The entire Most of the reason we watch hockey started last night, and Anze Kopitar’s overtime breakaway goal gave the Los Angeles Kings a 1-0 series lead over the New Jersey Devils. The goaltenders were – as expected – very impressive, and I’m sure there’s a joke somewhere in there about how interesting that is considering the near-generational gap that separates them. Jonathan Quick was a later-than-should-have-been-available fantasy roster pick of mine this past fall in a keeper league, and even though he’s done statistically carrying me to a championship for the year, I should probably slip in a customary gloat about it.
I’m having trouble envisioning a scenario where Los Angeles doesn’t come away with this one. It would be a frighteningly touching swan song for Marty to backstop the Devils to a victory, though – and wouldn’t hurt whatever case Lou Lamoriello plans to make to Zach Parise contract-wise as soon as the playoffs are done.
I’m pretty sure we’ll continue to be entertained either way. And hey – if Don Cherry keeps wearing the Beetlejuice suit, we all win. (Links after the jump)
Enjoy your Thursday links!
-The Detroit Red Wings have scheduled a Thursday morning press conference where they’re anticipated to confirm announce the retirement of Nick Lidstrom. I’m sure a wealth of career retrospectives will follow in the coming days, so I’ll refrain from getting into that here. Nick’s a class act and a model defenseman – arguably the best in the league for the last decade+. What more can we say?
-Various Twitter sources (ours, and not ours) suggest Carter Ashton and Marcel Mueller practiced normally on Wednesday and will perhaps play in the Marlies‘ Calder Cup Final opener on Friday. That’s good. At this point, Ben Scrivens/Jake Gardiner going down are literally the last things standing between “reality” and “worst case injury scenario” for the team.
-Mirtle adds some thoughts to the Komarov discussion via the Globe. Basic thesis: energy player, tenacious, checker despite his size, who kills penalties. Sounds phenomenal. A $1.2 million cap hit doesn’t, but I suppose if he plays well enough in September to legitimately justify a spot starting on the 4th line, then that number probably ends up being worth it. Not every contract can be a steal of Mike-Brown-level proportions.
-TSN delivers a nice, heartwarming reminder of the Pete DeBoer story: unemployed last year, Stanley Cup finals this year. Volatile business, much?
-Patrick Kane keeps pulling a ‘Season 4 Don Draper’, whereas the Chicago Blackhawks wish he’d act like more of a ‘Season 5 Don Draper’, and they might be thinking he kinda sorta needs some off-ice help to do it.