Bruins

Kings feeling no pressure to claim Cup in second chance

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Kings feeling no pressure to claim Cup in second chance

NEWARK, NJ In all four playoff rounds the Los Angeles Kings have burst out to 3-0 leads against the Vancouver Canucks, St. Louis Blues, Phoenix Coyotes and the New Jersey Devils.
In three of those four series theyve dropped Game Four, and had to dispatch their opponents in five games. In the second round series against the Blues they just steamrolled them in four games.

So theres a pattern here for a dominant Kings bunch to follow, and the pattern would dictate that Jersey might be in trouble in Game 5 at the Prudential Center coming off a 3-1 victory that helped extend the series. At least thats the Kings theory and theyre sticking to it while head coach Darryl Sutter insists theyre feeling no pressure.

I think there was a letdown after not sealing the deal in Game4 with our home crowd, admitted Kings Captain Dustin Brown. Everyone wakes up the next morning and understands the situation we're in, not only the opportunity but the responsibility to be better in Game 5.

It's been a long, long playoff obviously. Emotionally and physically you're going to be tired. It's a matter of finding the next gear. I think it's pretty much an even playing ground when you consider fatigue because each teams have gone through three series and are battling as hard as they can. It's really about just finding the next gear. The team that does normally wins.

The Kings would close out their playoff run at 16-3 in four postseason rounds if they can win their first Stanley Cup title in nearly 50 years as an NHL franchise, and thats the kind of dominance that rarely rears its head in the NHL these days.

Thats 1988 Edmonton Oilers kind of dominance through the playoff field, but Sutter said his team hasnt changed with another chance to clinch their Cup.

You know what? We haven't changed. I haven't seen a big change in our team emotionally for almost two months now, said Sutter. I think we've been able to handle different situations. I think they've learned, because of the breaks we had before Series 2 and before Series 3, the breaks they had, they had to learn to get their space.

They had to get back to being focused and reloaded. They've done a good job of that. You leave it to your veterans, reinforce it with the kids.

Instead Sutter was focusing on June 9 as Farmers Day in the rural Alberta farmland where he grew up, and would include recreational activity like coolers in the park. That simple farmers thought puts things into perspective for the Kings coach headed into the biggest game of the franchises history with yet another chance to grasp hockey greatness.

Bruins trade target Hanifin traded to Calgary

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Bruins trade target Hanifin traded to Calgary

Former Boston College defenseman Noah Hanifin, a Bruins trade target who they once tried to trade up to get in the 2015 draft, has been traded from the Carolina Hurricanes to the Calgary Flames in a deal that includes former B's defenseman Dougie Hamilton going to Carolina.

The 'Canes sent center Eric Lindholm and Hanifin, both restricted free agents who rejected Carolina's most recent contract offers, to Calgary for Hamilton, winger Micheal Ferland and prospect defenseman Adam Fox, who was a third-round pick in 2016 now playing at Harvard,

The Bruins have a longstanding interest in Hanifin that goes back to their efforts to trade up for him in when he was the fifth overall pick three years ago. The Canes likely sought Bruins left winger Jake DeBrusk in the hefty package they were seeking for Hanifin. 

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Bruins choose Swedish D-man, Czech forward with first two picks

Bruins choose Swedish D-man, Czech forward with first two picks

DALLAS – On the second day, the Bruins finally got involved in the NHL draft at the American Airlines Center and made a few picks. The day started in the second round (57th overall) with the B’s selecting young Swedish defenseman Axel Andersson from Djugardens, a 6-foot, 183-pounder from the Swedish junior leagues who's put up pretty good offensive numbers with what’s said to be pretty good skating ability.

"It meant a lot to me and my family," Anderson said. "My mom is in tears right now, and we just hugged each other. It was a big day for me."

In the third round (77th overall), the Bruins took Czech center/left wing Jakub Lauko, who played for Team Czech in the World Junior tournament this past season. Lauko, 18, is 6-foot, 179 pounds and is a speedy, tenacious forward from the assorted scouting reports on him. Lauko was expected to be drafted higher than the third round and certainly didn’t lack for confidence in saying he’s one of the fastest skaters in the draft.

“My speed is my biggest strength. I think I’m one of the fastest players in the draft, so I want to use my speed to help a team like Boston,” said Lauko, who said he only spoke with the Bruins scouts at the NHL combine earlier this month in Buffalo. “[Detroit Red Wings'] Dylan Larkin is the same like me. He’s a really fast guy that likes the breakaways. I think in this way we are the same.”

Lauko compared himself to Larkin and the speed game is certainly one that the Bruins are continually interested in with their prospects.

There was a very funny moment when the Czech-born Lauko was asked what his parents do (for a living), and he misunderstood the question and answered: “I don’t know? Maybe they will drink tonight.”

In the fourth round (119th overall), the Bruins took big center Curtis Hall, a 6-foot-3, 191-pounder who's committed to Yale next season and who scored 13 goals and 31 points in 54 games last season for the USHL Youngstown Phantoms.  

In the sixth round with the 181st pick, the Bruins selected 6-2, 188-pound defenseman Dustyn McFaul out of the Ontario Junior Hockey League. McFaul is considered a strong two-way D-men with good size and skating ability and is committed to play at Clarkson University. 

With their final pick (seventh round, No. 212), the Bruins selected forward Pavel Shen, 18, from Russia. The 6-1, 183-pounder got into 29 KHL games last season with 12 goals and 14 assists, which is impressive considering his age. 

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