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NHL on TSN Quiz: The Kings' turning point this season

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TSN.ca Staff
5/17/2012 11:11:29 PM
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Each week, the NHL on TSN panel voices its opinions on the hot topics of the day in the Game Night Hockey Quiz.

As a follow-up, TSN.ca offers you the opportunity to chime in on all the big issues with our insiders. Read up on all the questions and answers, and put in your own two cents on our popular Your Call feature.

What was the turning point for the Los Angeles Kings?

Bob McKenzie: Hiring Darryl Sutter. The arrival of 'The Jolly Rancher' in Los Angeles is absolutely the big turning point in the season. He's the guy that's been pushing all the buttons and got Drew Doughty back on the right page, amongst other things, so I'm going to say Sutter.

Marc Crawford: I think it was not trading Dustin Brown. Never mind how well he's playing in the playoffs, this team would not have made the playoffs had they traded Brown. He has been that good and he's that good a person that I can't believe even thought of trading him.

Aaron Ward: Not trading Dustin Brown maintains balance and structure in your locker room. You cannot manufacture chemistry. When you move your captain and a leader, it can do reputable damage to your locker room.

What has been the most ill-advised majority answer on The Quiz 2012 Playoff Edition?

Crawford: The worst one was Alex Pietrangelo surpassing Drew Doughty among young NHL defecemen. I think it just goes to show you that young defecemen need lots of time. They have lots of things to learn and Pietrangelo is learning how to play the playoffs and he'll be better for it. Doughty had to learn how to deal with missing training camp and dealing with a big contract. Both of those players will be on Team Canada in 2014.

McKenzie: I'll say David Backes over Dustin Brown in the choice of two American team captains; and I was guilty on both counts. I did believe at the time that Pietrangelo had surpassed Doughty at that point. Doughty re-gained it, obviously in that series against St. Louis, but I thought Backes was ready to take that next step in the playoffs - and the Blus too - but I was wrong on both counts.

Ward: I'll say Pietrangelo surpassing Doughty. I set really high expectations on this guy and when a team starts off pretty decent, 5-2-1, and he's got zero goals and is a minus-4 with two assists, it's a struggle.

What overall grade would you assign officiating during the NHL Playoffs?

Crawford: I'm going to say A, B, C and D. I think some nights they've been great. Some nights they've made the right call and have been good, but I think some nights they've just gotten through and been OK. And some nights they have sucked, and I would have yelled at them.

McKenzie: I will say C, and it's always been a C. Ever since referring was invented, it's been a C. They get a passing grade but nothing you're going to run home and say 'oh wow, that was awesome!' They're referees; they don't expect anything better than a C.

Ward: I'll say C. Don't get me wrong; I spent an entire school career trying to convince my parents that C was not bad. Unfortunately for these guys, it's puzzling at times to watch them. I acknowledge they have a tough job but you need only to look back at the Detroit-Nashville series when David Legwand was in the crease and the puck was sitting there for so long. He put his hand on it and manages to take a voyage back to his bench and hand it to his trainer's pocket. 

In a country where hockey is so linked to our cultural identity, should players want to go to the World Championship?

Crawford: Yes, it should be. They did a much better job of getting a lot of the key players that were available to come this year, but they really suffered - especially on the defence. They had some injuries and they needed one of those key Canadian defencemen to supplement them. Had they done that, they'd probably be looking into the semifinals.

McKenzie: I'll say yes. It's kind of the motherhood issue. Yes; everybody should want to go.

Ward: Yes, but I'll say from experience not having ever being asked to play for Canada that after 82 games it's a tough sell after that sacrifice to convince guys to keep going and play hockey.

Who has the best chance at knocking off the defending champion Saint John Sea Dogs at the Memorial Cup?

Crawford: I say the Edmonton Oil Kings. The last time they were there was 1972 when they lost to the Cornwall Royals, who I happened to play for. A sentimental favorite; I want to see them win one.

Ward: I had to defer to the Craig Button Scouting Services Inc. for this one and I'm going with the London Knights. They are the deepest of all four teams; they possess Michael Houser in net, who tied the OHL record in wins with 46. Most importantly, they have the mojo coming back in Dale Hunter. Some of it might drop off on this team and get them over the hump. 

McKenzie: I'll take the Edmonton Oil Kings; simple.

Darryl Sutter (Photo: Andrew D. Bernstein/NHLI via Getty Images)

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(Photo: Andrew D. Bernstein/NHLI via Getty Images)
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