Saturday, February 4, 2012

Williams realizing what he can get away with on the ice

Justin Williams (photo: D. Sheehan) 
Leave it to the the Blues to slow down the surging Justin Williams. He entered last night with points in nine straight games (four goals, seven assists). However, he has struggled against St. Louis throughout his career - finding the back of the net just once in 17 career games.

And like clock work, they shut him down again. Perhaps he'll find some solace though in the fact that Jaroslav Halak didn't let any of the other Kings score on him either.

Regardless, something seems to have changed in Williams' approach of late. For example, he led the team in assists (seven), points (10), power play goals (three) and shots (39) in the month of January. So, what's been going on?

"I've enjoyed the way Darryl (Sutter) has approached me, he's given me a lot of confidence," said Williams. "We've had a real good open dialogue. I've been able to consistently have a good effort day in and day out. I think as you get through the season, you get a little bit more in shape, you get a little bit more comfortable and you start to realize what you can get away with out there and what you can't. I think hard work, and mainly effort, is the thing that's driving me right now."

He also went on to share a little more insight into the dialogue taking place with coach Sutter...

"He's just instilling confidence in me. There are going to be mistakes. There's going to be times where pucks are turned over and he lets you hear it. But, he also lets you hear the good stuff too."

Tonight the Kings will try to get back on the winning track in Carolina, a city where Williams played for four-plus seasons before being traded to LA a few years ago. In 13 career games vs. the Hurricanes, he has seven points (three goals and four assists). He'll certainly be looking to add to those totals this evening.

The Mayor


POLL:  Who was the LA Kings Player of the Month for January

Jack Johnson on 'creative and unpredictable' opponents

What I've learned so far this season... by Alec Martinez

Friday, February 3, 2012

Dustin Brown on playing the Blues, plus tonight's tix contest

Beginning tonight in St. Louis, the Kings will play 14 of their next 18 games on the road. And the first one out of the chute won't be easy for LA, as the Blues have only lost three games on home ice this season. However, one of those came to the Kings in a 3-2 contest back in November.

Prior to heading out of town, here's what Dustin Brown had to say about the team's annual Grammy trip...

"The one game that stands out is that very first one. St. Louis has probably been one of the hottest teams since their coaching change. So, I think going in there, on the road, with the way they're playing, it's going to be a big test for us."

Here's a look at how several of the Kings have performed against the Blues in the past...

Anze Kopitar - 9 goals in 22 games

Brown - 13 goals in 27 games

Justin Williams - one goal in 17 games

Dustin Penner - eight goals in 20 games
Mike Richards - two goals in six games

Jarret Stoll - six goals in 27 games

Drew Doughty -  one goal in 13 games

Jack Johnson - no goals in 15 games

If you'd like to participate in the the MayorsManor First Goal Contest tonight, we'll be giving away a free pair of tickets to the next home game (2/16 vs. the Phoenix Coyotes). It's easy to play, simply leave a comment below with the LA player you think will score first vs. the Blues...or reply to the facebook / twitter updates that will be posted around 5:00pm. All correct answers will be pooled together and one random winner will be awarded the tickets. Good luck!

The Mayor

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Pennercakes - Full details on 'Pancakes with Penner' event

Are you ready to have pancakes with Dustin Penner?

Well, then mark your calendar for Monday, February 13th. The event will be hosted by the IHOP in Westchester, located just a few miles north of the Kings training facility in El Segundo.

As previously announced, tickets to this event will be awarded via a raffle, with all money raised being donated to the Kings Care Foundation.  There are three different 'prize pack' options to chose from and 75 winners will be randomly selected next Thursday, February 9. Each winner will be allowed to bring one guest with them to the event.

Want more? Every person purchasing a raffle ticket gets a signed Dustin Penner player card. So, nobody is walking away empty handed here.

If you're one of the lucky 75 though, you'll also get to enjoy an all you can eat breakfast, complete with pancakes, bacon, eggs, coffee, juice, etc. with Penner!  Bailey and the LA Kings ice crew will be on hand as well.

Submissions are only being accepted until 3:00pm on February 9, 2012. So, hurry up! Head over to and secure your entry.

To read the original story and how this all started, click here for the open letter Penner posted here on MayorsManor.

Good luck and happy eating!

