Kings fans, if you choose to donate to assist those displaced and affected by the wildfires that have afflicted Fort McMurray and Northern Alberta, click here to be taken to a Canadian Red Cross donations page. While the winds in the area have died down, the fire is unfortunately expected to grow as no precipitation is expected over the next several days. Blues forward Scotty Upshall is from Fort McMurray, and his teammate Colton Parayko is a fellow Fort McMurray Oil Baron. As Craig Custance noted, Tyler Toffoli was among the players who participated in a 2011 Team Canada junior national team intrasquad game in Fort McMurray, which is a four and a half hour drive north-northeast of Edmonton.
REIGN TRAIN. Ontario and San Diego meet up tonight for Game 1 of the AHL’s first all-Southern California playoff series. (Tickets are available here.) Lindsay Czarnecki, who does a phenomenal job covering the Reign on a daily beat and keeping tabs on Kings prospects, spoke to Nic Dowd and Paul LaDue this morning (LaDue is not expected to play) in addition to Head Coach Mike Stothers. She also posted notes from the morning skate, which suggest that Jonny Brodzinski and Ryan Horvat, both out with undisclosed injuries, are unlikely to play tonight. For San Diego, starting goaltender Anton Khudobin, who was injured in the first round, did not take the ice at the morning skate, so expect Matt Hackett to start in net for the visitors. Hackett was 10-7-2 with a 3.03 goals-against average and .895 save percentage for the Gulls this season.
A+ ADS. LAKings.com took a look at commercials starring current and former Kings over the last three decades. There’s an Erik Ersberg sighting, as well as a pair of ads paying homage to the original LA Kings Slap Shop. I still have strong pangs of nostalgia driving along Ventura Boulevard where the old Sherman Oaks store was located. (stick tap to Spike Coffman)
AROUND THE INTERNETS: JFTC has a three–part series analyzing the challenges faced by the Los Angeles blue line. Also: Ontario #fancystats. | Jason Lewis at HockeyBuzz examines the blueprint the Kings use towards acquiring outside talent via trade. | Taylor Blake Ward of Frozen Royalty examines the Reign-Gulls series. | Bad news, via the Seattle Times, for the city’s efforts to build an arena that could house an NHL or NBA team. The Seattle Process still exists. | Jaromir Jagr will play in the NHL in a season in which he’ll turn 45 years old. He had 27 goals as a 44-year-old.
Good for you, Rich.
Lots more to come tonight from Ontario.