2001-2002 season notes

May 28, 2002

The Hockey News gave Mathieu a "C" grade for the season: "Oft-injured, but good on PP."

April 30, 2002

And so the summer begins. Rather than end it on a sour note of yesterday's loss, a review of the series does show some true bright spots, seemingly eclipsed by spotty play by the Kings as a whole. Final totals show Mathieu with 5 takeaways (compared to 2 giveaways), 22 hits, and a team leading, and quite impressive, 17(!) blocked shots.

April 29, 2002

The Kings season is over, as they fall to the Colorado Avalanche in game seven. Mathieu had a terrible game to finish off a less than steller playoff series. He was on the ice for all 4 goals against in tonight's game. He ends the series a -8, with 18 penalty minutes, and only 1 point (an assist). Game summary: (elbowing) at 11:35 of 1st.

April 27, 2002

Despite a Kings win, and Mathieu's first point of the series, he looked tentative all game. He looks like the polar opposite of the player he's been since coming to LA. Game summary: Allison (Palffy, Schneider) at 1:21 of 1st; (roughing) at 4:06 of 2nd; (roughing) at 6:55 of 2nd; (holding) at 4:28 of 3rd.

April 25, 2002

I was informed by a friend that the Howard Stern morning radio show threw compliments to Mathieu; Stern also offered a "joyful 'Go Matty'". Game summary: (hooking) at 19:35 of 1st; (elbowing) at 12:17 of 3rd.

April 23, 2002

Mathieu had a team high 7 shots on goal, including a break-away shot late in the 2nd period that was stopped by Patrick Roy. Game summary: (tripping) at 15:48 of 1st.

April 22, 2002

It has been a quiet series for Mathieu so far, as the Kings win tonight, bringing the series 2 games to 1 in favor of Colorado. Game summary: (holding) at 4:25 of 3rd; (cross check) at 9:10 of 3rd.

April 18, 2002

The Kings enter the playoffs having finished the regular season first in the league in power play percentage. A chunk of that success should be attributed to Mathieu's play on the point. Of his 30 points, 20 came on the power play, ranking him 17th among defensemen. Also, he is ranked 17th among defensemen in power play assists (with 16). The rankings are all the more impressive considering he played 20-30 games less than the players ranking above him.

April 14, 2002

Mathieu did not play the final regular season game due to illness. But hopefully he will feel well enough to play the playoff opener in Colorado on Thursday.

April 5, 2002

The Kings recovered from the recent slump, beating the Red Wings last night. Mathieu guessed playing 5 games (4 on the road) in 9 days had something to do with the slump, not a lack of confidence: "There's never been a sense of panic in the dressing room."

April 2, 2002

Game summary: (interference) at 13:07 of 1st; (PP)(Ronning, Smolinski) at 5:01 of 3rd.

March 30, 2002

Game summary: (interference) at 1:54 of 2nd.

March 28, 2002

Game summary: Palffy (PP)(Deadmarsh, Schneider) at 10:40 of 1st.

March 24, 2002

The Kings' learned you can't win them all, when their 6 game winning streak was halted by the Phoenix Coyotes. Mathieu responded to the 4-0 lose diplomatically: "We've been on both ends of it now. On certain nights, we've caught
teams tired and other nights, we've been tired. The key for us now is to
bounce back."

March 23, 2002

I spent most of the day spring cleaning, so I watched the Kings/Sharks game on and off. From what I saw, Mathieu was again matched up with Mike Ricci. Neither of his penalties resulted in goals against, and he was on the ice for both Kings' power play goals. The Kings took over the division lead from San Jose with the win. Game summary: (slashing) at 10:52 of 1st; (roughing) at 1:36 of 3rd.

March 21, 2002

Game summary: Boucher (PP)(Schneider, Allison) at 3:10 of 1st; Bednar (Heinze, Schneider) at 11:21 of 2nd.