The Mayor

'Pancakes with Penner' breakfast set for February 13, 2012

The much talked about 'Pancakes with Penner' breakfast is set for Monday, February 13, 2012 at an IHOP near the Kings training facility. Full details on how you can win one of 75 raffle tickets can be found here -->

The Mayor

Mulitple angles of Drew Doughty's goal and the clock issue

If you haven't heard yet, there was a little bit of controversy at the end of last night's Kings game. In fact, it's being reported that the NHL is sending staffers to Los Angeles to investigate exactly what happened with the clock in the final seconds of the team's 3-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Officially, Drew Doughty is being credited with the game winning goal. However, as you'll see in the third replay shown during the video below, there seems to be a slight 'hiccup' with 1.8 seconds remaining.

The Mayor

Quotes from the Blue Jackets locker room after 3-2 loss in LA

There will be plenty more said about this game over the next 24-48 hours, given the controversy created by a possible clock stoppage in the final seconds of regulation. However, the players skated off the ice with the Kings winning 3-2. Back in the Columbus Blue Jackets locker room, here's what coach Todd Richards and forward Colton Gillies had to say...

Richards on the timing of the game-winning goal - "Well, I don’t have anything official, any official report. Watching the replay and talking with our producer who runs our show, the clock stopped at 1.8 seconds, and it stopped for 1.5 seconds, and they scored with 0.5 seconds. Something happened and it’s really disappointing because I thought our guys battled and worked hard. They fought for 60 minutes and they deserve something, but they leave here feeling the negativity of a loss and the disappoint there, so I’m really disappointed for the players."

Richards on his team's effort - "We competed. We weren’t perfect for 60 minutes. They’re a good team so they’re going to create things offensively and create opportunities for themselves. I liked the way that we competed with getting down 1-0 and continuing to battle, down 2-1 and continuing to battle. Guys were getting in front of shots and taking hits to make plays. They’re a big team and they play a big, heavy game. Right now, with the guys that we have, we aren’t as big of a team so we have to work extra hard. I thought the guys worked harder and they deserve something out of tonight."

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Pregame comments from the Kings, plus tonight's ticket contest

Last hour we heard from Dustin Brown in advance of tonight's Kings vs Blue Jackets match-up. Here, we went around the locker room and gathered additional comments from a few others...

Anze Kopitar - "We have to worry about ourselves. We know if we bring our 'A' game to the table, I like our chances. That's the big thing. We have to worry about our game and the rest will come."

Matt Greene - "We have to be ready to work. They work real hard and we have to be ready to match whatever they put into it. They're a gritty team and we have to make sure it's a tough game and be ready right away. We can't wait to ease ourselves into it."

Jack Johnson - "Teams that are so-called 'out of it' have nothing to lose. So, sometimes they're dangerous to play against - just like Edmonton is a dangerous team because they have nothing to lose. If things are going right for them during the night, they're tough. Even when you're out of it, teams have a lot of pride and individual pride. So, they're going to play hard. But, we have to make sure we keep getting points to stay in the playoffs."

Dustin Brown on the Blue Jackets - 'We used to be that team'

When the Kings return to the ice tonight it will be their first game in over a week. The match-up vs. the Columbus Blue Jackets also gives LA a chance to atone for their embarrassing 1-0 home loss to the same team about three weeks ago.

Here are some pre-game comments from team captain Dustin Brown...

"We used to be that team. Everyone looks at the standings at where they're at and where other teams are at, but at the end of the day, it's the NHL and any team can beat another team on any given night. I think it's important for us, coming off an extended break, to be ready - and more importantly, be ready in the first period. If we get off to a good start, I think that's the key to the game."

Up next, we'll take a look at some comments from Anze Kopitar, Drew Doughty and a few others. Plus, we'll post the details for tonight's ticket contest.

The Mayor

Interview with Jonathan Quick's replacement in net

When the Kings returned to their practice facility on Monday after nearly a week long break there was a stranger sitting in Jonathan Quick's stall. Perhaps even more confusing to some, he was putting on goalie equipment.

Salvatore Tecci had been at the rink since noon, hours before practice was set to start. As the players slowly trickled in, each pretty much did the same thing. "They would walk past me, then turn and do a double take," he said. "Many had a look of 'Who is this kid?'"

Eventually, they came over and welcomed him. "But, they would introduce themselves by their first names, which didn't really help because I didn't know who they were," he shared.  "Having lived in Boston for seven years, if I would have practiced with the Bruins, I probably would have known everyone on the team."

Tecci primarily grew up in Henderson, NV and his only exposure to pro hockey was the Las Vegas Thunder of the old IHL.

