Los Angeles should be hosting a game of puck Thursday night.
Previously planned, however. Thursday’s arrangements have been panned for some time now.
The NHL continues it’s downward swirl of self-destruction, as league revenue and the game itself threatens to dissipate into complete oblivion for the 2012-2013 season. It’s preposterous.
The Kings should be 12 games into their campaign to date, and are currently supposed to be entering a hospitable swing of contests that would see them play in California confines for the next five dates. The Columbus Blue Jackets should be the foe making way to Staples Center Thursday night.
Speaking of should be, it sums up the NHL.
So, like many players have, we’ll export current analysis to an international landscape. The Kings currently have eight players from last season’s roster playing hockey elsewhere during the NHL lockout – nine if you want to include Jonathan Quick‘s name.
The AHL happenings for Kings players in Manchester, New Hampshire are covered here.
Anze Kopitar, the first Kings player to find work in Europe, has been skating in Sweden. Soon after his move, Alec Martinez made a move to Finland, and backup goaltender Jonathan Bernier fled to Germany.
Then of course there’s Dustin Brown, who reported to Zurich, Switzerland late last week. If Brown’s stint in Zurich lasts longer than a couple of weeks, expect it to be a lengthy stay for the Kings’ Captain.
The only thing lengthy happening on North American soil is the NHL‘s current state of turmoil.
Exports from the Pacific’s shore
Dustin Brown – #23
Zürcher Schlittschuh Club Lions
National League A – Switzerland
GP: 1 — G: 1 — A: 0 — PTS: 1 — PIM: 4
Debut Dustin: Brown’s started all right for himself in Zurich. Dustin Brown is the latest King to commit to playing overseas, and arrived in Switzerland just one week ago. Brown dressed in his first game for the ZSC Lions last night, playing on the club’s second-line at the Right Wing position. Brown played alongside Jeff Tambellini, who was the Kings’ first-round selection in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.
In his opening contest, Brown and the ZSC Lions suffered a 5-3 loss after holding an early two goal lead. Brown tallied Zurich’s third goal of the contest, but they would allow four unanswered markers. Zurich is currently in second place in the 12-team Division holding a 22-12-9 record. Brown’s next game is tabbed for Friday.
Brown’s Debut Goal | 11-13-12
Alec Martinez – #27
Marty’s Down: Reports surfaced Tuesday that Alec Martinez was hospitalized after taking a puck to the face. A slapshot in fact, off the stick of Juha Leimu. Facial damage doesn’t seem to be a major concern, but there is a chance Martinez suffered some sort of concussion. Martinez has been a solid, as expected, addition to TPS Turku. However, he hasn’t been able to improve the club’s lack of success this season. TPS Turku continues to sit at 13th place in the 14-team division, exactly where they were when Martinez hopped on board. They’re struggling with just 22 points, and find themselves seven points behind the club that maintains the league’s final playoff position.
A moment of glory was to be had before Martinez’s accident, of course. Martinez potted a game-winning goal in OT on November 1st, breaking ground in a scoreless tie and sending fans home after putting Karpat Oulu to rest. A beautiful snap-shot across his body it was.
Marty’s OT-winning Goal | 11-1-12
Jonathan Bernier – #45
Back up, now: This guy may have been missing hockey last season more than us fans are during the current lockout. Well, in a “getting a chance to play” type of way. Jonathan Bernier has logged 424 minutes in the crease for Heilbronn, this in a combined seven games started. Bernier has been in Germany for just about four weeks, and he’s already almost halfway to his total mark of 890 minutes for the Kings last season. That, may you note, in a nine-month, 82-game span.
Although Bernier has downgraded his level of competition in playing away from the NHL, his GAA has jumped a bit in comparison to last season. Bernier is allowing just under three goals per game at 2.83, a steep climb from his 2.36 in Los Angeles last season. Albeit, it’s only been seven games. For Bernier, it’s the consistent live action that really matters.
Montage from Manchester
Anze Kopitar – #11
Kopi’s all right: As expected, Anze Kopitar is doing quite well for himself in Sweden. You better believe he’s having the same effect on the Mora IK club as a whole. This is a different experience for Kopitar, it provides a mentor role with his brother Gasper on a roster that holds a younger group. It’s more about the experience for Kopitar right now – while of course keeping tabs on his skills. Those skills have been warmly welcomed by the Tier-II division Mora IK, as Kopitar is averaging more than one point per contest. In 13 games, Kopitar has racked up four goals and 11 assists for 15 points.
Gasper Kopitar isn’t being shut out of Mora IK‘s scene by Anze’s limelight, though. The younger brother has four goals and four assists adding to a respectably stocky total of eight points to his name in 15 games played.
Even with the Kopitar brothers, Mora IK finds itself in the bottom half of HockeyAllsvenskan‘s standings. They currently sit at eighth place in the 14-team league with 31 points, just one point shy of the seventh-place club, which holds the final postseason slot.
Sweden with Style| 10-3-12
Staples Center will sit empty Thursday evening, as hockey escapes the Stanley Cup‘s home for yet another night.
And from the looks of it, it might be mentally beneficial to expect that for a while.