KINGS NOTEBOOK: BUCHBERGER'S RETURN LIVENS UP THE CROWD.Byline: Matt McHale Staff Writer
EDMONTON - Fans haven't forgotten the 12 years Kelly Buchberger Kelly Buchberger (b. December 2, 1966 in Langenburg, Saskatchewan) is a retired professional Canadian hockey player and current coach.
Buchberger played for the Edmonton Oilers, Atlanta Thrashers, Los Angeles Kings, Phoenix Coyotes, and the Pittsburgh Penguins. played here. Or the two Stanley Cups.
Buchberger, now the left-winger on the Kings' third line, received the loudest ovation for a player from either team before Saturday night's game against the Oilers at Skyreach Centre.
``This is a special place to play with all the tradition,'' Buchberger said. ``Almost all of my family lives here. It's great to see all the old faces, but you have to remember you're here to win a game.''
Buchberger, who turned 34 last week, came here just before Wayne Gretzky Noun 1. Wayne Gretzky - high-scoring Canadian ice-hockey player (born in 1961)
Gretzky left to play for the Kings in 1988. Buchberger helped the Oilers to two titles early in his career, but it was as captain on some struggling clubs in the mid-1990s that he earned his place in fans' hearts.
``A lot of great players have come through here, but I don't know Don't know (DK, DKed)
"Don't know the trade." A Street expression used whenever one party lacks knowledge of a trade or receives conflicting instructions from the other party. if there ever was a better person,'' said Bill Cromwell, arena manager for Skyreach Centre. ``He always remembers everyone's name and it's genuine. He used to live across the street from me. Just a quality person.''
Buchberger has just 91 goals in his NHL NHL Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, see there career, including two with the Kings this season. What makes him so important is his ability to contain the other team's high scorer. This season, he has teamed with veterans Bob Corkum Robert Corkum (born December 18, 1967, in Salisbury, Massachusetts, U.S.) is a retired American professional ice hockey center. He was drafted in the third round, 47th overall, by the Buffalo Sabres in the 1986 NHL Entry Draft. and Nelson Emerson Nelson Emerson (born August 17, 1967, in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada) is a former National Hockey League right wing. He was drafted in the third round, 44th overall, by the St. Louis Blues in the 1985 NHL Entry Draft. .
Buchberger and Emerson came over last March from expansion Atlanta. When the Kings played the Thrashers earlier this season, Buchberger, the team's first captain, received a standing ovation.
``I think more than anything, that line has been a reason we're back in the hunt,'' captain Rob Blake For other persons of the same name, see Robert Blake.
Robert Bowlby "Rob" Blake (born December 10 1969, in Simcoe, Ontario) is a professional ice hockey defenceman in the NHL, playing for the Los Angeles Kings where he is the captain. said. ``To bring that feeling of a team every night, doing what has to be done to win.''
For Buchberger, that meant playing Saturday night when he might have needed the game off. He took a vicious shot to his right knee midway through the third period Thursday against Dallas and did not return.
``I didn't have to worry about him,'' coach Andy Murray said. ``He wasn't going to miss this game for anything.''
--Reinprecht returns: Saturday was a homecoming for Kings center Steven Reinprecht Steven Edward Reinprecht (born May 7, 1976 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada) is a professional ice hockey player. Reinprecht is of German decent. Playing career
Undrafted, Steven Reinprecht typically plays as centre and is known as a power play specialist. , who grew up in Edmonton. Reinprecht, one of the league's top rookies this season, received a huge splash across the cover of the Edmonton Journal sports section. He left 17 tickets for family and friends.
``This it first time I've been back in four or five years,'' said Reinprecht, who signed with the Kings last spring after playing at the University of Wisconsin. ``This is a great thrill.''
--Quick whistles: Stephane Fiset, who has victories in both starts since returning from a sprained left knee, will be in goal tonight in Vancouver. Fiset has allowed four goals in wins over Minnesota and Dallas.
KINGS vs. VANCOUVER
Time: 7 p.m., at B.C. Place
TV/Radio: Fox Sports Net 2; 1110-AM (1110)
Matchup: A year after missing the playoffs, the Canucks have emerged as one of the league's most exciting teams. They lead the league with 106 goals and are coming off a 6-1 rout of the Pacific Division-leading San Jose Sharks The San Jose Sharks are a professional ice hockey team based in San Jose, California, United States. They are members of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). . Since Mark Messier left for the New York Rangers The New York Rangers are a professional ice hockey team based in New York, New York, U.S.A. They are members of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). last summer, new players have stepped up. Markus Naslund is among the league leaders with 18 goals. Journeyman Andrew Cassels has nine goals and 28 points in 30 games. . . . One area the Kings will try to exploit is on the power play. The Kings are third in the league, converting almost 22 percent of their chances. The Canucks are last in the NHL in penalty killing.
- Matt McHale
Box: KINGS vs. VANCOUVER (see text)