Kings’ Kovalchuk: ‘I don’t have a chance’ playing under coach Desjardins

After being left out of the Los Angeles Kings‘ lineup for the second time in three games, Ilya Kovalchuk has spoken — and he didn’t mince words.

The veteran forward, listed as a healthy scratch under interim head coach Willie Desjardins last Saturday against the Florida Panthers and again Thursday versus the San Jose Sharks, openly questioned his coach’s strategy and wasn’t afraid to voice his displeasure about sitting out.

“It’s horrible,” Kovalchuk told The Athletic‘s Lisa Dillman on Friday (subscription required). “That’s the worst. But [Desjardins] didn’t play young guys. He plays seven D. That’s his new strategy.”

Desjardins’ decision to ice an extra defenceman in place of Kovalchuk was a bit of a head-scratcher, considering the usual motivation for scratching veterans at the end of a lost season typically centres around wanting to get a closer look at some AHL call-ups.

“What you can do? That’s his decision and he’s the head coach – 10 more games. What else we can do. Just practice hard and show the young kids that that thing can happen to anybody. You just have to keep going,” said Kovalchuk.

Hello from Staples Center.
The scratches : Phaneuf, Kovalchuk and Brodzinski.
Still can’t understand the latter one …

— lisa dillman (@reallisa) March 22, 2019

The Kings have struggled from the start of the season and with the exception of a few hot streaks — for both Kovalchuk individually and the team as a whole — the 2018-19 campaign has seen the Pacific club spend most of its time in the league’s basement. A strong start for Kovalchuk quickly petered out, as has his ice time — a trend especially noticeable since Desjardins took the helm after the firing of John Stevens just a month into the season.

“Still we were winning games, we were right there,” Kovalchuk, who has 14 goals and 17 assists through 60 games this year, told Dillman. “After Willie came here, I don’t have a chance. I play five, six minutes a game.”

Now with a record sitting at 26-39-8 with nine games to go and no playoff hopes in sight, the Kings’ disappointing season is essentially in the books.

The 36-year-old, who returned to the NHL last summer when he signed a lucrative three-year deal with the Kings worth $18.75 million, was expected to play alongside Anze Kopitar — and while he did …read more

Source:: Sportsnet.ca – Sports news

      

Ducks down Sharks as Silfverberg wins it in OT

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…read more

Source:: Sportsnet.ca – Sports news

      

Baylor Bears’ NCAA Tournament success making former Olympus star Jake Lindsey’s ‘retirement’ easier

SALT LAKE CITY — Though Jake Lindsey couldn’t get on the court his senior season after hip surgery and was later forced to pull the plug on his basketball playing career because of a rare shoulder ailment, things could have been worse.

The former Olympus High star player and son of Utah Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey credits his Baylor University teammates for giving him an assist in a tough situation.

“It’s easier when you win,” Jake Lindsey said, smiling.

Baylor has done that 20 times this season, including the most important win of the season Thursday night — a riveting 78-69 first-round NCAA Tournament victory. Advancing to the second round for a matchup against No. 1 seed Gonzaga on Saturday night at Vivint Arena, the place where his dad works, added some extra sweetener to a bittersweet season that has him helping out from the bench instead of on the court.

“There’s days when it’s been hard,” Lindsey admitted. “But we have a good group of guys. They’re a fun group to be around, they play the right way. It’s easy to root for them, easy to be involved in that kind of role.”

Months before his senior season at the Big 12 program began, Lindsey underwent surgery on his hip and announced that he’d be redshirting while rehabbing. His dad helped him deal with the difficult emotions, having redshirted his sophomore year.

“We talked a lot about how to handle it,” Jake Lindsey said. “He understands how it feels to watch. Luckily, my redshirt (team) is a lot better than the team was his year.”

Remember, it’s easier to sit on the sidelines during wins instead of during losses, perhaps mulling over how you could have helped your buddies win.

Strangely, Lindsey experienced nerve pain in his left shoulder after that hip surgery was performed in Salt Lake City last May. Through a series of tests, Lindsey was diagnosed with a rare condition called Parsonage-Turner syndrome, which can cause frequent bouts of pain and muscle atrophy. It bothers him when he rotates it certain ways and wouldn’t hold up well through screens and other contact and motions.

The hip, which has bothered him since his sophomore season of high school because of a condition known as “femoral acetabular impingement,” is getting better nearly a year after the surgery. Lindsey has even begun to hoop it up with team managers.

But he’ll be dealing with shoulder issues — he …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Sports News