Kings seek to repeat in lockout-shortened hockey season



AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE

Published — Saturday 19 January 2013

Last update 19 January 2013 12:30 am

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

LOS ANGELES: The Los Angeles Kings, who have had ample time to recover from any Stanley Cup hangover, will launch the lockout shortened NHL season Saturday by raising their first championship banner.
Los Angeles will hand out their rings and raise the banner at Staples Center arena prior to their game against the Chicago Blackhawks, which is one of 13 contests to open the 2012-13 season.
The Kings are trying to become the first team to capture back-to-back titles since the Detroit Red Wings in 1997 and 1998, and they hope to do it with a roster that is almost fully intact from last year.
“I know the two times I went to the finals with Pittsburgh,” said defenseman Rob Scuderi, who appeared in back-to-back finals with the Penguins. “(When you start the next season) you kind of feel like you never left.
“For us, with the extra rest and the fact that we bring back the same team, the same coaching staff and the same philosophies, hopefully that will be an advantage for us.” The four-month old lockout ended this month after the owners and players signed a memorandum of understanding outlining the major issues agreed on for their new collective bargaining agreement.
The deal salvaged a shortened season of 48 games per team.
The Kings won the league championship last year despite being the No. 8 playoff seed, but they will be hard pressed to repeat.
Los Angeles open against the Blackhawks without star center Anze Kopitar, who strained a knee playing in Sweden during the lockout. It also remains to be see how playoff MVP goalie Jonathan Quick reacts after undergoing off season back surgery.
American Quick literally carried the team on his back for much of last season, especially when the Kings had trouble scoring goals. Los Angeles managed to make it to the playoffs despite finishing 29th in league scoring.
The New Jersey Devils open defense of their Eastern Conference crown on Saturday on the road against the New York Islanders.
The Vancouver Canucks are among the favorites in the Western Conference. Cory Schneider has overtaken playoff disappointment Roberto Luongo as their No. 1 netminder. The Canucks are trying to trade Luongo in a deal that would certainly land them some solid players.
Both Philadelphia and Toronto are said to be interested in Luongo.
The Detroit Red Wings underwent some major offseason changes, losing veteran stalwarts Nicklas Lidstrom and Tomas Holmstrom to retirement.
However, general manager Ken Holland has had great success grooming young players in the minor leagues.
The Minnesota Wild went on a spending spree after last season, shelling out $196 million to get all-star forward Zach Parise and defenseman Ryan Suter.
The move should improve their powerplay but Parise and Suter aren’t going to be able to turn the franchise around by themselves.
The Nashville Predators lost Suter to the Wild but they still have arguably the best defenseman in the league in Shea Weber. Pekka Rinne is a solid goaltender and locking up Weber with a $110 million contract for 14 years was a smart move and gives their defense a solid base to build from.
Other notable players that changed teams in the extended off season include Rick Nash moving from Columbus to the New York Rangers and Jaromir Jagr from Philadelphia to Dallas. Veteran Teemu Selanne returned to the Ducks for likely his final NHL season.
The backlash from disgruntled hockey fans hasn’t materialized to the extent that some anticipated. There have been surprisingly large crowds turning out just to watch teams train. The St. Louis Blues worked out in front of 5,700 fans last Sunday.
And tickets for the Kings sold-out opener were being offered for as high as $1,500 on StubHub for a seat in the lower section.
The season ends with 13 games on April 27 and the Stanley Cup playoffs will begin three days later.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: Employees of the Education Office in Al-Daer governorate, Jazan, where seven people were gunned down on Thursday are in a state of shock and perplexed as to what prompted the attacker — a teacher — to take such an extreme step.The teacher, id...
JEDDAH: The campaign to support Syrian refugees with all their needs is being carried out effectively, as per the directives of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman....
RIYADH: The Ministry of Municipalities and Rural Affairs has ordered the allocation of separate sections for female members of municipal councils.This was announced by Jedaie Al-Qahtani of the ministry. “This is in implementation of Clause 107 of the...
DAMMAM: The 9th Saudi Student Conference which is being held on Feb. 13-14 is sponsored by Umm Al-Qura University and hosted by the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom. It was organized by the Scientific Society for Saudi Students in the...
RIYADH: Over the past 10 years, begging in the Kingdom has increased substantially, with the number of organized gangs of expatriate beggars increasing to 85 percent of the total number of beggars, according to Social Affairs Ministry Majed Al-Qassab...
RIYADH: The Ministry of Health said it expects its blood donation drive will received 450,000 milliliters (ml) of blood when the Janadriyah festival ends on Feb. 19.Khalid Ibrahim Zobaie, who supervises the blood donation project, said the drive is i...
JEDDAH: The Shoura Council’s decision to reduce working hours in the private sector from 48 hours to 40 hours per week would result in additional operational costs in the sector due to 30 percent higher wages for expat workers, according to Mansour b...
MADINAH: Madinah Gov. Prince Faisal bin Salman recently visited a number of ongoing developmental project sites in the Holy City, as part of his efforts to ensure that they meet the set standards and deadlines.During the visit, he said that all the s...
RIYADH: The National Guard Ministry is studying the possibility of having two countries as guests of honor each year instead of one at the Janadriyah festival for culture and heritage, the Kingdom’s most prestigious annual festival.This was revealed...
DAMMAM: The Pakistan International School in Alkhobar hosted their 49th annual prize distribution ceremony to honor outstanding students in the presence of Pakistani Ambassador Manzoor Ul Haq and his wife, Nighat Manzoor.Haq appreciated the efforts o...
DAMMAM: The Weaam Association for Family Care in the Eastern Province has succeeded in addressing more than 700 cases of family disputes during the last one year.Abdulrahman Al-Khudair, Weaam’s director of public delations, said: “The association off...
JEDDAH: The Nakheel mall case has continued to grab the limelight, with a number of lawyers now offering their services to the girl who was roughed up by some Haia members in Riyadh. Some people also expressed, through social media, their support to...
RIYADH: Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Al-Asheikh inaugurated this week a campaign tosafeguard Saudi society against bad influences.“The campaign seeks to immunize society in the Kingdom from deviant ideas as well as utter lies and heresies that could...
RIYADH: A Filipino nurse who works at a clinic in Riyadh has been missing for a week, her colleagues has said.According to a co-worker at the clinic, the 43-year-old nurse from from Lamitan town in Basilan province, southern Philippines, wa...
JEDDAH: The Ministry of Haj will put in place new measures for issuing Umrah visas for pilgrims from outside the country with the coordination of the Saudi embassies abroad, a local newspaper reported.The new measures will be implemented soon, given...

Stay Connected

Facebook