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They Must Use A Dart Board To Make Decisions At NHL Headquarters

LOS ANGELES — The first two days of the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs are now in the books, but, disappointingly, one of the most memorable aspects of the playoffs so far is the fact that how the National Hockey League handles supplementary discipline is still little more than a joke.

Logo courtesy National Hockey League

Before you start rolling your eyes, this is not really about the merits of Los Angeles Kings center Jarret Stoll’s hit from behind on San Jose Sharks defenseman Ian White in Game 1 of their Western Conference Quarterfinal series on April 14. It is also not about if Sharks defenseman Jason Demers should have been suspended for his hit on Kings left wing Ryan Smyth in the same game. Even the punishment Anaheim Ducks right wing Bobby Ryan should receive for stomping on Nashville Predators defenseman Jonathon Blum’s’s foot in Game 2 of their first round series on April 15 is not what this story is about.

These incidents shine an ultra-bright spotlight on the haphazard way the NHL hands out fines and suspensions. Indeed, it often seems that whether or not the incident results in an injury, along with the severity of the injury, dictates whether or not a suspension is handed down, not to mention the number of games. Read more of this post

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For The Los Angeles Kings, Black Friday Has A Totally Different Meaning

EL SEGUNDO, CA — When Terry Murray was hired as head coach of the Los Angeles Kings on July 17, 2008, his highest priority was to teach his young team how to play defense, something that seemed like a foreign concept to the Kings in the seasons just prior to his arrival.

Two years later, Murray’s mostly young charges had improved their defensive zone play in dramatic fashion by emphasizing coverage of the “home plate” area in front of their own net. That new focus, along with improved goaltending, resulted in a dramatically reduced number of shots against, far fewer quality scoring chances by opponents and, as a result, a lot less pucks ending up in their net.

That focus was on point to start the 2010-11 season, one that saw the Kings jump out to a 12-3-0 start. But their defensive focus went by the wayside in mid-November, and the Kings have been in a deep slump ever since, losing five of their last six games while allowing one glorious scoring chance after another and giving up goals in bunches. Read more of this post

Confidence And Maturity Has LA Kings’ Wayne Simmonds Shining Bright

LOS ANGELES — Two years ago, Wayne Simmonds was toiling away in the Ontario Hockey League for the Owen Sound Attack and the Sault Ste. Marie (Soo) Greyhounds. But his play had already caught the eye of the Los Angeles Kings, who had selected him in the second round (61st overall) of the 2007 National Hockey League Entry Draft. Read more of this post

Frozen Royalty Audio and NHL Video: Richardson, Simmonds Help Lead LA Kings to 6-3 Win Over Ottawa

LOS ANGELES — Randy Jones, Brad Richardson and Wayne Simmonds scored a goal each and Drew Doughty scored the game-winner late in the second period to lead the Los Angeles Kings to a 6-3 win over the Ottawa Senators in front of an announced crowd of 14,997 fans at Staples Center on Thursday night.

Justin Williams added two goals late in the third period to seal the victory for the Kings, who were generally outplayed by the Senators for the majority of the game.

Simmonds goal came on a penalty shot at 17:24 of the first period. Read more of this post

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