Sunday, June 28, 2009

2009 NHL Entry Draft

I really wanted Brayden Schenn to be a King when I saw him sitting with his brother during the 2008 Draft. The analysts talked a bit about the younger Schenn and how he would definitely be a good pick in 2009. With the Kings in the 5th spot there wasn't much hype surrounding this year's draft so I hardly paid much attention to it. I figured the Kings wouldn't be able to draft Tavares or Hedman so I'm glad they were able to snag Schenn (and hopefully piss off the evil Burke).

According to the Kings report:

In 70 games with Brandon, the native of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, scored 32 goals and 56 assists for 88 along with 82 minutes and an impressive plus-20 rating. Schenn was outstanding in the postseason, totaling 8 goals and 18 points in 12 playoff games. He also earned a reputation as a standout two-way player with the kind of game that can succeed in the playoffs -- something the Kings haven't made since the 2001-02 season.

In the Kings Q&A with Schenn he described what he can bring to the team:

A two-way game. I am a forward who has some grit and I see the ice pretty well. The main thing is that I play physical. I bring an all-around game.

So far there's no indication that he's a shoo-in for the '09-'10 roster but he's someone who can develop into a player that the Kings need, a solid two-way forward who can score. The Kings have definitely placed a large emphasis on defense and some players (*cough* Frolov *cough*) were essentially punished for not playing defensively enough.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Pens Win It All in '09

Wow, I did not expect the Pittsburgh Penguins to win the Cup this year.

(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Hey Hossa, where's your Cup?

I still can't believe how awesome the ending was to this series with Lidstrom unable to tie the game in the final seconds as Fleury threw himself into the shot for the Cup winning save. Unreal.

You gotta hand it to the Pens because it seemed like from the start of the series Detroit was going to stomp all over them. Even though I was rooting for Detroit during the entire playoffs, it was nice to see another team dethrone the Wings. So...where will Hossa end up next season?

Crawford is Back Behind the Bench

Of course it was a matter of time before a team hired Marc Crawford but I definitely did not expect the Dallas Stars to fire Dave Tippet and immediately hire Crow in his place. Crow may have a winning record as a coach but I still can get past how horrible the Kings played in front of him for two seasons. I also can't get over how infuriating it was to see him play Cloutier over and over again, forcing the idea that he was the Kings' number one netminder when it was crystal clear that he wasn't. I'm not saying that any of the other 307 backups/replacements should have been the clear cut Number 1, but Cloutier should have earned that spot and not had it handed to him.

The Dallas Stars are very different team than the LA Kings, but as Cat points out in her assessment of the hiring, the Stars have a number of youngsters who are still in the learning process and bunch of veterans, in particular Mike Modano, who are now in a different role on the team. I do wish the Stars the best considering they're my second favorite Pacific Division team and hopefully with Marc Crawford guiding the team they'll be able to help the Kings by taking down the Sharks and Ducks.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Stanley Cup Finals: What is wrong with NBC?

What is up with NBCs lighting during the Stanley Cup Finals? Ever single game on NBC this series has been on the verge of being unwatchable, and I'm talking Fox Sports Network unwatchable. If I wasn't a hockey fan I would not watch these games. Each game (and each period) starts out perfectly fine. But as the period goes on, the lighting in certain parts of the ice become so glaringly bright that you cannot even see the lines (red line, blue line, circle, and faceoff dots) painted on the ice. I noticed that in Detroit the glare is at center ice, but in Pittsburgh the glare is at each end, with the "home shoots twice" end having the most glare. I haven't read any complaints on the blogosphere and I'm trying to figure out why no one else has mentioned it. After the first two games in Detroit I thought it could have been my TV but the next two games in Pittsburgh that were televised on Versus were lit well. The following two games on NBC, one in Detroit and the other in Pittsburgh, had the same glare issue. You may think that the whiter the ice the better it is to see the puck, but the ice isn't just whiter, there's a glare to it so that the puck gets momentarily lost as it moves through the "glare" zones. Has anyone else noticed this problem??

(x-posted to HLOG)