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Category: Jack Johnson

Kings, Jack Johnson near long-term extension

Jackjohnson_350 Defenseman Jack Johnson and the Kings are near an agreement on a multi-year contract extension and could complete the details on Sunday.

"We’re close, it’s fair to say," assistant general manager Ron Hextall said Saturday before the Kings faced the Columbus Blue Jackets at Staples Center.

The extension was first reported by ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun during Hockey Night in Canada’s telecast.

Johnson's deal is for seven years with an average salary-cap hit of $4.36 million a season. He would make $3.5 million the first three years and $5 million in each of the final four.

Johnson, who will be 24 next week, has four goals, 28 points and a -3 defensive rating this season. He was a member of the silver medal-winning U.S. Olympic hockey team at the Vancouver Games and seemed to gain confidence from his performance there, though he still has some issues defensively.

Johnson is earning $1.425 million this season and was eligible to become a restricted free agent on July 1.

Unlike most players, Johnson won’t have to pay an agent’s fee for negotiating the deal: he represented himself.

--Helene Elliott

Photo: Kings defenseman Jack Johnson battles Blue Jackets winger Patric Hornqvist for the puck in the first period Thursday night at Staples Center. Credit: Chris Carlson / Associated Press

NHL All-Star voting ends with Sidney Crosby at the top

Sid_500 

After more than 14.3 million votes were tallied, Sidney Crosby and three of his Pittsburgh Penguins teammates are among the first six players (three forwards, two defensemen and one goaltender) selected for the NHL All-Star game on Jan. 30.

Crosby, who leads the league in scoring, collected the most votes of anyone: 635,509. Joining him are
Penguins' forward Evgeni Malkin, defenseman Kris Letang and goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury.

Rounding out the first six are forward Jonathan Toews and defenseman Duncan Keith of the Stanley Cup-winning Chicago Blackhawks.

The remaining 36 All-stars will be selected by the NHL next week. Under a new format, the 42 selected players will cast their own votes to decide the captains and alternate captains of the two teams.

The appointed team leaders will then choose their own teams in a televised draft.

Though Crosby was the top vote-getter, Letang, a write-in candidate, was next highest with 477,960 votes.

Of the Ducks and Kings? Not enough votes to get in the top six.

For the Kings, the forward with the most votes was Anze Kopitar at 64,142; for the Ducks, it was Teemu Selanne at 43,873. The top Kings defenseman in terms of votes was Drew Doughty at 166, 489. For the Ducks, it was Cam Fowler, a write-in candidate, at 14,160. Also noteworthy: Kings defenseman Jack Johnson, also a write-in candidate, collected 22,641 votes.

Among goalies, Fleury had 426,305 votes. The Kings' Jonathan Quick came in ninth with 80,084, and the Ducks' superb net-minder Jonas Hiller deserved more than the 15,681 he received. He has had to face 1,159 shots against (more than any other goalie by far) yet still has 19 wins (tied for second in the league) and a 2.54 goal-against average (16th) and a remarkable .925 save percentage (fourth in the league).

Click here for the full lists of the final vote count: forwards and defensemen and goalies.

-- Debbie Goffa

Photo: Sidney Crosby. Credit:  Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press.

After two periods: Coyotes 6, Kings 3

The Kings, who entered the game with a 2.20 goals-against average that ranked second in the NHL, gave up four goals in the first period to the Coyotes, who had scored a total of four in their previous four games. Phoenix scored those goals on 12 shots at Jonathan Quick, wreaking havoc on the Kings’ .920 team save percentage.

It was wacky, it was wild, it was a parade of ugly defensive plays in every form imaginable.

And it got worse, with the Kings facing a 6-3 deficit after two periods at Jobing.com Arena.

Shane Doan began the scoring parade at 5:31, after Jack Johnson couldn’t handle a rolling puck in his own zone following a pass from Drew Doughty. Scottie Upshall took it away and passed across to Doan, who scored on the Coyotes’ fourth shot of the game.

The Kings matched that at 7:39. Kevin Westgarth took a long shot — think somewhere in the neighborhood of Scottsdale — and Anze Kopitar got a piece of it. The puck squirted through Ilya Bryzgalov’s pads and was tapped over the goal line by Brad Richardson.

The Coyotes took a 2-1 lead at 9:20, when Ray Whitney got behind Johnson and had an open right side to deposit a pass from Keith Yandle. The Kings again pulled even, this time when Ryan Smyth deflected a shot by Doughty from the top of the circle at 11:24, but the Coyotes had an answer for that tooas Upshall skated in deep on the left side and scored over a sprawling Quick to give Phoenix a 3-2 lead at 12:16.

The Coyotes extended their lead to 4-2 at 15:34, during a power play, on a redirection by Brett MacLean for his first NHL goal in his first NHL game.