March 18, 2002

The following is my firsthand report of tonight's game in San Jose:
Penalties and power-play time were the keys for Mathieu's game tonight. He took two penalties, drew two, and had some
rocket PP shots on goal. He spent the game matched up against Mike Ricci. Ricci's tenacity drew
Mathieu into two penalties; he did manage to take Ricci with him once, negating any San Jose power play. His second
penalty fell into the undisciplined category. Mathieu also drew a call against Teemu Selanne for
tripping late in the first period. The unsuccessful Kings 5-on-3 saw Sharks' goalie Evgevny Nabakov stop at least two
solid shots from the point. Overall, a decent performance. Game summary: (cross check) at 7:55 of 2nd; (holding) at 7:36 of 3rd.

March 16, 2002

Mathieu scored a beautiful goal from 20+ feet out, and an assist on Jaroslav Bednar's first NHL goal. Game summary: (Allison, Palffy) at 6:45 of 1st; Bednar (PP) (Schneider, Johnson) at 16:41 at 2nd; (holding
stick) at 7:57 of 2nd.

March 14, 2002

Game summary: (roughing) at 20:00 of 3rd.

March 9, 2002

No other way to say it: Mathieu had a terrible game. He had a costly giveaway, and missed a sliding attempt to keep the puck away from Colorada's Adam Foote, who scored short-handed. He finished the game a -3 (worst on the team).

March 7, 2002

Game summary: (holding) at 3:46 of 2nd

March 4, 2002

Game summary: Deadmarsh (PP)(Allison, Schneider) at 12:32 of 2nd; Palffy (PP)(Modry, Schneider) at 17:11 of 3rd.

March 4, 2002

The Kings and Senators game in LA was not a repeat of the brawl-filled
game in Ottawa earlier this season. Coincidental minors for Mathieu and
Marion Hossa proved to be the only incident. Game summary: (roughing) at 4:23 of 1st.

March 2, 2002

I attended the game at Staples Center in LA tonight. Mathieu was quiet in the game, except for a hit post, and a weird solo spin-o-rama fall to the ice in the last few seconds. No one was close to knock him down, so I have no idea what that was about.

February 27, 2002

Game summary: Deadmarsh (Allison, Schneider) at 12:19 of 1st.

February 26, 2002

The Kings' NHL season returned to action tonight, after the two week Olympic break. During the break, coach Andy Murray was involved in a car accident at home in Minnesota. While he escaped without major injury, he will be out indefinitely due to post-concussion syndrome. Assistant coach Dave Tippett was named interm coach in Murray's absence. The Kings are in a tight battle for the playoffs, but Mathieu expects the team to do well under the guidance of Tibbett: "Everyone here trusts Dave Tippett. Guys are going to play just as hard for him as they would for Andy." Game summary: Palffy (PP) (Allison, Schneider) at 0:57 of 3rd.
(now for a follow-up to my bit of "unsolicited" commentary on December 26: Congratuations to Team USA for a well played Olympics. I didn't think they could even medal, but the proved me wrong.)

February 13, 2002

Game summary: (interference) at 13:07 of 2nd.

February 11, 2002

Again, the rumors abound of Mathieu going to Detroit. Even before his initial trade to the Islanders in 1995, there have been Red Wing rumors. Game summary: Deadmarsh (PP)(Schneider, Modry) at 16:42 of 1st.

February 8, 2002

Not a good game for Mathieu tonight. Despite an assist, he was responsible for some costly turn overs and the ill-timed penalty in overtime, leading to the game winner for Phoenix. Mathieu did, however, dispute the call: "It wasn't a penalty. I have felt cross checking and that was not it." Game summary: Allison (PP) (Deadmarsh, Schneider) at 11:35 of 2nd; (cross checking) at 4:17 of OT.

February 7, 2002

In his return from a two game absence, Mathieu scored his first goal since October 26. He's also sporting new, thicker shoulder pads. Kings' coach Andy Murray noted "the ones he was wearing were some little pads he had since he was a kid. He looked like a body builder this week in practice." Game summary: (Deadmarsh, Smolinski) at 10:14 of 1st; (hooking) at 19:39 of 1st.

February 4, 2002

Mathieu is eligible to come off of Injured Reserve after tonight's game, and expects to play again Thursday.

January 30, 2002

An MRI confirmed the earlier diagnosis of a strained left shoulder. Mathieu is listed as "week to week," but expects to return following the All-Star break.

