Saturday, January 28, 2012

VIDEO: Quick beats Howard, gets interviewed by Lundqvist

Jonathan Quick is the Kings' lone representative at this weekend's NHL All-Star Game - and the team's first goalie to receive such an honor in thirty years. As part of tonight's Skills Competition, Quick first participated in the 'fastest skater' challenge, opposing Jimmy Howard from the Detroit Red Wings. Take a look...

Here are some other video highlights from throughout the evening:

- What the race looked like from Howard's helmet cam, click here.

- Later, Quick was in net for the 'elimination shootout' - an event he was most likely much more comfortable competing in. He stopped shots by Jamie Benn of the Dallas Stars, Ryan Suter of the Nashville Predators and this one by Toronto's Joffrey Lupul.  The only guy to beat him was the Flyers (and former LA prospect) Kimmo Timonen (video link).

- At some point during all the fun, Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist took a few minutes to try and interview Quick (video link).

- Before things even got started, Quick chatted with the NHL Network's EJ Hradek - click this link to see why he was in the dressing room so early today and what he forgot about prior to landing in Ottawa.

The actual All-Star game is tomorrow afternoon. Quick, Lundqvist and Brian Elliot of the St. Louis Blues will share the goaltending responsibilities for Team Alfredsson, with each playing one period. No word yet on which segment will be assigned to Quick.

The Mayor

Friday, January 27, 2012

VIDEO: Behind the scenes with Jon Quick at ASG Media Day

Was it really this bad when the All-Star Game was held in Los Angeles back in 2002? Is it because the event was held in 'hockey crazed' Canada? Or has the whole thing just turned into a nutty media thing, ala the Super Bowl? Watch as Kings goalie Jonathan Quick attempts to answer some - interesting? - questions...

Thanks to Kings Vision for supplying the video content.

The Mayor

VIDEO: Kings players try moving from athletes to celebrities

After watching the video below you'll understand why it doesn't need much of an introduction. Just sit back and enjoy as Drew Doughty, Matt Greene, Anze Kopitar and Mike Richards try to move from athletes to big-time celebrities. You should be warned though - when it's over, you'll surely be humming 'wristshot, slapshot, backhand, goal' for the rest of the day.

Great work by the Fame Makers at

The Mayor


Mike Richards and Willie Mitchell admit to forming a bromance

Matt Greene calls out a few of his teammates for stealing his material

What I've learned so far this season... by Drew Doughty

Kings prospect Kevin Gravel emerging from the shadows

Kevin Gravel (photo: B Hemmelgarn)
When you're taken in the fifth round of the NHL Draft, not many hockey fans know you're name. Even the most diehard puckheads have only a cursory knowledge of guys selected outside of the first - maybe second - round. For every Brayden Schenn, there's at least a dozen more like Jeff Shevalier, Peter Hogan and Greg Hogeboom.

Yet, players like Jamie Benn, Rob Scuderi and Ryan Miller have all gone from being fifth round selections to solid pro players. So, chalk it up to being late bloomers or maybe even scouts missing out on what they had to offer, who knows.

Therefore, it's not surprising that Kings prospect Kevin Gravel has long since moved past the Draft of 2010, all while seeing his stock continue to rise. Currently a sophomore at St. Cloud State University, he also has recently returned from a trip to the World Junior Championships.

Last summer, he penned an article here on MayorsManor and he's back today to fill us in on what's been going on over the last month or so.

After surviving the final roster cuts for Team USA in late December - a process that he describes as "pretty nerve racking, just sitting there wondering if your name was going to appear" - Gravel and company kicked things off with a bang, downing Finland 11-3 in their first game.

"Our confidence was really high at that point," Gravel shared. "Obviously, we were expecting to win that game. But, any time you can put up 11 goals on a team, you're going to be feeling pretty good about yourself."

VIDEO: Jonathan Quick interview at All-Star Game Draft

Below is a short video with goalie Jonathan Quick after being selected with the third pick by Team Alfredsson at the NHL All-Star Game Fantasy Draft. After watching him answer some questions from the media, be sure to click the link under the player to see a special message he taped just for LA Kings fans.

Brief message from Quick after day one of his NHL All Star experience - play here.

The Mayor

Thursday, January 26, 2012

POLL: Which NHL forward would you take first at ASG?