The Kings made it a one-goal game again at 16:07. Kopitar controlled the puck and came out from behind the net before throwing it toward Bryzgalov. Before it got to the goalie it caromed off Marco Sturm’s back and into the net.

The pace slowed in the second period, but only barely. Phoenix scored on a power play at 6:11, with  Doan going to one knee, and again at 10:03, on a long shot by Kyle Turris. That was all for Quick, who was replaced by Jonathan Bernier after giving up a half-dozen goals on 18 shots.

Bernier had already been told that he would start at home on Thursday against the Philadelphia Flyers, and it’s not clear if his unexpected appearance will change Coach Terry Murray’s plans or if he will start anyway.

More from Jobing.com Arena later, at www.latimes.com/sports.
-- Helene Elliott, in Glendale, Ariz.

 

 

After two in Chicago: Blackhawks 3, Kings 1

The Patrick Sharp-Jonathan Toews-Troy Brouwer line gave the Kings fits again in the second period. Kings Coach Terry Murray continued to use Jack Johnson and Drew Doughty as a shutdown defense pair against that line but they were overmatched and couldn’t move Brouwer away from the front of the net and prevent him from screening Jonathan Quick.

That duo was on the ice for both goals by the Blackhawks in the second period, which ended with Chicago building a 3-1 lead.

The Kings actually scored first and tied it at 1:34 on a surprisingly skillful play by Kyle Clifford. He took a pass from Michal Handzus and took advantage of some miscommunication among the Blackhawks’ defensemen, cutting in from the left wing and through the slot, switching from his forehand to his backhand. He ended up on his belly but got the puck past Corey Crawford for his second goal this season.

But the Blackhawks regained the lead on the next shift, merely 25 seconds later. Sharp made the play by cutting and turning along the left-wing boards and passing the puck back to the point to Duncan Keith, who shot through traffic and beat Quick for his third goal of the season.

Fernando Pisani extended Chicago’s lead to 3-1 at 12:25. Justin Williams took a shot in Chicago’s end that caromed crazily off the boards and zipped into the neutral zone. Dave Bolland caught up with it and skated up the right side. He passed to his left, where Bryan Bickell tipped it before it went to Pisani, who scored on a wrist shot from about 25 feet out on the left side.

More to come later, at www.latimes.com/sports
Helene Elliott in Chicago

 

 

After one period in St. Louis: Kings 1, Blues 1

The opening period was fairly quiet until the last six minutes, when the Blues took two penalties and gave the Kings a five-on-three advantage. The Kings scored at 16:59, a second after the first penalty had expired, but the Blues matched that at even strength soon afterward.

Dave Scatchard was penalized for hooking at 14:58 and Nikita Nikitin followed him into the box at the 16-minute mark after firing the puck over the glass. The Kings lost control of the puck once when Ryan Smyth fell with no one near him and the puck came out of the zone, but they took the lead when Jack Johnson fired a shot from just above the right circle and past goaltender Ty Conklin.

Dustin Brown and Anze Kopitar got the assists, and each extended his point-scoring streak to six games.

The Blues pulled even at 18:45 after the Kings turned the puck over in the neutral zone. Jay McClement carried it into the zone and dished it off but he managed to slip a backhander past Jonathan Quick for his fifth goal of the season.

Kings winger Justin Williams was sent off for roughing at 19:35, giving the Blues an advantage that carried over to the second period.

The Blues got some good news about prized defenseman Erik Johnson, who was injured in their game at Detroit on Wednesday. He has a slight sprain of his right knee -- the knee he had surgically repaired two years ago -- and his status is day-to-day. They were relieved because he's a cornerstone defenseman and they've already had more injuries than they can handle.

More later at www.latimes.com/sports
--Helene Elliott in St. Louis

 

Final in Detroit: Kings 5, Red Wings 0 [Updated]

Kings3_350 At the Red Wings’ morning skate Coach Mike Babcock was asked his opinion of Kings defenseman Drew Doughty, who played for him on Canada’s goal medal-winning Olympic team at the Vancouver Games.

“He’s just better and smarter than everybody else,” Babcock said. “He’s just been touched by God and he’s been given a gift and he seems to like hockey.”

It’s debatable whether Doughty has been touched by a supreme being, but he sure wasn’t touched by Detroit’s defense Monday.

Doughty racked up three assists in the Kings’ stunning 5-0 rout of the Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena and excelled defensively after Matt Greene left the game with what was called an upper-body injury. He appeared to be wobbly after being hit in to the boards by Detroit’s Niklas Kronwall late in the opening period.

Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick made a career-best 51 saves, including 26 in the second period, as the Kings (17-10-1) opened their five-game trip with an impressive performance against the West-leading Red Wings. The shutout was Quick's second this season and left the Kings 2-0 against Detroit this season.