January 29, 2002

After initially injuring his left shoulder when he collided with teammate Ziggy Palffy in morning practice, Mathieu reagrevated the injury during last night's game in Colorado. He was sent back to LA this morning to undergo an MRI.

January 28, 2002

Mathieu only managed to play for five shifts (totaling 5:34 minutes) before leaving the game with a strained shoulder.

January 26, 2002

Things got ugly in the game tonight. LA fans, fed up with one-sided
officiated, littered the ice with debris when
coach Andy Murray was ejected for
arguing some late calls. Mathieu was part of the reason. The Kings were
putting together some momentum in the final minutes when Mathieu was called
for a "questionable" call. Apparently, Colorado's Brian
Willsie ran into Felix Potvin, and although he made no attempt to stop, only
Mathieu was called for the penalty for "pushing" him into the goalie. Game summary: Laperriere (Schneider, Miller) at 3:20 of 1st; Modry (PP) (Smolinski, Schneider) at 7:14 of 3rd; (interference) at 18:13 of 3rd.

January 24, 2002

Mathieu was involved a scrum with Minnesota's Sylvain Blouin. Game summary: (roughing) at 6:23 of 1st.

January 21, 2002

Game summary: Allison (PP) (Heinze, Schneider) at 2:51 of 2nd.

January 19, 2002

Game summary: (slashing) at 20:00 of 3rd.

January 17, 2002

Tonight was not one of Mathieu's finer performances. He may not be at 100% yet; if that is the case, it might be better for himself and the team if he sat a little longer. Game summary: (elbowing) at 12:08 of 1st; (high sticking) at 15:53 of 2nd; (interference) at 7:09 of 3rd.

January 15, 2002

Game summary: (holding stick) at 12:51 of 1st.

January 10, 2002

Last night's game- his 800th career NHL regular season game- Mathieu was on the ice for 3 of the 4 Kings' goals; and he was sporting quite the black eye from a deflected puck he took off the face in New Jersey. Game summary: Palffy (Schneider), at 16:31 of 3rd.

January 9, 2002

The Kings made a trip yesterday to visit Ground Zero, where two team
scouts lost their lives in September when their plane crashed into the
World Trade Center. The Associated Press wrote that
Mathieu spent some time talking hockey with some police officers, and
offering some trade rumors. But as a whole, the trip was understandably
somber. LA Times reporter Jerry Crowe had this description: "'It's just
disturbing,' said a subdued Mathieu Schneider, a native New Yorker and
usually the most loquacious of Kings. 'The whole thing is really
incredible. It's nice to pay respects, but it's hard. It's hard.'" Ok,
there, ladies and gentleman, is your word for the day... loquacious
(low-CWAY-shus): "talking or tending to talk much or freely." And I
thought that word would only be used on the SATs.

January 5, 2002

Game summary: (double minor- high sticking) at 19:53 of 3rd.

January 2, 2002

After earlier reports, Mathieu did return in tonight's game. Game summary: (holding stick), at 0:45 of 3rd.

December 30, 2001

Something that worries me about being a librarian is how to answer a medical question. I know nothing of the
medical field nor its many related topics. So, during a recent training session of a new medicine database at work, I decided
to pose a hypothetical medical reference question to myself to see if I could go about finding medical information. At a loss
for a question, I flashed on Mathieu's injury. What exactly is a sports hernia? I found an article regarding the ailment, and
used several anatomy resources to translate the ailment into laymen's terms (replace underlined terms with those in
the parentheses:

Athletes in fast-moving sports that involve twisting and turning--like soccer
and ice hockey--may be at particular risk of a disruption in the area of the
inguinal canal (the canal that, in males, holds the spermatic cord, which
carries stuff in and out of the scrotum, i.e. veins, nerves, and the vas
deferens). This injury, often called a "sports hernia," usually involves the
posterior (back) wall of the inguinal canal and can appear as a tear of the
transversus abdominis muscle ("abs") or as a disruption to the conjoined
tendon, which is the tendon of insertion (point of intersection) of both the

internal oblique (internal side muscles) and transversus abdominis muscles.
A sports hernia may, however, involve the internal oblique muscle and
external oblique aponeurosis (where the muscles and tissue attach to the bone) of the
internal inguinal wall. (original text from from Lacroix, V.J. (2000). A complete approach to groin pain. Physician and Sports Medicine, 28, 66-86.)

