We know you’re busy, so let’s help catch you up on some of the Kings news, notes, and nonsense that perhaps was missed over the past few days. Using our popular 10 Tidbits format, here’s all the latest info you need to know, not only about LA, but the hockey world as a whole:
1. Wait, there is no NHL hockey being played today by any of the league’s 32 teams? Why?
Arizona did not want to play back-to-back home games Tuesday and Wednesday.
12 teams playing Wednesday, Friday, Saturday so cannot schedule a Tuesday or that would be 4 games in 5 nights.
Also, the 4 teams who went to Sweden are not available.
— Jeff Marek (@JeffMarek) November 21, 2023
So, let’s rewind to last night for a quick minute, where several streaks and milestones were reached during the Kings 4-1 victory in Arizona. We’ll focus on Anze Kopitar to start.
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) November 21, 2023
Yes, it was his 100th career point (regular season & playoffs combined), and it was also his 95th regular season point (28G, 67A) vs. the Coyotes franchise — that’s the most among active NHL skaters.
2. From the ‘Did You Know?’ Department… those 28 goals aren’t Kopitar’s most against a single team. In his 86 career games vs. the Anaheim Ducks (which is 5 fewer games than vs. the Coyotes), LA’s captain has recorded 30 goals. In fact, the first two from his 402 career tallies came at the Honda Center:
On October 6, 2006, @AnzeKopitar became the first Slovenian in NHL history when he made his @LAKings' debut against the Anaheim Ducks. With two goals on opening night, Kopitar became the third rookie in franchise history to score two goals in his NHL debut.#LAKings #GoKingsGo pic.twitter.com/zPOiSBkMaT
— The Kingstorian (@Kingstorian) October 6, 2022
And where do the Kings travel next? Yes, to Anaheim.
3. Monday night’s victory also saw the Kings push their road winning streak up to 8 games. They also reached the 25-point mark in just 17 games, tying this year’s club with the 1990-91 LA team for the second-fewest contests needed to reach the mark, behind only the 1974-75 club (16 GP).
Now, coach Todd McLellan’s squad will have a chance to join the 2008-09 Devils if they can come out strong on Friday afternoon in Anaheim.
4. Have you noticed the Ducks don’t have a captain yet? Well, former Reign bench boss (turned Anaheim assistant coach) Mike Stothers gave us his thoughts on which player could/should wear the ‘C’ next in Orange County. Take a listen:
BTW – he also talks quite a bit about Adrian Kempe, Carl Grundstrom, Brandt Clarke, and Franky Pinelli too.
5. When it comes to scoring against other teams (especially the Kings) few did it as often as Mike Modano when he was captain of the Dallas Stars. Next March, he’ll get a much-deserved statue outside the team’s home arena… before a game against the Kings.
What an honor thank you to the @DallasStars organization, the fans of Dallas, all my teammates and coaches over the years. My wife Allison and our kids, we can’t wait till March 16th. https://t.co/O06qDxupst
— Mike Modano (@9modano) November 21, 2023
Mo was also a longtime supporter of MayorsManor — including being one of the first long-form player interviews ever to appear on the site way back in 2009 — and we were honored that he chose to stop by on the eve of his Hockey Hall of Fame induction to share a plethora of stories. If you missed it, or just want to re-live the tales, be sure to check it out here:
6. The Hockey Gods giveth and they taketh away. Or in this case, it’s sort of in reverse order. Just a few days ago, the Winnipeg Jets announced that forward Rasmus Kupari would miss the next 4-6 Weeks with a shoulder injury. This comes after Gabe Vilardi went down with a knee injury last month — ironically, against the Kings. Good news, though… the latter is back skating and said to be returning very soon.
Of course, all of this is happening just a few weeks before the Jets make their first visit of the season to SoCal on Wed. Dec. 13.
How is Alex Iafallo doing? He has 13 points (4G, 9A) in 17 games.
7. In more medical related news, LA Kings 2023 draftee Matthew Mania has now recovered from his shoulder injury and returned to action. The 6-foot-1 defenseman played three games for OHL Sudbury over the past week and is looking to ramp back up and build upon his sophomore season with the Wolves, where he scored 10 goals and added another 18 assists from the blueline.
8. Crossing the Atlantic, there are a few more Kings prospect notes to pass along. For starters, forward Aatu Jamsen returned to action a few days ago. Prior to being slew footed in a game several weeks ago, he was leading the Pelicans (Liiga) in scoring, recording 9 points (5G, 4A) in 10 games.
Over in the KHL, defenseman Kirill Kirsanov is now with Igor Larionov’s team (the NHL legend serves as bench boss for Nizhny Novgorod Torpedo). This should be very good for his ongoing development, as we hear the 21-year-old is well liked by his new coach. While he’s been forgotten about by some, don’t sleep on Kirsanov when evaluating the Kings prospect pool. Sure, it can be a challenge to get players out of Russia (and perhaps now more so than ever), yet the LA staff continues to track his play and haven’t given up hope on eventually signing their 2021 Draft pick.
9. In other Kings prospect news, there was some shuffling around in the weekly college hockey polls. While Denver (forward Jared Wright, drafted in 2022) stayed No. 3, Boston (forward Jack Hughes, 2022) jumped from No. 8 to No. 5, New Hampshire (forward Ryan Conmy, 2023) gained a spot to No. 12, and UMass (forward Kenny Connors, 2022) rose to No. 11.
— The Armchair Scout (He/Him) (@Davidenkness) November 21, 2023
Now, 6-foot- defenseman Jack Sparkes isn’t quite in college just yet — he’s committed to Michigan State next season — yet, we still have some news to pass along. He’s left the Muskegon Lumberjacks after two seasons and taken his talents to the BCHL, where he’ll play for the Chilliwack Chiefs. From what we’ve been able to gather, Muskegon had several import players and Sparkes wanted to be in a situation where he could get more playing time / contribute via a bigger role.
Here’s something from our most recent Kings Dev Camp notebook:
Jack Sparkes is not only tall, he’s the tallest guy in camp; towering over people at 6-foot-8. However, he’s surprisingly coordinated for a 19-year-old prospect who is still getting used to that big frame. He also has good feet for a player so tall. Even more impressive is his conditioning; the guy never looks fatigued on the ice. His height also comes with a wingspan reminiscent of UFC fighter Jon Jones. It’s rather impressive when he winds up for a shot.
10. And finally, for the hockey equipment lovers out there, here’s some fresh intel.
Heading into LA's games in Arizona tomorrow and in Anaheim Friday…
FWIW – Kings haven't had discussions yet about trying black buckets with their white jerseys. So, nothing imminent.
Next road trip (12/5-10) features four games with the chrome helmets vs. CBJ, MTL, NYI, NYR). https://t.co/Gz7aSHJbL3
— The Mayor | Team MM (@mayorNHL) November 20, 2023
Vancouver has decided to go matte black. That’s always cool.
If you missed last week’s Tidbits, they’re linked below for your reference.
Lead photo via Daniel Stopani
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