn-in thing that he does...shoot, score. In my best Bob Miller voice "Kings Win! Kings Win! The Kings win the game!"

I know it was Slovakia, leave me alone.


For a final tie in to former Kings...Friday will be Wayne Gretzky day over at Molson Hockey House...the place that has quickly become The Place to be in Vancouver.

The Mayor

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Olympic Round Robin Standings

All 12 countries have now played the first of their three Round Robin games. The U.S. is holding on to the fourth and final spot in the 'winners' group.

If you're unfamiliar with the way the standings work, teams are first ranked by their W-L record. The first tie breaker is goal differential, then total goals scored.

The top four seeds will advance directly to the Quarter Finals next Wednesday. The other eight teams will play a single elimination 'play-in round' on Tuesday.

Per the standing are as follows:

note: the brackets to the far left indicate the match-ups for the play-in round (based on current standings)

Game two will be played Thursday or Friday, depending on the country. Game three is Saturday for the lower seeded teams...and then the big three games will be played on Super Sunday (Russia-CzechRep, USA-Canada, Finland-Sweden).

Thursday's game line-up (with TV times)
Pool A - USA v Norway at 12:00 PM PST
Pool A - Switzerland v Canada at 5:00 PM PST
Pool B - Slovakia v Russia at 9:30 PM PST

The U.S. game is critical if they have any thoughts of getting one of the four byes directly into the quarter finals. Team USA not only needs a win, they need to score a bunch of goals (to increase their goal differential total). Plus, if Michal Handzus, Ziggy Palfy, Joseph Stumpel and the rest of Team Slovakia can somehow beat the Russians in the evening game, that would REALLY help America's chances of finishing in the top four.

Will Jack Johnson continue his strong play? Will Dustin Brown score his first Olympic goal? Ryan Miller will start in net - however, Jonathan Quick is scheduled to back him up. Quick's first view of the Olympic action from ice level.

Tune in to USA Network at noon PST to catch the first game.

The Mayor

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Kozun named WHL Player of the Week...again

For the second time this season Kings prospect Brandon Kozun has been named the WHL's Player of the Week. He was previously awarded the honor for his play during the week of October 19-25th. His Calgary Hitmen teammate and fellow Kings prospect, goalie Martin Jones, was selected for the award last week.

The WHL is full of some of the Kings elite prospects right now, including 'Mr Nasty' Colten Teubert of the Regina Pats and Brayden Schenn of the Brandon Wheat Kings. Along with Thomas Hickey, who is in Manchester this year, the trio represents three straight years of first round draft picks from the WHL by Kings GM Dean Lombardi.

Kozun meanwhile was taken in the sixth round of this past June's draft.

Brief highlights from the WHL press release:
"Kozun picked up eight points, scoring six goals and two assists to go with a remarkable +8 rating, in four games over the past week, helping the Hitmen post a 4-0 record in that span.


Kozun’s eight points over the last four games has him sitting tied for 1st among WHL Scorers with 83 points (29 goals, 54 assists) in 51 games played. The Calgary Hitmen have stretched their winning streak to eight games and currently sit second in the WHL Eastern Conference with a 40-16-1-1 record for 82 points."
To read the full press release click here.

The Mayor

Monday, February 15, 2010

Vancouver Calling

Fear not hockey fans. Even though the Kings are off for a few weeks we'll have plenty of news and updates here on MayorsManor. I'm packing for Vancouver and will be taking in plenty of the men's ice hockey leading up to the medal games the last weekend of the month.

Team USA - the group nobody is predicting to win according to GM Brian Burke and head coach Ron Wilson - kicks things off tomorrow vs. Switzerland at noon PST.

Wilson has said Kings captain Dustin Brown will play on a line with USA captain Jamie Langenbrunner and hometown Canuck Ryan Kesler (one of 139 Ryan's on the team).

Will we see an all Ryan line for Team USA? Guess we'll have to tune in to see.

Jack Johnson is currently scheduled to be paired with Brooks Orpik of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

It's looking more and more like Jonathan Quick will probably not see any ice time in Vancouver - despite playing lights out hockey coming into the games. Wilson told reports over the weekend that he hasn't budged from his earlier thoughts of Ryan Miller as the starter and Tim Thomas backing him up.

Get your DVR ready, here's a look at the TV schedule for this week's opening of Pool Play (all times local, PST):

Tuesday 2/16
Pool A - USA v Switzerland at 12:00 PM on USA Network
Pool A - Canada v Norway at 5:00 PM on CNBC
Pool B - Russia v Latvia at 9:30 PM on CNBC

Wednesday 2/17
Pool C - Finland v Belarus at 12:00 PM on MSNBC
Pool C - Sweden v Germany at 5:00 PM on CNBC
Pool B - Czech Republic v Slovakia at 9:30 PM on CNBC

Thursday 2/18
Pool A - USA v Norway at 12:00 PM on USA
Pool A - Switzerland v Canada at 5:00 PM on CNBC
Pool B - Slovakia v Russia at 9:30 PM on CNBC

Friday 2/19
Pool C - Belarus v Sweden at 12:00 PM on MSNBC
Pool B - Czech Republic v Latvia at 5:00 PM on CNBC
Pool C - Finland v Germany at 9:00 PM on CNBC

Saturday 2/20
Pool A - Norway v Switzerland at 12:00 PM on MSNBC
Pool B - Latvia v Slovakia at 4:30 PM on MSNBC
Pool C - Germany v Belarus at 9:00 PM on MSNBC

Sunday 2/21
Pool B - Russia v Czech Republic at 12:00 PM on NBC
Pool A - Canada v USA at 4:00 PM on MSNBC
Pool C - Sweden v Finland at 9:00 PM on MSNBC

The final day of Pool Play could be dubbed 'Super Sunday' as it's highly likely that those three games will determine the winners of each pool. This is critical because the winners get a bye into the next round - thus, not having to play on Tuesday 2/23.

Get ready. The Games are about to begin!

The Mayor