Europe, Quick praise and prospect update
The day away from the rink provides a chance to break out a couple items that were tucked in the computer bag…
One, Teemu Selanne had some interesting comments in The Orange County Register the other day — link here — about the Ducks’ season-opening trip to Europe and how it might have impacted the team, which will miss the playoffs. Selanne said, in part, “To be honest, the Finland trip, as fun as it was, it really wore on this team a lot. It almost feels like it was mentally tougher than physically. … Some teams, when they went to Europe, they won the Cup. So there’s no excuse.’’ Back in October, I did this blog item, looking at teams that started the season in Europe in the recent past, and how their seasons went. Of course, the Kings stated this season with games in Stockholm and Berlin.
Also, Boston goalie Tim Thomas, former Vezina Trophy winner, had some solid praise for Jonathan Quick in the Boston Herald: “I enjoy watching him play; he’s very fast and very agile,’’ Thomas said. “I like his style, I thought, in some previous years, that he played so much, he kind of dropped off a bit toward the end. But that’s part of being young and adjusting to the heavy workload in the NHL, especially playing in L.A. with the humidity and the type of ice they play on, and the travel.’’
Finally, here’s an update on three Kings prospects who have been playing at the junior/college level…
Tyler Toffoli, who accomplishments have been covered here throughout the season, is playing the first round of junior-level Ontario Hockey League playoffs with the Ottawa 67s. Ottawa holds a 2-1 series lead over Belleville in the best-of-five series, with Game 3 to be played tonight in Belleville. Toffoli has two goals and two assists in the first three games.
Derek Forbort had his NCAA season ended on Sunday, when North Dakota lost to Minnesota in the West Region final (one step away from the “Frozen Four’’). North Dakota had picked up a victory the day before over Western Michigan, which, incidentally, is coached by former Kings coach Andy Murray. Forbort did not have a point in either tournament game.
Finally, goalie Chris Gibson is in the QMJHL playoffs with Chicoutimi, which holds a 2-0 series lead over Acadia-Bathurst in the best-of-seven first-round series. Gibson finished the regular season with a 27-17-4 record, a 2.97 goals-against average and a .893 save percentage.