So, from this exercise, I learned, 1) that Mathieu probably had a torn muscle near his, well, bikini line; hence, his lingering hip
and groin pain, and 2) most important, I can do this librarian thing after all . =)

December 27, 2001

Mathieu expects (or hopes) to return to action in the Kings' next road trip, starting in New York on January 5th.

December 26, 2001

While disappointed at not selected for Team USA, Mathieu wasn't surprised, either. Actually, he has known for awhile he was out of consideration: "If they were really interested in having me play, they would have called me to find out how I was doing--if I'd be back in time, if I felt I'd be coming back 100%. And I never got any calls, my agent never got any calls." See Quotes for more of his reactions. (now for a bit of "unsolicited" commentary: Mathieu never had a chance to make the team. The injury only gave the team officials a sympathetic excuse. Team USA officials maintained their intent on younger legs, and new talent, yet, they couldn't get rid of the old, big, "proven" names (Chelios, Suter, et al). Mathieu was the dispensible older player. As for Team USA's chances: they probably won't medal, let alone win the gold. These players can't play on the larger ice surface, plain and simple. The defense is weak, the game plan is flawed, and they are dangerously underestimating the international experience of the current European powerhouses.)

December 23, 2001

Team USA has announced the final 2002 Men's Hockey roster for the upcoming Olympics, and Mathieu, perhaps not surprisingly, did not make the final cut. Herb Brooks explained "the untimely injury and the unknown nature of that injury just tied our hands." So, instead they pick Edmonton's Tom Poti... currently out with a broken finger. Meanwhile, it has been reported that Mathieu may actually return to the Kings lineup by next week. He has been skating and practicing for weeks.

December 8, 2001

Steve Heinze had some positive words about some injured teammates: "Mathieu Schneider is one of the best offensive defensemen in the league and a big part of our power play. And a guy like that, and a guy like Ziggy Palffy, will be missed." Mathieu will be out at least another 3-4 weeks.

November 26, 2001

Here's an interesting tidbit: Mathieu has really sweaty feet. "He uses two
pairs of skates in games. He starts with a pair for the first period, we put
them on the glove dryer and he gets the originals back for the third,"
reports Kings' equipment man Peter Millar in Jim Matheson's piece on faceoff.com.

November 20, 2001

Not only has his injury interupted a potential career year, Mathieu's 2002 Olympic hopes have been dealt a serious blow. The final Team USA roster is to be set December 22, before he expects to return. Shawn Roarke discusses this injury situation at NHL.com.

November 19, 2001

After an ultrasound revealed a more serious abdominal tear and sports hernia,
Mathieu underwent successful surgery, performed Thursday by Dr. Craig Smith at
Centinela Hospital Medical Center in Inglewood. He was set to begin
rehabilitation immediately, and expects to be 100% by the beginning of
January. He had a similar surgery during his days with Toronto and missed
most of the season.

November 15, 2001

Turns out Mathieu's injury is serious. He will miss about 6 weeks following hernia surgery.

November 13, 2001

Mathieu saw a specialist about his lingering groin/hip soreness, but the Kings hope he will able to play Thursday.

November 10, 2001

Still bothered by both a hip flexor strain and sore groin, Mathieu sat out tonight's game. No word on whether he will miss more games.

November 8, 2001

Game summary: (holding) at 1:19 of 3rd; (charging) at 12:56 at 3rd.

November 6, 2000, part 2
[stork] Mathieu and Shannon Schneider welcomed the birth of their new daughter, Abigail Eva, late last night. She tipped the scales at 5 pounds and 13 ounces, and is 19 inches long. Mother and baby are doing well, and dad is, of course, very happy. Congratulations and best wishes go out to the Schneider family!

November 6, 2001

An appropriate announcement for Election Day, Mathieu is on the 2002 NHL All-Star ballot. Go vote now!

