Times are good for Kings’ Jordan Nolan and family
Sunday was a big day for hockey’s Jordan family, which spent the day thousands of miles apart because of — what else — hockey.
Youngest son Jordan Nolan, 22, scored his first NHL playoff goal in the 3-1 victory over St. Louis that launched the Kings to the Western Conference finals. The same day his father, Ted, the former coach of the Buffalo Sabres and New York Islanders, coached the Latvian national team to a victory over Germany at the world hockey championships in Stockholm.
“I talked to him right after the game. He was pretty excited about his team winning. Also for me, getting my first playoff goal and got into a fight out there,” Jordan Nolan said Tuesday after participating in an optional practice at the Kings’ El Segundo rink.
“It was a good day for the Nolans.”
Jordan, a 6-foot-3, 227-pound center who has been playing wing on the solid fourth line, was chosen by the Kings in the seventh round of the 2009 entry draft and made his NHL debut Feb. 11. His first playoff goal was a strong play made possible after the Blues turned the puck over and Dustin Penner passed to Nolan deep on the right side at 4:36 of the first period.
His fight came later in the period, against Blues forward Chris Stewart. That decision went to Stewart, who gestured to hush the crowd after the tussle, but the larger victory belonged to Nolan and the Kings, who completed a sweep of the Blues and will next face the Phoenix Coyotes later this week.
“It was just a lot of fun being in playoff hockey. L.A. is one of the best rinks I’ve played in, in my life,” Nolan said. “The fans were behind us and we’re looking forward to the next round and hopefully keep it going.”
He said his parents are scheduled to spend a few more weeks overseas at the world tournament but plan to join him in Los Angeles as soon as they can. That means the Kings might have to keep going for a while for Ted to see his son play.
“That’s the plan,” Jordan said. “Keep winning and hopefully my parents can come down and catch a few games.”
Good seats still available
The Coyotes had trouble drawing fans to Glendale, Ariz., during the season, averaging a league-low 12,240 fans per game or 72.5% of capacity. Their announced playoff average of 17,335 is a lot healthier, but as of Tuesday evening there were plenty of prime, lower-bowl seats available for their series against the Kings.
To be fair, the lagging ticket sales could be because of to the NHL’s delay in announcing the schedule for the West finals. The series is expected to start this weekend but it’s unclear exactly when. People with family-related events or vacations coming up could be reluctant to commit to buying tickets that they might not be able to use.
How to succeed in business
Winning seems to have done wonders for the Kings’ merchandise sales.
A club spokesman said sales for second round of the playoffs were up 60% over the first round, and that an additional 40% increase is expected from the second round to the West finals.
In addition, traffic on the lakings.com web site was up 60% over last April and the club has seen a 50% increase in downloads of the Kings’ mobile app.
Oldies but goodies
Fox Sports West is planning to air two 1993 Kings playoff classics on Thursday.
The first, at 7 p.m., will be Game 6 of the conference finals against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The second, scheduled to air at 9:30 p.m., will be Game 7 against Toronto.
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