If you've been following along here on MayorsManor this week, you've read the mini-mock drafts by Daniel Alfredsson, Jack Johnson, Dustin Penner and Kevin Westgarth. Now it's your turn. If you were one of the captains at this year's NHL All Star Game, who would you take with your first selection at tonight's All Star Fantasy Draft?

We'll assume in an offensive oriented game like the one to be played this Sunday, you're not about to waste your first pick on a goalie or even a defenseman. So, listed below are ten of the best forwards that will be available. You can select from the names provided or use any of these 14 guys as a write in vote: Jamie Benn, Logan Couture, Jordan Eberle, Marian Gaborik, Scott Hartnell, Marian Hossa, Phil Kessel, Milan Michalek, James Neal, Jason Pominville, Henrik Sedin, Tyler Seguin, Jason Spezza or John Tavares.

Voting closes at 5pm PST today.

The Mayor

ASG 2012: Johnson, Westgarth, Penner take on The Mayor

Later tonight, Daniel Alfredsson and Zdeno Chara will draft their All-Star teams from a group of 38 NHL players, live on TV. After watching the inaugural event last season, it definitely put a unique twist on things. No other sport does such a thing. And for a change, that's a good thing for the NHL.

By now, you've probably already read the mock draft we did with Alfredsson earlier this week. Here, we turn to a few of the Kings players.

First up, Jack Johnson. The rules in drafting our teams were simple. Jonathan Quick was ineligible and we alternated selections, with Johnson getting the first pick. Here's how it went down...

Team Johnson

Team Mayor
Pavel Datsyuk


Steven Stamkos
Patrick Kane


John Tavares
Phil Kessel


Claude Giroux
Ryan Suter


Kimmo Timonen
Dion Phaneuf


Shea Weber
Tim Thomas


Henrik Lundqvist

Next up was Dustin Penner, who apparently wanted to sneak in as many of his former Ducks teammates as possible...

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

With Quick away, what are the other Kings doing?

Last season, the Kings had only four days off for the NHL All-Star Game. While they may not have been much time, several players took the opportunity to get out of LA. For example, Kyle Clifford flew back to Toronto to see some family. Taking a shorter trip was Matt Greene, who went out to Pioneertown.

So, with Jonathan Quick away for this weekend's festivities in Ottawa, what are some of his teammates doing? Let's take a quick lap around the locker room and find out...

Kevin Westgarth - "A friend of mine is getting married and I'm in the wedding. So, I'm heading there. It's very exciting actually because it's great to be able to make it to any one of your friends weddings. It'll also be a little relaxation and a change of scenery, which is great. I think everybody is looking forward to a little rest. We've been getting pounded pretty good with the games and the travel. Even with the homestands lately, it's been a pretty good grind. A little time off to recharge the batteries will be good for everybody."

Rob Scuderi - "We just had another baby, so it's kind of tough to go anywhere. We'll just stay local and relax and enjoy the time."

Clifford - "I'm going to keep it real low key, not a whole lot going on. I might head home for a couple days. I haven't really decided yet. I just want to stay focused with what we have going here...but definitely get some rest."

Colin Fraser - "Going away with my wife to a snowy climate for some relaxation."

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Westgarth and Clifford talk aftermath of the Gordie trick

Sometimes you get lucky.

Back in November 2010, sitting in the locker room in El Segundo, after some otherwise meaningless weekday practice, Kevin Westgarth and I were chatting about his rookie season in the NHL. Down the aisle about five stalls away was the only other player there at the time - Kyle Clifford.

During one of Westgarth's many stories, the usually quiet Clifford piped up and offered a challenge. The first one to get a Gordie Howe hat trick would owe the other dinner. Westgarth was more than willing to accept and suggedted they would celebrate when their girlfriends were in town. No problem, both sides agreed and a deal was born.

After Clifford turned the trick last night - getting a goal, assist and fight in the same game - Westgarth laughed when reminded of the other little known detail from that original conversation.

Looking to extend the future double date to include some post-meal entertainment, Westgarth had suggested they make the reward dinner and a movie, to which Clifford replied with simply one word - 'No.'

In the locker room last night, Westgarth laughed when reminded of the bet being dinner only. As for what took place on the ice vs. the Senators, "If anybody else had to do it (before me), he'd be my second choice," said the Princeton grad. "It's going to be a nice little dinner. I don't feel too bad buying him that one at all. That was a hell of a game by Kyle Clifford right there, it's great to see."