November 3, 2001

Although bothered by a hip flexor strain, Mathieu did play today. Game summary: Heinze (PP)(Schneider, Allison) at 19:35 of 1st; (interference) at 8:56 of 3rd.

November 1, 2001

Game summary: (roughing) at 4:33 of 1st.

October 31, 2001 (Happy Halloween!)

Which NHL defenseman has the most points so far this season: Blake, Lidstrom, MacInnis, Leetch? The answer is Mathieu Schneider. He's also tied for most goals, and tied for fourth in assists.

October 30, 2001

Mathieu will most likely miss tonight's game in Chicago; he returned to LA Sunday to be with his wife, Shannon, who is expecting to deliver their second child.

October 28, 2001

Did Mathieu really shoot wide on the potential game tying goal in the last minute of the game Friday night? According to a fan watching in Vermont, he didn't: "My daddy called me and said [goaltender Roberto Luongo] got a piece of it." Father knows best, right? Game summary: Buchberger (Belanger, Schneider) at 8:09 of 2nd; (interference) at 16:50 of

October 26, 2001

Second loss in as many days for the Kings, and Mathieu believes the previous game took an unneeded toll: "Guys were moping around all day,
upset about last night. You can't afford to be that way. The league's too
good." Game summary: (PP)(Allison) at 13:32 of 2nd; (high sticking) at 17:31 of 2nd.

October 25, 2001

Game summary: (Obstr holding) at 13:01 of 3rd

October 23, 2001

In tonight's 7-1 Kings' victory over Columbus, Mathieu registered the 300th
assist of his career. Game summary: Belanger (Boucher, Schneider) at 16:27 of 1st; (PP) (Buchberger, Boucher) at
4:47 of 2nd.

October 20, 2001

Game summary: Murray (Johnson, Schneider) at 4:53 of 1st.

October 18, 2001

Game summary: (cross checking) at 8:40 of 1st; Murray (PP)(Palffy, Schneider) at 12:10 of

October 16, 2001

No points, but Mathieu had a bit of a mix-up with Washington's Trevor Linden. Game summary: (roughing) at 5:50 of 3rd.

October 13, 2001

Game summary: (cross checking) at 14:56 of 1st; (slashing) at 10:44 of 2nd.

October 11, 2001

Game summary: Palffy (PP)(Smolinski, Schneider) at 4:04 of 2nd; Murray (PP)(Heinze, Schneider) at 11:30 of 3rd.

October 7, 2001

The Kings' may have lost, but Mathieu had a hand in all three goals.
Game summary: (Murray, Smolinski) at 10:35 of 1st; Heinze (PP)(Schneider, G Murray) at 1:59 of 2nd; (PP)(Boucher, G Murray) at 5:40 of 3rd.

October 4, 2001

The LA Kings open the 2001-02 regular season at home tonight versus the Phoenix Coyotes. Sports Illustrated ranked the Kings 11th out of the 30 NHL teams. In particular, they ranked the special teams 13th, and justify this by saying "solid shooters on PP; Schneider a top quarterback."

October 1, 2001

In addition to naming Mattias Norstrom the Kings' new captain, coach Andy Murray named four players who will be alternate captains on a rotating basis: Bryan Smolinski, Kelly Buchberger, Ian Laperriere, and, yes, Mathieu Schneider. Congratulations Mathieu!

September 29, 2001

It's been a quiet training camp. However, Mathieu did score a goal and registered a PP assist in tonight's preseason 5-1 winner of Colorado in LA.

September 27, 2001

Mathieu did not play in tonight's preseason game in order to observe Yom Kippur.

September 14, 2001

After playing in the New York for three years (2 with the Rangers, 1 with the Islanders), the events unfolding in Manhattan must be hitting close to home for Mathieu, as well as his wife, Shannon; they undoubtable have friends in the area, and maybe family as well. See the Quotes section for some of Mathieu's thoughts regarding the tragedy.

September 13, 2001

Despite the emotions surronding the events in the nation and the loss of two staffers, the Kings continued with the first day of camp. Saturday's preseason game with Anaheim has been postponed, but all proceeds from the first preseason game at Staple Center will be donated to the families of fallen New York City Police and Firefighters, who died while selflessly trying to help others and save lives.

