Los Angeles Hockey: Don Mattingly

The Stanley Cup goes to Dodger Stadium

June, 13, 2012
Los Angeles Dodgers, Kings, Angels AP Photo/Mark J. TerrillThe Kings brought the Stanley Cup to Dodger Stadium on Wednesday and took a rare picture together with the Dodgers and Angels.

LOS ANGELES -- A day before the Los Angeles Kings will parade the Stanley Cup through downtown L.A., the team gave a sneak peak to fans and players at Dodger Stadium before the Dodgers played the Angels on Wednesday night.

The Stanley Cup arrived at Dodger Stadium less than an hour before the opening pitch, carried by Rob Scuderi and Justin Williams. Kings players mingled with Dodgers players in the Dodgers' clubhouse as Dodgers players took pictures with the Stanley Cup, which was placed in the center of the clubhouse and later brought out to the team’s dugout before being carried out onto the pitcher’s mound.

While manager Don Mattingly was filling out the night’s lineup in his office wearing a Kings Stanley Cup championship T-shirt, Kings defenseman Matt Greene was busy putting on a Dodgers uniform, from head to toe. By the time the Kings and Dodgers players hit the field, Greene looked as if he were ready to play first base for the Dodgers.

“Greener stole the show,” said Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick.

Kings captain Dustin Brown, who grew up as a Yankees fan in Ithaca, N.Y., said the biggest thrill of the night was getting to meet Mattingly.

“I’m a big Don Mattingly fan,” Brown said. “I grew up in upstate New York so the Yankees are my American League team. He was one of the players I always liked. I liked the Yankees before they were good and he was on those teams. I wasn’t a fan of the Dodgers before I came here, but they’ve started to grow on me.”

Before they threw out the ceremonial first pitch, the Kings, Dodgers and Angels all gathered around the pitcher’s mound for a rare triple team picture. The Kings didn’t stay for the game, as they gathered for a team dinner before their victory parade in the morning.

“I’ve thrown out the first pitch a couple of times, but it’s different now being a Stanley Cup champion in the city of Los Angeles,” Brown said. “It’s always fun to come to Dodgers games and be a part of this. It’s special to bring the Cup here. There are a lot of things you get to do with the Cup, but bringing it here and sharing it with the city of Los Angeles is pretty special.”

Kings: More breakdowns as St. Louis jumps ahead, 3-1

January, 13, 2011
After the 2nd period:

St. Louis Blues 3, Kings 1

The good: The Kings erased a 1-0 deficit 5 minutes 37 seconds into the second period. Roman Polak was in the penalty box for hooking birthday-boy Kyle Clifford and just as Polak stepped out of the gate Alec Martinez fired a shot at the St. Louis goal, which got a piece of Michal Handzus’ stick and was deflected past goalkeeper Jaroslav Halak. Handzus has goals in back-to-back games for the first time since last February and four points in the last three. The Kings limited the Blues to one shot on goal the first 11 minutes of the period and killed their only power play so far.

The bad: One of the reasons the Kings got off to such a great start this season was the play of goaltender Jonathan Quick. He was among the top three goalies in the league in wins, save percentage, goals-against average, you name it. But his play has really flattened out in the last month, the main reason why he wasn’t selected to the All-Star Game. The Blues’ second goal was a prime example of the struggles he has faced recently. Even worse, the go-ahead goal came against St. Louis’s fourth-line players, who have spent more time in the AHL than the NHL this season. Chris Porter took a seemingly weak shot at the goal and the puck hit Quick in the chest and caromed out front, where Ryan Reaves beat Trevor Lewis to the loose puck and poked it back in for a 2-1 lead. Drew Doughty, the other Los Angeles player who seemed a lock to make the All-Star Game coming into the season but was passed up, was burned on the second goal as Brad Boyes won the puck against the boards, skated around Doughty and passed to Alexander Steen, who beat Quick for his 15th goal of the season.

The in between: As was mentioned after the first period, there’s a lot of empty seats around Staples Center, but they still managed to muscle up some loud boos as the period wound down. I’d love to be a fly on the wall in the Kings' locker room right now. What does coach Terry Murray have to say to get this team to play with some fire, even desperation? Dodgers manager Don Mattingly dropped the ceremonial first puck, maybe he can provide some advice.