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Category: Los-Angeles-Kings

Kings Need To Stay Focused

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

For core Kopitar, Brown, Drew Doughty and Jonathan Quick, this is all new. They had never won a playoff round before, let alone had a chance to get to a Stanley Cup finals. Sunday will test their ability to focus.

“You continue to try to harp detail on them,” Sutter said when asked about his team’s ability to not look ahead. “Hopefully they have the preparation skills to do that.”

Sutter later added: “You have to be able to channel all that, because if you don’t, it doesn’t work, right? There has to be discipline and control. I’m not a rocket scientist, they are people.”...

“Everyone talks about getting to the Stanley Cup finals, but I can only speak for myself, playing in that game tomorrow is pretty fun as well,” Brown said. “It’s one of those things where you have to really enjoy the journey. We’re one game away from the Cup finals. These games are tough, though.”

The Kings, to a man, say they’re just trying to enjoy the journey while staying in the moment.

“Experience is experience, right? It’s awesome for the young guys,” Sutter said. “They haven’t had it, most of them hadn’t even won a playoff game. So why not experience the experience? It’s the best part of it. Why shouldn’t they be able to do that. It’s the only way you get it, otherwise you go watch another team play.”

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Filed in: NHL Teams, d, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Coyotes Must Beat Quick

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

It doesn’t matter how well the Coyotes defend at this stage of the game. If Phoenix wants to avoid a sweep in Sunday afternoon’s fourth game at Staples Centre, they’ll simply need to score more goals. All the talk about diving and embellishment is just window dressing. Somebody on the Coyotes’ side needs to get more pucks behind Kings’ goaltender Jonathan Quick, a Vezina Trophy finalist, who is winning the netminding duel so far in the series.

According to Coyotes’ coach Dave Tippett, the first period of Thursday night’s third game – in which Phoenix actually held an edge on the shot clock and played its most inspired hockey of the series – was really the only time they made life hard for Quick.

“Until we continue to test him for an extended period of time,” said Tippett, “he hasn’t had it very tough down there.

“They’ve done a good job of protecting him, but I don’t think we’ve created enough around him.

“That’s the thing I’m most critical of our group about – finding opportunities.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Kings Getting Noticed

from Mark Pargas of the New York Times,

The Los Angeles Kings are on a bit of a roll in the Stanley Cup playoffs. But around New York, they cannot seem to rouse contempt for themselves or fans like me. And that is really what all fans want for their teams. You cannot turn around in any city in the United States without running into a Detroit Red Wings fan. They are all over the place, and the world is a little less peaceful for that reason, God bless them.

The Red Wings, who have an extensive alumni group of top players and have maintained their colors and team crest unchanged, have won 11 championships.

The Kings, on the other hand, have adopted a number of identities since their inaugural season in 1967-68. They have made one appearance in the Stanley Cup finals, in 1993, with Wayne Gretzky, Jari Kurri, Dave Taylor, Kelly Hrudey, Luc Robitaille and Rob Blake. That did not end well.

Since then, the Kings have not been consistent winners or thorns in the side of another team. But the current players, with their swarming forecheck and the level of excitement they take to the rink, are beginning to turn heads the way the stars in the stands at Staples Center do.

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It Will Be One Big Mess In LA

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

On the same day the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings play the Phoenix Coyotes with a chance to advance to the Stanley Cup final, their NBA brethren, the Los Angeles Clippers, will be home for a playoff game against the San Antonio Spurs in the same facility.

The Kings game is scheduled to start at noon local time; the Clippers at 7:30 p.m.

And if that wasn’t enough sporting distractions, the eighth stage of the Amgen Tour of California – sponsored by AEG, and billed as America’s biggest bicycle race – is scheduled to finish just outside Staples at 11:45 a.m.

It promises to be one grand, ungodly mess – or what Lee Zeidman, vice-president and general manager of Staples Center, called “an unprecedented weekend” for the city and facility.

The Kings are taking all the necessary precautions, installing their players and staff in a nearby hotel Saturday, so they will be close by Sunday. But even with AEG’s massive clout – it owns the arena, Kings, and the bike race – the NHL team couldn’t get into either of the hotels beside the arena

Instead, they are a couple of blocks away. And the players, like the fans, will need to cross Figueroa on a pedestrian bridge erected just for the occasion – or risk getting run over by the cyclists as they race to the finish line.