September 12, 2001

As much of the world mourns along with this nation in wake of the horrible tragedy in Manhattan, Washington D.C., and Pennsylvania, the Los Anegeles Kings mourn for their own loses: Director of pro scouting Ace Baily and amatuer scout Mark Bavis were aboard American Airlines Flight 175, the second plane to be crashed into the World Trade Center yesterday, September 11, 2001. Let's Go Kings has set up a message board to send your thoughts to the families of both men. They have also set up a way to donate to the Red Cross in the two men's names.

September 7, 2001

The U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Orientation Camp in Colorado Spring, Colorado wraps up today after 4 days of introduction to the team, staff, and rules, as well as a few hours of on-ice workouts and informal practices/pick-up games. Mathieu is enjoying himself: "I always love getting together with this group... it's been really relaxed, you couldn't ask for more."

August 27, 2001

With training camp around the corner, Mathieu is getting a jump start on

practice, as he joins a few teammates and other NHL players in some pick-up games at the Healthsouth Training Center in El Segundo, CA. (check out Let's Go Kings for Rink Rat's photos and reports for the games)

August 10, 2001

As expected, Mathieu has been invited to Team USA's Olympic orientation camp in Colorado Springs, which is scheduled to be held September 4-7.

July 16, 2001

A March 23, 2001 story in The Jewish Journal from Los Angeles featured

a great article about Mathieu, his early hockey days, and his growing

interest in his Jewish faith. Check out the
"http://www.jewishjournal.com/home/searchview.php3?id=6655"> article

written by Adam Wills.

July 8, 2001

A recent Toronto Sun feature, "On the Menu," indicated which menu items this years free agents would be. Of the five categories- caviar, surf and turf, chicken salad, and table scraps- Mathieu was among the second rated "surf and turf," with the likes of Jason York, Martin Lapointe, and new teammate Steve Heinze.

July 6, 2001

In staying with the Kings, Mathieu turned down several- maybe up to five- "solid offers" from other teams. And big part of the reason to stay had to do with the great year he had: "I got along great with Andy [Murray, the Kings' coach] and the coaching staff... My family is happy here in Los Angeles." In a conference call, he also indicated he was happy with the direction the team is heading: "I think we're coming into the season a better team than we were last year."

July 2, 2001- 2:30 AM Pacific

It's official! Mathieu has resigned with the LA Kings, inking a three year deal worth $3.25 million per season.

July 2, 2001

No word out of LA of any contract offers or counter offers. Rumors of an imminent pact with Toronto seem premature. While the Canadian nation paper, The Globe and Mail, contends that "a deal between Schneider and the Maple Leafs for more than $4-million a season could be secured today," local media are less certain. The Toronto Star reports the Leafs were "out of the bidding when it got into the $4 million neighbourhood"; and the Toronto Sun says "attempts at getting... ex-Leaf Mathieu Schneider... got too rich for their blood." Meanwhile, seemingly out of the picture eariler, Philadelphia has resurfaced as a top possibility, as has Detroit, and maybe Dallas.

  • Detroit: pro: A cup contender. con: Mathieu has not been known to play well under scrutinizing and critical coaching, as is the style of Scotty Bowman.

July 1, 2001

Mathieu is officially an unrestricted free agent... again. The Kings want him back, and Mathieu has indicated his desire to stay. But it comes down to the contract. Three teams really seem to be in the running: Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Toronto.

  • Los Angeles: pros: He had arguably the best season of his career with LA, and his family likes living in the area very much; con: LA may not offer as much money as other teams.

  • Philadelphia: pro: He would probably be paired up with former Montreal teammate Eric Desjardins, who made a great partner in the 1993 Stanley Cup playoffs; con: It's Philly- the most screwed up, disfunctional team in the NHL.

  • Toronto: pro: His wife is from Toronto, and it would probably be nice to be with family, especially with the new baby; cons: His ex-wife is in Toronto, and it might be nice to be further away. =) Also, Mathieu has already had problems with management, including a contentious contract stand-off leading to Mathieu missing the first games of the season before being traded to the Rangers.

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