The New York Rangers and Los Angeles Kings both practiced Tuesday as they make final preparations for Game 1 of the 2014 Stanley Cup Final at Staples Center on Wednesday night.
After the practice sessions, players and head coaches from both teams met with reporters for the league’s official Cup Final media day.
Here are some notes from the availability:
–Rangers forward Daniel Carcillo had his 10-game suspension for physically abusing an official reduced to six games by Gary Bettman.
He’s eligible to return in Game 4. [tweet https://twitter.com/KatieStrangESPN/status/473917196012224514 align=”center”]
–Rangers winger Rick Nash made the playoffs just once in the first nine seasons of his career. The veteran forward, who’s tallied 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in 20 playoff games, is excited for his first Cup Final appearance. [tweet https://twitter.com/CraigCustance/status/473947497937637376 align=”center”]
–Rangers forward Brad Richards was asked about his future with the team, but refused to address it. [tweet https://twitter.com/AGrossRecord/status/473940541332152322 align=”center”]
The veteran center has been the subject of buyout speculation because he hasn’t produced at the level expected of a $6-plus million player. He tallied 51 points in 82 regular-season games, and has 11 points in 20 playoff games. Richards still has six more years at $6.66 million per season left on his contract, per CapGeek.
–Rangers general manager Glen Sather also was asked about Richards’ future, and confirmed he’s been fulfilling the captain role (captain Ryan Callahan was dealt at the trade deadline).
–Rangers forward Brian Boyle is playing against the team he entered the NHL with. [tweet https://twitter.com/AGrossRecord/status/473942216331644929 align=”center”]
–Kings goalie Jonathan Quick has struggled at times during the playoffs. His 2.86 GAA and .906 save percentage are well below the numbers he posted during LA’s run to a championship in 2012. Nash doesn’t buy the notion that Quick is playing mediocre hockey. [tweet https://twitter.com/gregbeacham/status/473919949660893184 align=”center”]
–Quick was hit in the upper body with a shot during Tuesday’s practice, but Kings head coach Darryl Sutter said his goaltender is fine. [tweet https://twitter.com/KatieStrangESPN/status/473962094002307072 align=”center”]
–Kings center Anze Kopitar on his team’s strategy versus the Rangers: “They have a world class goaltender and great defense but I don’t think our game plan will change.”
–Kings defenseman Robyn Regehr hasn’t played in the postseason yet because of an injury. He might return for Game 1 of the Cup Final but his status is uncertain. [tweet https://twitter.com/gregbeacham/status/473975246052028417 align=”center”]
–Kings D-man Drew Doughty is a top Conn Smythe Trophy candidate and leads all defensemen in playoff scoring with 16 points, including seven points (three goals, four assists) in his team’s seven-game series win over the Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference final. Sutter said Doughty is among the best D-men he’s ever coached, but not quite at Hall of Famer Chris Chelios’ level yet. [tweet https://twitter.com/wyshynski/status/473961787956547586 align=”center”]
–Marian Gaborik arrived to the Kings at the trade deadline to provide them with goal-scoring in the top-six forward group. He leads the playoffs with 12 goals scored through three rounds. That success can be attributed to a few things, including his chemistry with first-line center Anze Kopitar and the way his teammates have welcomed him. [tweet https://twitter.com/KatieStrangESPN/status/473962481593753602 align=”center”]
The veteran winger is a free agent in the summer, but that’s not on his mind right now. [tweet https://twitter.com/gregbeacham/status/473972142459990016 align=”center”]
Photo via Twitter/@TheFourthPeriod