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Dealing With A Diver

from Kerry Fraser of TSN,

I have always admired the quiet leadership and aggressive, hard-hitting play that Dustin Brown has demonstrated throughout his NHL career, similarly to how I described Chris Neil of the Ottawa Senators in a previous column. Last night, the similarity between Brown and Neil did not just end with these admirable characteristics but also in a successful effort to draw a penalty by embellishing the push/shove of the stick by Oliver Ekman-Larsson. Brown’s reaction was not proportional to the force exerted by Ekman-Larsson but was rewarded with a power play in a city where Oscar’s are given for outstanding performances. Dustin Brown’s was not that deserving in this case.

For tough, hard-nosed players such as Brown, Neil and others, it is most unbecoming when they employ this tactic. It does harm to their reputation and they join an undesirable list of known offenders when their embellishment causes embarrassment to the referee and the game.

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Watch the “outstanding performance” from Brown below…

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dustin+brown

What’s With All This Embellishment Talk?

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

“Personally, I’ve talked about this in a lot of meetings with [GM Don Maloney], our general manager, that the game is turning a little dishonest and it’s embellishment by players,” Tippett said. “When it’s done well, it’s very hard for the referees, very hard, because if you fall down near the boards or you drop your stick or you throw your head back, you’re putting the referee in a very tough situation.”

No doubt Tippett was referring to the dropped stick on Radim Vrbata’s slashing penalty late in the game which all but killed any chance for Phoenix to tie it. Kings center Anze Kopitar’s stick was knocked loose by Vrbata on the play. Or did Kopitar drop it?

It capped a frustrating night for the Coyotes, who were penalized six times for 12 minutes while the Kings had two minors for four minutes.

“You know, not just our game tonight, you see it all through,” Tippett continued on the subject of embellishment.

“If everybody else is doing it, you better do it, too. We saw more than one penalty out there for us and against us that were called that I thought were plays where there was embellishment. It’s too bad it has to go that way. It’s too bad you get to this point in the season that that becomes a factor, but it’s the reality of our game right now.”

Kings coach Darryl Sutter seemed surprised when told of Tippett’s comments.

“Embellishing? I didn’t see that,” Sutter said. “We didn’t complain last game.”

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Sutter Pushing The Right Buttons

from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,

The Kings had already disposed of the No. 1-seeded Vancouver Canucks when Coach Darryl Sutter flipped two of his left wings and turned a good team into a juggernaut that has trampled the best the Western Conference has to offer while moving within a victory of earning a berth in the Stanley Cup finals.

Sutter’s decision to put brawny rookie Dwight King with Jarret Stoll and Trevor Lewis on the third line and move the hard-to-motivate Dustin Penner alongside Mike Richards and Jeff Carter on the second line was a stroke of genius. It meant every line had doses of size, quickness and puck-possession skills and was anchored by a solid, two-way center. With a big, productive first line and an energetic fourth line the Kings became even more cohesive and balanced — and, apparently, unstoppable.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: darryl+sutter

The Los Angeles Kings Are One Win Away From The Stanley Cup Final

The Kings defeated the Phoenix Coyotes 2-1 tonight and now lead the best of seven series 3-0.

The Coyotes came out in the first period and fired 11 shots at Jonathan Quick but only had 8 the remainder of the game, 4 in each of the last two periods.

The Kings played the same game we have witnessed throughout the playoffs; tight checking, key saves and at times a dominating forecheck.

The game winner was scored by Dwight King, his 4th of this series (the Coyotes have 3 goals total), early in the 3rd period.

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dwight+king

Kopitar In the Spotlight

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

The Kings’ ability to absorb and adapt to Sutter’s message is one of the primary reasons they are 10-1 in the playoffs and halfway to qualifying for their first Stanley Cup final in 19 years. The Kings lead the Phoenix Coyotes 2-0 in the Western Conference final, heading into Thursday’s third game, a game in which the Coyotes will play without centre Martin Hanzal, who was suspended one game by the NHL for a dangerous hit from behind against Kopitar’s linemate, Dustin Brown.

Brown and goaltender Jonathan Quick are the Kings’ leading Conn Smythe trophy contenders, but Kopitar is No. 3 with a bullet, and in the midst of a strong playoff of his own. Through 11 games, he is second on the team in scoring with 13 points, one behind Brown. Kopitar is the Kings’ perennial scoring leader, a player whose ability to play at both ends of the rink is what makes him so valued by the team’s coaching staff and his teammates.

“I don’t want to say Kopi’s underrated, but he’s very underrated in the D zone, with how hard that he plays,” said linemate Justin Williams. “You respect that as a winger, knowing that he’s hard on guys in the defensive zone. We get a lot more time in the offensive zone, because he’s so good in our zone.”

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: anze+kopitar

Afternoon Line

“My greatest fear is I retire and the Kings win the Stanley Cup the next year.”

-Bob Miller, legendary TV voice of the LA Kings.  More on Miller from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bob+miller

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

 

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