"When I first stared playing, there were only two ice rinks within 100 miles," said the 20-year old netminder. "I started skating when I was five, and eventually only became a goalie because one day somebody didn't show up. So, I said 'Yeah, I'll play goalie, they play the whole game.' I was always the youngest kid on the team, so they wouldn't give me a lot of playing time before."

In between filling in for one of his teammates back then and subbing for Quick while he was at the All-Star festivities, Tecci also attended the famed Thayer Prep School in Massachusetts - where a young Jeremy Roenick met Tony Amonte and skated on the same line together. As a freshman Tecci led the state in wins.

NHL scouts and college coaches paid him plenty of attention over the next few years. Yet, it all came to an abrupt end his senior year when he developed an eye infection that put him out of action for several months.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

POLL: Who was the Kings Player of the Month for January?

With the All-Star break now behind us, it's time to look ahead towards February - when the Kings return to the ice tomorrow night vs. the Columbus Blue Jackets. However, before we do, let's first open up the polls to determine who was the Kings Player of the Month for January.

Overall, the Kings went 5-2-4 in 11 games last month, including a 3-2-3 record at home and 2-0-1 on the road. As for individual stats, try these brain teasers out to get the juices flowing...

- Which King led the team in shots on goal? No, he wasn't a center. Justin Williams paced the team with 39 SOG, eight more than Koptiar.

- Which player on the second line had the most goals - Dustin Penner, Mike Richards or Jarret Stoll? None, or all, depending on how you look at it. They each had one goal. Penner led the way with 21 shots (and played one fewer game than his linemates).

- Kyle Clifford had the second most penalty minutes in January (30). Who had the most? Richards with 31. And who was third? Drew Doughty with 20. Not what you want to see from two of your best players.

OK, enough is enough. How about some nominees for the Kings' January Player of the Month...

Dustin Brown - tied for the team goal lead (4) and produced the most hits (41) in January

Drew Doughty - led all defensemen with six assists and was a team best plus-7

Jack Johnson - most goals by a defensemen (3) and only one back from the team lead, led all d-men in shots (26), had only four penalty minutes and a plus-1 rating

Anze Kopitar - tied for the team goal lead (4) and was second in points (9)

Jonathan Quick - started ten of the team's 11 games, posting a 4-2-4 record with one shutout and five games where he only gave up one goal - giving him a goals-against average well under 2.00

Justin Williams - Led the team in assists (7), points (10), power play goals (3) and shots (39), was also tied for second in goals (3), just one back of Brown and Kopitar

Poll closes Wednesday 2/1 at 5pm PST.

The Mayor

From tombstones to milestones - the travels of Jordan Weal

Life's lessons often come when you least expect it.

For Kings prospect Jordan Weal, one such moment arrived a few years ago while driving down the highway with his father. "He asked me a weird question," began the 19-year old center when we spoke recently by phone. "He asked me 'What would you want on your tombstone if today was your day?' I didn't really know what to say."

Weal went on to share that in retrospect, it may have been the moment his maturation process really took off. Although he's openly admitted to being a selfish player earlier in his junior hockey career, he appears to be a changed person these days.

It's something former Kings coach Terry Murray noticed as well, sharing these comments during training camp last September - "The most important thing that I saw was a player who is maturing and growing up. He’s a better teammate. He’s a really good guy now."

Even with Murray now gone from the Kings organization, Weal still values what he was told prior to being sent back to the WHL.

"When you hear something like that from a coach, it's really positive," said Weal, who feels he's made great strides as one of the leaders on the Regina Pats.  "As an older guy, you have to really be a team guy - that guy who's in the dressing room getting everybody ready to go. Maybe when I was younger, I was trying to focus on getting myself prepared for the game instead. As a leader, you have to really focus on the team first. Then, you can worry about yourself after that."

Monday, January 30, 2012

LA Kings fans provide Top 10 high points from Sutter Era

Over the last month we've heard from the LA Kings players - and it's pretty clear, they all love Darryl Sutter so far. He's been engaging, supportive and highly motivational to the guys in the locker room and from behind the bench.

Now, we'll use David Letterman's Top Ten List format and combine it with the popular #fillintheblank hashtag idea from twitter to share the answers received from Kings fans when we recently asked them to complete this sentence - 'The best thing that's happened since Darryl Sutter took over the LA Kings is __________.'

10) ...the Kopitar-Brown-Williams line was finally back together.

9) ...I don't feel so bad about my suits.

8) ...the double peace sign exit.

7) ...we get to see more of Kyle Clifford's potential.