Coach Sutter's presser vs Sens: full comments vs Sutterisms

Below are full comments from coach Darryl Sutter's post game press conference following the Kings 4-1 win over the Ottawa Senators. See if you can pull out a few of his popular three-word Sutterisms...

On the balanced effort from the team - "We got lots from... probably half of our shots came from our defense. The power play scored a big goal in the second, and a penalty-shot goal."

On the killer instinct in the second period - "I thought, emotionally, our second period was a strong period. That’s all I was trying to get, was to emotionally draw something out of them tonight."

On Justin Williams eight-game point streak - "Their line wasn't as effective tonight. I don't know if Kopi and Brownie even had shots on goal. So, I don't think if they were nearly as effective tonight."

Quotes from Senators locker room following 4-1 loss to LA

Although the Senators arrived in LA coming off a loss to the Ducks on Saturday, they hadn't dropped back to back games in regulation since early November. On the flip side though, they had only beaten the Kings once in LA and that was more than a decade ago.

Oh, and you want another stat? LA is one of only two NHL cities where their leading point producer, Jason Spezza, had never potted a goal (St. Louis being the other). His night didn't get off to a nice start either, he was hit by an errant puck during pre-game warm-ups and left the ice bleeding.

After 20 minutes of action, Ottawa was down 1-0 and it only got worse from there. They lost the faceoff battle (53 to 47%), were out shot (34-28) and managed a lone goal, while the Kings posted four. Their only 'victory' on the stats sheet would be the 34-24 comparison in hits.

Following the game, here's what they were saying back in the Sens locker room...

Coach Paul MacLean:

On the overall game - "I thought [the physical aspect] of the game was fine. Obviously the score wasn’t very good and I thought that they did a better job of getting to our net than we did getting to their net. We had some opportunities in there as well but they got the big win tonight."

On the penalty shot - "I thought it was a big part of the hockey game. We get the benefit of replay and it shouldn’t have been a penalty shot. We get the benefit of replay one and two and three times. I’m not sure if it’s reviewable in Toronto on that kind of a call, but that’s just the way it is. I think having video means to get it right, so if it’s not right, it should be [reviewed]. That’s why you should have video, to me."

Monday, January 23, 2012

VIDEO: Highlights of Kings 4-1 win vs Ottawa Senators

Led by Kyle Clifford's first Gordie Howe hat trick, the Kings downed the Senators 4-1 tonight and improved their record to 11-1-1 vs. Ottawa. The video below includes some great saves by Jonathan Quick, Trevor Lewis taking a penalty shot - plus goals by Willie Mitchell, Clifford and Jack Johnson.

If you'd like to watch Clifford's first period fight with Zenon Konopeka, click here.

Daniel Alfredsson, who stopped by MayorsManor prior to the game to discuss the Kings and the upcoming All Stat Game (link), scored the lone Ottawa goal.

We'll have post-game notes and quotes up early in the morning

The Mayor

LA Kings stats vs Senators and ticket contest details

In the last meeting between the Kings and Senators (on November 22, 2010), Anze Kopitar opened the scoring 10 minutes into the first period. LA eventually lost that game 3-2. It stands as Kopitar's only goal vs Ottawa in four career games. How have some of his teammates fared?

Dustin Brown - no goals in six games

Justin Williams - five goals in 27 games

Dustin Penner - three goals in six games

Mike Richards - 12 goals in 21 games

Jarret Stoll - no goals in five games

Drew Doughty - one goal in three games

Sens Alfredsson gives slight preview of All Star Game Draft

Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredsson has played 1,100 game in a Senators uniform. Just 18 of those match-ups have been against the LA Kings. So, saying it's a team he doesn't know very well is an understatement.

Still, it didn't take him but more than a few seconds when I asked if he had any memories from those games. "We had one game in Ottawa. I think we ended up losing, but we were up by four or five goals. They came back and I believe they won in overtime. It was a crazy game and a fun game to play in. That's probably the one that sticks out the most."

For the record, that game was just over 11 years ago - played January 16, 2001 - and the Kings rallied from being down 5-1. Goals by Luc Robitaille tied things up at 5-5 and later 6-6. Brian Smolinski's overtime winner was his third goal of the game and gave the Kings a 7-6 win. Jamie Storr was credited with the victory in net, after Steve Passmore had given up the first five goals to Ottawa.

