April 5, 2011 |
After watching rivals celebrate major accomplishments twice in the past three games, the Kings are in position again to do some rejoicing of their own. A victory over the Phoenix Coyotes on Wednesday at Staples Center would guarantee the Kings a playoff spot, a goal they were denied when they lost at San Jose and Dallas won twice. The Western Conference standings shifted again Tuesday when Nashville beat Atlanta and climbed to fourth, bumping the Coyotes and Kings to fifth and sixth, respectively.
February 11, 2011 |
Center Anze Kopitar is not injured. Nor is illness the reason he has no goals in his past 10 games and two in his last 25. "Everything's good," he said. Except that scoring drought. "No," he said, "that's awful. " Hoping to stir Kopitar out of his doldrums, Coach Terry Murray mixed up his lines again for Saturday's game against the Washington Capitals. Kopitar will center for Michal Handzus and the also-slumping Wayne Simmonds , who has no goals in his last 10 games and one in 18. Rookie Andrei Loktionov moves from left wing to his natural center spot, between Kyle Clifford and Dustin Brown . The reliable Ryan Smyth - Jarret Stoll - Justin Williams line remains intact and the fourth line is likely to again be made up of Alexei Ponikarovsky , Trevor Lewis and Kevin Westgarth . "It's one of those days again with different line combos.
January 13, 2011 |
Maybe it's time to stop saying the Kings are in a slump after their sizzling 12-3 start. Maybe the way they've been playing lately is who they really are, a punchless group that easily concedes its end of the ice and is frittering away an eight-game homestand. There was no other conclusion Thursday after their meek 3-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues, who lost at Anaheim on Wednesday and were winless in five games. The Blues weren't winless when they left Staples Center. The Kings gave them free passage through all three zones and probably handed over the keys to the Zamboni too. Who are the real Kings?
January 8, 2011 |
After stringing together a zigzagging series of streaks, the Kings hit the halfway point of the season Saturday grappling for balance and consistency. By bouncing from one extreme to another they provided few clues about how the rest of the season will unfold or about which of the faces they presented will prevail. Will it be the team that had the sensational start built around exemplary home penalty killing and a cohesive team defensive game in front of a sharp Jonathan Quick? Or will it be the Kings who lost seven of eight games from mid-November through mid-December and took a season-worst five-game losing streak into Saturday night's game against Columbus at Staples Center?
January 5, 2011 |
Even by the standards of itchy-fingered Coach Terry Murray , this was a significant shakeup. Hoping to stir his team out of a four-game losing streak, Murray revamped his top three lines for Thursday's game against Nashville. Players found out when they saw the color-coded jerseys in their locker stalls Wednesday. "The blender's out, eh?" left wing Ryan Smyth said, smiling. Left wing Marco Sturm , described by Murray as "still going through training camp and behind the play," was dropped from the top (purple)
January 3, 2011 |
Are the Kings victims of bad bounces and worse luck or simply not good enough to compete with the NHL's elite? They'll have a day off Tuesday to ponder that. Certainly they can use the time to decide if they ever intend to win during an eight-game homestand that continued Monday with a 4-3 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks at Staples Center. The Kings are 0-3 in this stretch and have lost four straight games overall, matching their longest winless streak this season. They lost all four games of their season series against the defending Stanley Cup champions not because the Blackhawks are infinitely better ?