LOS ANGELES – Stephane Da Costa is hoping for a little more than a couple of cross-country flights and a nice dinner this time around.
You see, the only other time that the 24-year-old centre made it here with the Ottawa Senators – back in January, 2012 – he left without seeing a single second of action.
“I got called up once before to Los Angeles…for a night,” said Da Costa. “There were two guys who were supposed to be hurt, so they called me up. Yup, it was just a night. I had dinner, took part in the morning skate and then left the night after.
“I flew from Binghamton to New York and then from New York to Los Angeles. And then when I went back, it was from Los Angeles to New York and then I went to Binghamton in a car and played the afternoon after.”
Da Costa is in limbo yet again. If Jason Spezza can’t play tonight, Da Costa will take his spot. If Spezza does play, Da Costa will be on the sidelines.
The forward lines at practice Wednesday were Milan Michalek-Spezza-Bobby Ryan, Clarke MacArthur-Kyle Turris-Cory Conacher, Colin Greening-Zack Smith-Chris Neil and Zack Kassian-Jean-Gabriel Pageau-Erik Condra.
If, as expected, MacLean sticks with the same lineup on defence that faced Toronto Saturday, Eric Gryba will be the odd man out.
ANDERSON HAS SYMPATHY FOR QUICK: Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick, generally regarded as one of the league’s best netminders and a favourite to win the Vezina Trophy, was hearing catcalls during the Kings’ home opening 3-1 loss to the New York Rangers Monday.
In case you missed it on the highlights – er, lowlights — Quick misplayed Ryan McDonagh’s 165-foot clearing attempt into the Rangers third and final goal in the third period. With the Rangers killing a penalty, McDonagh banked the puck off the boards into his own zone. As Quick went out to play the puck in the faceoff circle to the left of the net, his stick slipped out of hands and the puck deflected off his blocker, directly into the net.
The LA Times labelled it an “epic gaffe” and Quick heard it from the fans after his next save.
“You guys are writing a story on that one goal?” Quick asked reporters following the game.
We wouldn’t be doing our jobs if we didn’t.
Senators goaltender Craig Anderson, who will start Wednesday, says all netminders must have the ability to move on from those incidents.
“We’ve all been in that situation, a play we don’t like happens and you have to have a short term memory,” he said. “You can’t really rehash it or think about it. You’ve got to move forward. We’ve all given up a goal from further than the red line and the puck takes weird bounces. It’s part of the game. You put it behind you quickly. And he’s got a lot of good things to fall back on. I’m sure this little blip on the radar is behind him.”
JOE CORVO, THE EARLY DAYS: Before Joe Corvo came to the Senators the first time, back in 2006, he began his NHL career with the Kings, who drafted him in the fourth round (83rd overall) in 2007. His memories? “Living on the beach, I remember waking up every morning and looking out at the ocean, it was a pretty relaxed atmosphere.” And what did he do for fun? “I bought a long board and I used to long board along the sidewalk by the beach sometimes, played beach volleyball here and there. … I wasn’t the guy going down to Sunset Blvd. and staying up all night.”
TURRIS IS CAUGHT UP IN DODGER FEVER: When professional hockey players go to the West Coast for an extended stay, some catch some rays at the beach, some sit by the pool, some go shopping. Then there’s Senators centre Kyle Turris, who led a group of players to Chavez Ravine Monday night, watching the Los Angeles Dodgers pull out a come from behind 4-3 win over the Atlanta Braves to advance to the National League Championship Series. “To see a Dodgers game in Dodgers stadium, in the playoffs, it was really neat, a great experience,” he said. “The atmosphere was neat. And how they won it was pretty special. Down 3-2 in the bottom of the eighth and a runner on second and (Juan) Uribe fouled off the first two bunt attempts and then hit a dinger to go up 4-3. It was pretty cool.”