Back to tonight though, Alfredsson is looking forward to playing a Western Conference team. "It's definitely more fun," he said. "We play Toronto, Boston, Montreal and Buffalo a lot of games. You know exactly what you're going to expect from them. We don't know as much about (the Kings). We know they're a good defensive team. They don't give you much, but they don't score a lot of goals either. We'll try to find a way to get goals without giving up much. That's going to be the challenge for us."

Senators-Kings preview with Chris Neil - 100 games later

When the Kings last met up with the Ottawa Senators, then-rookie Kevin Westgarth had what Jim Fox described as, 'his first true heavyweight scrap.' On the other end of that dance was veteran Chris Neil, who was celebrating his 600th National Hockey League game that night.

Later this evening, Neil will meet the Kings again - this time, fresh off of playing in his 700th NHL game over the weekend. Like last year's contest, we hooked up with him for a pre-game chat ...

Defenseman Jack Johnson has often remarked it gets a little boring playing so many games within your division. And it's something Neil agrees with, noting - "Every game is an important game now, especially for teams who are trying to climb in the standings or hold a spot. I think LA has stepped up their game, they're playing extremely well. However, when you come to the rink and you have different video - of teams not in your conference, which gets repetitions - you get a different look and guys thrive off that."

Even with all those games against the Maple Leafs, Bruins and Canadiens, that doesn't stop him from keeping an eye on the Kings, Ducks and Sharks - "We watch the standings on their side too. We know LA is a good team, with a lot of good players. They work hard. You see some of their games, after you finish your game and go out for dinner or whatever. When you catch the games, you see what they're playing like and the Western teams play a hard game. It's my style of game too, so I look forward to it."

Speaking of that point, Kings coach Darryl Sutter hasn't had Westgarth in the line-up much lately. If he sits again tonight, will that make Neil's night a little bit easier?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Quotes from Avalanche locker room after def LA 3-1

Colorado's Giguere and Mueller
In two previous games vs. the Kings this season, the Avalanche were out shot by a wide margin, yet still came away with victories each time. Last night, Colorado out shot LA 31-26 and 16 of the Avs' 18 skaters registered at least one shot. They also won the game 3-1, with the final contest of the four-game season series set for February 22 in Denver.

After the final buzzer, here's what they were saying back in the Avs dressing room...

Coach Joe Sacco:

On the overall game - "I thought we played well tonight. I thought we had a really good first two periods and I like the tempo in our game. I thought our guys competed real hard tonight. We got down a goal and stuck with it and we were able to respond right away there right after they scored. It was nice to see a guy like Cody (McLeod) get rewarded for a lot of hard work that he does. It was a nice play by Elliot on the goal, a nice outlet pass to him. It really was a good effort from all of our guys tonight and that’s a tough team to play against, to come in here and grab a couple points. We’re very pleased."

On the play of goalie JS Giguere - "He was solid tonight. He gave us a chance to win and that’s all we ask of him. Goaltending is important for every team. This league, you look around, you need saves at critical times and at big moments and I thought their first power play he made a big save right away to start the game. He made a couple other great saves but again, I go back to our overall team game tonight. We had some passion tonight and we had some desperation. That’s how you have to play at this time of the year if you really want to be a playoff team. It’s a tight conference, it’s a tough conference, and we’re just trying to get points."

Kings locker room - frustration abounds after 3-1 home loss

The Kings had a chance to move into first place in the Pacific Division with a win last night. However, it wasn't meant to be. In front of the 24th straight home sellout, LA lost nearly every statistical category - including hits, shots, faceoffs and goals. After the 3-1 Colorado win, here's what they were saying back in the Kings locker room...

Captain Dustin Brown:

On the overall game - "It’s hard to get shots when you don’t have everyone playing the right way. It’s going to take 20 guys; tonight I don’t think we had 20. It’s hard to say [how many guys were playing the right way] right after a game. I’m sure it will be clear on video, but we need more. Tonight we had some good lines, but you need four lines if you want to win games in this league, bottom line."

On the cycle shifts - "Last game I scored a goal in the cycle and tonight Kopi scored a goal. Just commenting on my line, I thought we had a lot of good cycle shifts and some good opportunities throwing the puck in their zone. We got one goal; we could have had a couple more. If you look at our good games over the year, our third and fourth lines are having cycle shifts for an extended period of time and, like I said, it’s hard to comment on whole game."

Justin Williams: