November 8, 2013 |
They are hockey's equivalent of a quick cleaning, a sure-fire way to spiff up the place before getting to the serious stuff later. Yes, things often look a lot better after a game against the struggling Buffalo Sabres. The Kings have been struggling on the penalty kill, dealing with injuries to forwards Jeff Carter and Jarret Stoll and defenseman Matt Greene and inconsistency. Those concerns eased Thursday night after the Kings beat Buffalo, 2-0, sparked by power-play goals from centers Mike Richards and Anze Kopitar at Staples Center.
November 13, 2010 |
For all the things the Kings have accomplished during the best start in franchise history, there's one thing that has so far eluded them. They're still trying to develop a swagger. And if you don't think that's tough, just try doing it while on skates. "You need to have a little bit of a swagger in your stride as an athlete and as a team," Coach Terry Murray said. "It's a very hard thing to capture [but] it can get you through some very difficult times during the heavy part of the season.
March 22, 2013 |
This wasn't quite like last season when Kings Coach Darryl Sutter declared in February that the partnership of Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown had grown stale, essentially calling out the duo. Instead, Sutter went fairly in-depth on Friday and took some blame in further discussing the recent struggles of the Brown-Kopitar-Justin Williams line. Brown has one assist in his last four games, and Williams has scored twice in his last 11 games but also has 10 assists. "If you look at Kopitar's line last night, they probably played two or three minutes too much," Sutter said after practice.
May 29, 2012 |
Every goal Anze Kopitar scores, every save Jonathan Quick makes, every shoulder-to-body message Dustin Brown sends, Dave Taylor is there. The Kings are in the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 1993, a massive rebuilding project that General Manager Dean Lombardi has nearly completed. Taylor, his predecessor, left him some building blocks. Brown, Kopitar and Quick - the three essential ingredients in this playoff run - were Taylor draft picks, though he is quick to pass the praise like a puck.
January 10, 2014 |
With the Kings halfway through a stretch of four games in seven days, Friday's morning skate was optional for most of the regulars. "Busy schedule," Coach Darryl Sutter explained. Among those who didn't suit up was center Jeff Carter, whose fatigue was understandable. The night before, in the Kings' 4-2 win over the Boston Bruins, Carter skated more than 20 minutes, took a game-high 10 shots and scored a goal, his team-best 16th of the season. So it fell to teammate Drew Doughty - who grew up around the corner from Carter in London, Ontario - to put Carter's recent hot play in perspective.
January 30, 2014 |
The Sid and Scud show was practically hijacked at Staples Center by a man put on waivers by the Carolina Hurricanes last March. It was a lively performance from forward Jussi Jokinen, who had a hand in the first three Pittsburgh goals - one goal and two assists in the Penguins' 4-1 win over the Kings on Thursday night. Penguins star Sidney Crosby had one assist and goalie Jeff Zatkoff, a Kings draft pick in 2006 and a fixture for them in the American Hockey League for parts of four seasons, got the win. The Kings are staggering toward the now-welcome Olympic break in sight with one win in eight games.
December 9, 2010 |
Concerned that a four-day break between games might leave his players passive against the Calgary Flames on Thursday, Kings Coach Terry Murray gathered them for a talk at center ice after their morning skate. He told them they'd have to build their intensity before they even got to Staples Center and prepare for a fast and physical game against a team that historically gives them fits. Sometimes players' eyes glaze over when a coach speaks. The Kings listened, battling in every area of the ice to scratch out a 2-1 victory and stretch their winning streak to three games.
February 9, 2013 |
NASHVILLE — Change was afoot — or more accurately — on the ice Saturday shortly before the Kings finally left what turned into their home most of the week, Nashville. Defenseman Keaton Ellerby, acquired from Florida for a fifth-round pick Friday, practiced with the Kings and was paired with Drew Doughty. Line combinations were shuffled for more balance, at least for the moment, and Jeff Carter was moved back to center. Then there were the necessary props given to Anze Kopitar's native Slovenia.
October 9, 2010 |
Blood was still oozing from a cut on the left side of Anze Kopitar's face, just above the lip, well after the Kings had rallied for a 2-1 shootout victory over the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena in both teams' season opener. After taking an inadvertent stick in the face on the follow-through of a clearing pass by Vancouver's Manny Malhotra at 8:57 of the second period, Kopitar needed 15 stitches on the outside of his mouth and three on the inside. He also lost a false tooth. "I look like a hockey player now," he said, his grin lopsided.
January 8, 2013 |
The NHL's lockout of players is likely to drag on until this weekend, after the collective bargaining agreement they tentatively forged early Sunday is completed, reviewed and ratified. But a lock that was open Monday at the Kings' El Segundo practice facility symbolized the beginning of a return to hockey normalcy. The door leading to their locker room was no longer deadbolted, giving players entry to dress and shower in luxury. Lockout rules had banished them to a cramped public locker room when they had rented ice for informal workouts, but those rules have been relaxed.