[Updated 7:27] Wayne Simmonds scored in the first period, Oscar Moller in the second, Anze Kopitar twice in the third, and Michigan resident Jack Johnson scored in the third on Jimmy Howard, who faced 26 shots. Doughty was originally credited with the fourth goal of the game, but the official scorer changed it because the shot went off Kopitar's skate.

More later at www.latimes.com/sports

Helene Elliott, in Detroit

Photo: The Kings' Oscar Moller (9) celebrates with teammate Kyle Clifford after scoring in the second period against Detroit on Monday night. Credit: Jerry S. Mendoza / Associated Press

Drew Doughty, Teemu Selanne lead the local teams in NHL All-Star voting

Penguins_586

The overall vote leader in the NHL's All-Star balloting is no surprise: Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins (pictured above). After two weeks of online voting, he now has 218,791 votes. 

The nicest surprise? The guy who jumped up to second place while no one was looking. That would be Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price, whose 145,726 votes are the most among write-in candidates. That's right. Write-in. Price has been outstanding in goal so far this season.

Tampa Bay's scoring machine Steven Stamkos is third with 141,818 votes.  More than 6 million votes have been cast through last weekend.

But what about the Kings and Ducks?

Teemu Selanne is doing the best among Ducks with 25,545 votes. Ryan Getzlaf, Bobby Ryan and Corey Perry aren't far behind him, though. Noteworthy write-in totals: goaltender Jonas Hiller has 9,791, Lubomir Visnovsky 7,137 and Cam Fowler 6,938.

The Kings?

Drew Doughty is leading the way with 94,606. Anze Kopitar has 31,923, while the very deserving Ryan Smith has 16,465. Noteworthy is team scoring leader Justin Williams as a write-in candidate with 8,486. Jonathan Quick comes in ninth among goaltenders with 40,140, while defenseman Jack Johnson has 12,871 write-in votes.

But it really makes you wonder what is going on when former Kings player Sean Avery (he currently ranks third in the league for penalty minutes) of the New York Rangers has 38,551 write-in votes. Even as a joke, this isn't funny.

Through Jan. 3, NHL fans will be able to select up to six players by position -- three forwards, two defensemen and one goaltender -– without regard to the conference in which their teams play.

As part of a new format for the 2011 All-Star game, the three forwards, two defensemen and goalie with the most votes will be named first NHL All-Stars. Want to vote? Click here. Meanwhile, here are

Continue reading »

Kings' morning skate: Martinez in, Westgarth out, Harrold moves to right wing

Alecnew Greetings from Montreal, always a wonderful place to visit and too rarely on the Kings' itinerary.

The Canadiens held their morning skate Wednesday at their practice facility but the Kings skated at the Bell Centre and offered a preview of a few shifts in their lineup for Wednesday night’s game.

Defenseman Alec Martinez, recalled from Manchester of the American Hockey League, will play and will be paired with Drew Doughty. That will put a struggling Jack Johnson back with Rob Scuderi and leave a third pair of Davis Drewiske and Matt Greene. Peter Harrold, the equivalent of a baseball utility infielder, will move up from defense to the right wing on the fourth line, with Brad Richardson and Trevor Lewis. Kevin Westgarth will sit out.

"I want to keep Harry going," Coach Terry Murray said of Harrold. "He’s a guy that brings a lot of energy and he’s made the adjustment very easily in the past, been a pretty good right winger when we played him there, so he’ll get that look tonight.

"Martinez, well we called him up for a reason. He’s the top scorer with Manchester in the AHL, playing well on the power play, shooting the puck, getting some results on the power play, and certainly that’s what we need, to get that part of the game going on a consistent basis and hopefully he can be a catalyst to help get that turned around tonight."

Murray said he paired Martinez with Doughty "to give a young guy called up a good player to play with. I think they both have great hockey awareness. They’re going to move the puck. They’re going to support each other. And I hope if anything pops up Doughty is able to help him in tough situations."

The changes also put Scuderi, Doughty’s previous partner, with Johnson and reunited a pair that

Continue reading »

Kings after two periods: Kings 4, Nashville 0

Kings1_600

The Kings broke the game open in the second period at Staples Center and chased Pekka Rinne from the Predators' net. He was replaced by Anders Lindback after giving up the Kings’ fourth goal, by Jarret Stoll.

Ryan Smyth extended the Kings’ lead to 3-0 at 6:47 of the middle period on a goal like so many others he has scored during his career. Rob Scuderi took a shot that bounced around in front of the crease, and with Rinne by the left post Smyth fought for position and slipped a sweet backhander inside the right post for his fourth goal this season. Scuderi and Justin Williams got the assists.

