Los Angeles Hockey: Mark Olver

Kings: Jonathan Quick gets the hook in 4-1 loss

February, 22, 2012
Los Angeles KingsRon Chenoy/US PresswireKings goalie Jonathan Quick was pulled after one period when he gave up three goals to Colorado.
Colorado Avalanche 4, Kings 1

Eight keys to the game:

THE FACTS: A perplexing season continued its latest turn for the worse Wednesday night. Kings goalie Jonathan Quick, one of the few bright spots during the first three-quarters of this season, picked up where he left off the night before in a 5-4 shootout loss in Phoenix, giving up three first-period goals before he was lifted in the loss at Pepsi Center in Denver.

THE STAT: Quick has given up seven goals in his last three periods and two more in Tuesday's shootout against the Coyotes. Before this two-game trip, he had a 1.86 goals-against average and had not allowed more than two goals in his previous eight starts.

TURNING POINT: About seven minutes into the first period, the Avs had numbers on the forecheck and used it to their advantage, taking possession before separating into open space in the offensive zone. David Jones fed the puck from along the boards to Mark Olver in the left faceoff circle and he picked out the top left corner with a nice shot over Quick’s right shoulder for a 1-0 lead. Six minutes later, Kings winger Kyle Clifford passed the puck to the wrong team behind his own net. Paul Stastny took possession and scored on a wraparound for a 2-0 lead. With the Kings averaging a league-low 2.07 goals coming in, that seemed to be enough.

HOT: In a matter of four games, the seat for general manager Dean Lombardi has warmed up a few dozen degrees. The Kings lost back-to-back 1-0 games at Staples Center last week, blew a 3-0 lead against the Coyotes last night and never showed up against Colorado. If this listing ship doesn’t right itself in a hurry, Lombardi won’t get another chance to fix things in the offseason. This is the team he spent the last five years building, and when they were expected to take a big step forward this season, they’ve taken two back. Unbelievably, the Kings still hold onto eighth place in the Western Conference. His next move before Monday’s trade deadline could determine his fate with the franchise.

NOT: The lack of production for Kings forward Trevor Lewis is often excused because he’s such a solid defender, especially on the penalty kill. He wasn’t good on either end of the ice against Colorado, finishing a season-high minus-3 while failing to contribute a point for the 10th consecutive game. Brad Richardson, another forward who hasn't scored this month, was also minus-3.

(Read full post)

Ducks: Top line still doing damage

March, 27, 2011
Ducks (42-28-5, 89 points) vs. Colorado Avalanche (28-38-8, 64) at Honda Center, 7:05 p.m.

Five storylines to track:

1. Three's a charm -- The top line of Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf and Bobby Ryan teamed up for both goals Saturday night in a 2-1 victory in Chicago. The trio have been carrying the team the last 13 games, combining for 19 goals and 34 assists while helping the Ducks go 10-3-0 during that span. Perry, Getzlaf and Ryan have combined for 18 goals and 31 assists in 54 career games against the Avalanche.

2. Red-hot Duck -- Of course, no NHL player is hotter than Perry, who scored both goals against the Avs and has four goals in the last two games and eight in the last five. His last eight goals have come on just 25 shots, a blistering shooting percentage of 32%. Perry leads the league with 20 third-period goals. The last Anaheim player to lead the league in goals was Teemu Selanne with 47 in 1997-98.

3. Familiar foe -- In a bit of a scheduling quirk, the Ducks will be playing Colorado for the fourth time in 51 days. The first three meetings came while No. 1 goalkeeper Jonas Hiller was sidelined with vertigo-like symptoms. Curtis McElhinney shut out the Avs, 3-0, on Feb 5 but was traded to Tampa Bay three weeks later for Dan Ellis, who won the last two meetings against Colorado.

4. Cam's a winner -- Ducks rookie defenseman Cam Fowler scored the overtime winner Wednesday in Dallas, his eighth goal of the season. When Fowler scores that’s usually a good sign for Anaheim, which is 6-1-1 in games in games that he has hit the net. Folwer is also getting a better hand at the defensive end. He’s a minus-one in the last eight games, putting him at minus-25 for the season.

5. Avs injury report -- Colorado has been devastated by injuries this season and little has changed heading into the Anaheim game. Defenseman Ryan Wilson suffered a knee injury and center Mark Olver a head injury in a 4-3 loss Thursday against Toronto and didn’t play Saturday in a 4-1 loss against the Kings. Defenseman Matt Hunwick also missed the Kings game with back injury and Adam Foote is expected to miss the Anaheim game with a leg injury.