6) ...Drew Doughty giving Jarret Stoll the love tap goal celebration

2012 AHL All-Star Game - notes on Zatkoff, Hickey, Stevens

The 2012 edition of the AHL All-Star game concluded tonight, with the Western squad defeating the guys from the East 8-7 in a shootout. Kings prospects Jeff Zatkoff and Thomas Hickey represented the Manchester Monarchs on the East team.

Zatkoff played the second period in net, facing 20 shots and surrendering there goals.

Hickey, who leads the Monarchs in plus/minus with a plus-14 rating, recorded zero points and took one shot in the game.

Kyle Palmieri, the Ducks first round selection at the 2009 NHL Draft, also picked up a goal for the Eastern Conference all stars.  He's split time between Syracuse (AHL) and Anaheim this season.

Andy Miele, last year's Hobey Baker Award winner (given to the top player in college hockey) - and a name Kings fans may remember from his stellar performance during Rookie Camp games in LA - had a goal, an assist and was plus-2. The Phoenix Coyotes signed him as a free agent last summer our of Miami (Ohio) University, the same school attended by Zatkoff and Kings defenseman Alec Martinez.

Prior to the game, the AHL held their annual Hall of Fame luncheon. Among the four honorees was Kings assistant coach John Stevens. He is one of only 16 men to win an AHL championship both as a player and as a head coach, having patrolled the blueline in over 800 games as a defenseman and later guided the Philadelphia Phantoms to the Calder Cup in 2004-05 after his playing days were over.

The Mayor


Interview with Jeff Zatkoff - making life on the edge work

Interview with Thomas Hickey - the Kings former #1 draft pick opens up

Zatkoff talks prank pulled on Alec Martinez in Manchester

Sunday, January 29, 2012

VIDEO: Goalie Fight with LA Kings prospect JF Berube

We probably should have known it was bound to happen, as Kings goaltending prospect JF Berube used to have UFC champion Georges St-Pierre prominently featured on one of his masks. And while it wasn't an MMA fight, it did look like a preview for tonight's WWE Royal Rumble, when a fantastic brawl broke out during last night's Bakersfield Condors and Ontario Reign game.

The video below is about as wild as you'll ever see, with multiple fights, players interjecting into ongoing fights and even the goalies getting involved. As the saying goes, you have to see it to believe it...

Berube sent over a text this morning to explain things - "(Bryan) Pitton was kind of holding guys all over the ice and when he went to center ice we looked at each other and he kinda gave me the 'let's go' look, so I went."

As for why he took the mask off first - "I thought he would make it fair if I would take my mask off, but I guess not. I couldn't throw too many punches though because I was more focused on getting his mask off."

Then, to show what a gamer he really is, the final comment - "It was fun though I enjoyed it!"

For the record, Ontario defeated Bakersfield 5-1. However, if you're looking ahead to a possible rematch, the two teams won't play each other the remainder of the season. That was the final contest of their ten-game season series, with the Reign winning nine straight after dropping the first game on opening night.

The Mayor


Sneak Peak - a look at JF Berube's new mask

Kings prospect possibly seeking a new nickname

QMJHL playoff preview with Kings prospect JF Berube

Berube reports in from Team Canada's summer camp

NHL12 All-Star Game Results: Westgarth vs The Mayor

Earlier today we posted the results of the NHL 12 simulations using the All Star teams selected by Dustin Penner and Jack Johnson. If you missed it, Team Johnson defeated Team Mayor 8-5. In the other contest, the Pennermaniacs went down in overtime, 5-4.

Now, we have the results of the third and final game using the rosters put together from the mock draft with LA Kings tough guy Kevin Westgarth. Here's how things went down...

Westy's WarriorsHoven's Hitters 
Jonathan ToewsFAlex Ovechkin
Pavel DatsyukFPhil Kessel
Steven StamkosFClaude Giroux
Shea WeberDDion Phaneuf
Brian CampbellDKeith Yandle
Brian ElliottGTim Thomas

Stats from NHL 12 game simulation:

Westy’s Warriors
Hoven’s Hitters

Scoring Summary

NHL12: The Mayor vs Penner and Johnson - results are in

In an article the other day, where we did mock All-Star Game drafts with several of the Kings, Dustin Penner wanted to know if the teams selected were going to be loaded into NHL12 to see who would win. Although that wasn't part of the plan, a longtime MayorsManor reader emailed to let us know he in fact did it. So, the results are available - with scoring summaries, goalie stats, video highlights and even the three-star selections...

First up, here's how things went in the game vs. Jack Johnson:

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

Team Johnson
Team Mayor

Scoring Summary