Stoll made it 4-0 at 10:47 when he went to his backhand to roof the rebound of a Jack Johnson shot. The play was reviewed to be sure the puck had crossed the goal line, and a review affirmed that it was a goal, Stoll’s fifth this season. Johnson and Williams got the assists.

Defenseman Willie Mitchell played only two shifts in the period, raising the question of whether he's injured. The Kings haven't said anything yet but I'll pass along whatever information they dole out. Bet on it being either an upper-body injury or a lower-body injury.

--Helene Elliott

Photo: Kings goaltender Jonathan Bernier stops a shot as teammate Matt Greene and Nashville's Jordin Tootoo scramble for the loose puck. Credit: Victor Decolongon / Getty Images

Kings after two periods: Kings 3, New Jersey Devils 1

A sleepy second period at Staples Center turned into a goalfest about halfway in, with the Kings sandwiching two goals around a goal by the Devils within a span of one minute and 30 seconds. When the ice chips cleared, the Kings had a 3-1 lead.

The Kings took a 2-0 lead at 9:32, after the Devils had been penalized for delay of game. Jack Johnson made a diagonal pass to the left circle to Jarret Stoll, whose one timer hit goalie Martin Brodeur in the chest and popped up in the air. Brodeur tried to snare it but Michal Handzus batted it out of the air and into the net for his second goal this season.

The Devils cut that to 2-1 at 10:38, with a long blast by defenseman Matt Taormina past a possibly screened Jonathan Quick. But the Kings quickly rebuilt a two-goal lead at 11:02. Rob Scuderi took a shot that pinballed off the end boards, and Brodeur came out of his net to play it. But it skidded away from him and to the left circle, where Stoll backhanded it home for his fourth goal this season.

Before the period the Kings brought to the interview room retired defenseman Mattias Norstrom, whom they honored before the game for his 11-plus seasons with the team, and Ian Laperriere, one of several former teammates of Norstrom’s who participated in the ceremony.

“It’s a great thing for a great player, a great friend, a great teammate,” said Laperriere, who has been unable to play for the Philadelphia Flyers this season because of post-concussion symptoms. “I’m just glad I was able to make it.”

He said he has seen few other players with Norstrom’s work ethic. “In today’s game they’re dinosaurs,” he said. “I’m privileged to have had a chance to play a bunch of years with Matty.”

Norstrom, who lives in his native Sweden and is a partner in a business that insures and does financial planning for athletes and artists, said he was delighted to be back for hockey and personal reasons.

“It’s a fun night. It’s a true pleasure to be here, especially for the Kings to put something like this on,” he said.

He also appreciated that the Kings’ first-period goal was scored by the player who wears his old number 14, Justin Williams.

“That’s nice. A good start of the evening,” he said. “It’s exciting to see the way this organization, where they’re moving with this group of players. It is fun for me. I had a great time here but we were lacking success. I’m the first one to admit that. And it’s great to see a younger Kings team having success on the ice. They will get a lot of appreciation from these fans if they keep winning and playing as hard as they are.”

Sadly, Laperriere said he’s still not feeling good and that the brief skate he took Saturday during the ceremony left him uncomfortable. So did the lights and motion. It was the first time he had been on the ice in six weeks, he said. The symptoms are left over from a shot he took to the face during last spring’s playoffs, and he played through them during the Flyers’ run to the Stanley Cup final.

Best wishes to one of the game's true characters.

More later at www.latimes.com/sports
Helene Elliott

Kings after two: Two quick strikes and it's Kings 3, Dallas 1

The second period was fairly sleepy until the Kings scored twice in a nine-second span to build a 3-1 lead.

For about half the period the Kings had only one shot, but they made the most of their chances as the period wore on—and Jonathan Quick remained sharp in their net.

Alexei Ponikarovsky put the Kings ahead at 13:05 thanks to some fine work from Wayne Simmonds. A right-handed shooter, Simmonds skated up his off-wing, used his strength to get to the net and threw the puck on net on his backhand. Kari Lehtonen made the save but Ponikarovsky was in position to backhand the rebound home for his second goal this season. Jack Johnson also got an assist.

The Kings won the ensuing faceoff and Simmonds again made a smart play to go to the net. He crashed into the post very close to the time the puck crossed the goal line, and the on-ice officials waved it off. However, the play was reviewed and the goal was awarded to Simmonds, with assists to Johnson and Rob Scuderi.

Quick was exceptional in stopping 14 shots, including a 20-foot wrist shot by Mike Ribeiro at 6:48 and a dangerous backhand by Jamie Benn on the doorstep at 15:56.

Through two periods, Dallas had a 20-12 edge in shots but the Kings were ahead on the scoreboard.

More later at www.latimes.com/sports

Helene Elliott in Dallas

 

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