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.
February 7, 2012 |
TAMPA, Fla. — The Kings are nearly unbeatable when scoring at least three goals. Too bad for them it has happened only 16 times this season. Kyle Clifford and Dustin Penner had second-period goals to lead the Kings past the Tampa Bay Lightning, 3-1, Tuesday night. Anze Kopitar also scored for the Kings, who are 15-0-1 when scoring three goals or more. Jonathan Quick, who began the game with a 2-0-0 record and a 0.38 goals-against average in three games against Tampa Bay, made 24 saves.
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.
November 27, 2011 |
A few good shifts and missing an open net in the third period of the Kings' 2-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday apparently earned winger Trent Hunter a spot on the first line Monday against San Jose. Coach Terry Murray, whose team has scored seven goals in the last four games, revamped his top three lines in practice Sunday to promote Hunter. Although the veteran has no goals and two assists in 11 games and has averaged only 11 minutes and nine seconds' ice time, he's expected to play on Anze Kopitar's right.
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.
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.
October 18, 2013 |
NASHVILLE - To even reach the highlight package known as the shootout - in which Anze Kopitar won it for the Kings in the third round - the Kings had to do some decidedly unglamorous and old-school work Thursday night. The Kings had to kill off a four-on-three in overtime against Nashville, which meant facing the weapon of defenseman Shea Weber's shot. They may not have emerged unscathed, but they survived and won, 2-1, in a shootout against the Predators at Bridgestone Arena, giving them three wins on this four-game trip and four out of five overall.
March 20, 2012 |
So this was the Kings' strategy: to torture themselves and their increasingly queasy fans through 60 painfully low-scoring games and then reinvent themselves as a productive team that appears to be peaking at the right time. With the West playoff race grinding along in lock-step, now is the time to get hot. The Kings, newly balanced offensively after the arrival of Jeff Carter and benefiting from the vigor of rookies Slava Voynov, Jordan Nolan and Dwight King, continued their revival Tuesday with a 5-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks at Staples Center.
January 21, 2012 |
One effective line and one goal were not nearly enough for the Kings on Saturday night, a refrain that is becoming all too familiar. Their 3-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche, played before a restless crowd at Staples Center, was another example of their offensive shortcomings and inability to get the balance and depth they need to make an impact in the Western Conference. Worn down by Colorado's physical play in the early going, the Kings mustered four shots in the first period against Jean-Sebastien Giguere and 26 overall.