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Category: Los-Angeles-Kings

Change Of Culture Underway In LA

from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,

Dean Lombardi wasn’t exactly warned against becoming Kings general manager four years ago. But he wasn’t encouraged either.

His chief mentor, Flyers executive and Hall of Fame center Bobby Clarke, had the strongest words.

“He told me to be careful because he wasn’t sure whether they’d stick through what had to be done because of their reputation,” Lombardi said, referring to the Kings’ habit of ditching rebuilding plans, reversing course and getting nowhere.

After a long wait, the Kings have found their way back to the playoffs. They are the sixth-seeded team in the tough Western Conference and Thursday night play their first postseason game since 2002, facing the third-seeded Vancouver Canucks.

continued

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

Not An LA Fad

from Hannah Karp of the Wall Street Journal,

There’s a strange new bandwagon to jump on here, and it has nothing to do with Botox or tiny dogs or female directors or 10-day juice fasts in the desert. The flavor of the month is an oft-forgotten sports team with an underground, pasty-skinned, punk-rock following: hockey’s Los Angeles Kings.

For the first time since Wayne Gretzky skipped town in the 1990s, the Kings, long the laughingstock of the league, are actually good again. Led by a slew of young, wisely chosen draft picks including the NHL’s first Slovenian player, 22-year-old Anze Kopitar, and a 20-year-old Canadian named Drew Doughty, who’s been compared to legendary defenseman Bobby Orr, the Kings are headed to their first postseason in eight years.

continued

thanks to LA Kings Insider for the pointer

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In It To Win It Or Just Happy To Be There

from Rich Hammond of LA Kings Insider,

With the Kings making the playoffs this season, and exceeding most reasonable expectations for how they would do in the regular season, I’m curious as to how you view this season. What, after the final game is played, will make you feel as though this season has been a success?

read on for the numerous responses from Kings fans…

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Quick May Be A Concern For Kings

from Helene Elliott at the Fabulous Forum,

The physical and emotional readiness of goaltender Jonathan Quick has become an issue for the Kings. He was rested for two games last week to work on his technique and give him a mental break, but he’s winless since his return after an overtime loss to the Ducks on Saturday and a no-decision against the Ducks on Tuesday in which he gave up three goals on eight shots and had to watch the Kings’ rally from the bench.

Quick was scheduled to start against the Coyotes on Thursday at Staples Center, his seventh attempt at winning his 40th game of the season. He has two no-decisions, three regulation losses and an overtime loss since his last win, March 22 against Colorado.

Coach Terry Murray has been adamant that Quick is his No. 1 goalie and that Quick is fine with a heavy workload. But a look at the NHL’s 10 busiest goalies finds that Quick, who has gone from 2,494 minutes on ice last season to 4,128:52 before Thursday’s game, is the youngest goalie in that group. Which makes it reasonable to wonder if, as he finishes his first full NHL season, he has had enough experience to smoothly handle this kind of jump.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jonathan+quick

Many Of The Kings Anticipating Playoff Fever

from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,

Over many dinners, Kings center Anze Kopitar has heard playoff tales from Rob Scuderi, who won the Stanley Cup with Pittsburgh last spring, and Justin Williams, a 2006 champion with Carolina, and soaked up every detail.

“The old stories come out,” Kopitar said. “They kind of walked me through it and I watch the NHL Network to see all the clips from a couple years ago. You see the atmosphere on TV but you definitely want to experience it when you’re on the ice.”

Next week Kopitar will get his wish, joining many teammates in an NHL playoff baptism.

Like Kopitar, Jack Johnson, Peter Harrold, Drew Doughty, Wayne Simmonds, team captain Dustin Brown, Alexander Frolov, Raitis Ivanans, Davis Drewiske, Rich Clune, Scott Parse and goaltenders Erik Ersberg and Jonathan Quick have never known the rigors and rewards of NHL postseason play.

continued

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Kings In, Now More Work Ahead

from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,

The Kings set high expectations with a strong start that briefly put them fourth in the West, a tough standard to maintain with a young team. Core players Dustin Brown, Anze Kopitar, Drew Doughty, Jonathan Quick and Jack Johnson have never played an NHL playoff game and they’ve learned it isn’t easy to get there.

“If we had approached this playoff spot from the bottom it’s a Cinderella thing,” General Manager Dean Lombardi said. “Ultimately, if you’re going to be the top team you’ve got to learn to deal with expectations. Not only did they put themselves in playoff position, they approached it from the top down. They put the pressure on themselves.”

Lombardi credited the scouts and coaches for their work and cited the emergence of Quick, Kopitar and Doughty as a key reason the Kings have reached the promised land in Lombardi’s fourth season.

more

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Quick Feels Time Off Helped His Game

from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,

Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick, who has played a career-high 4,041 minutes, did not ask to sit while Jonathan Bernier started and won the last two games. But Quick said Friday having time to refine his game will benefit him Saturday night when he faces the Ducks at Staples Center with the Kings’ magic number to clinch a playoff spot at four points.

“You’re going day to day. You’re taking one day at a time. Along the way you are going to feel fatigue, either mentally or physically,” Quick said. “But you just kind of every day talk yourself into being up for the game no matter how you’re feeling.

“Regardless, I think those two games off there was a good respite. Mentally and physically I feel good. I got three solid days of practice these last three days here. I feel confident about my game and I feel confident about the team’s game. They’ve been playing well.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jonathan+quick

Tanner Glass Hit on Jeff Halpern Last Night

via Pierre LeBrun tweet today,

Glass hit on Halpern last night in LA definitely blindside shot to the head IMO

Do you agree?

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jeff+halpern, tanner+glass

Kings Prepare For The Playoffs

from Mark Whicker of the OC Register,

There will be much written and said about the Kings as playoff newbies but they’re better prepared for this than you think.

Four have won Stanley Cups: Rob Scuderi (Pittsburgh), Justin Williams (Carolina), Fredrik Modin (Tampa Bay) and Sean O’Donnell (Ducks).

In the room there are 488 man-games of postseason experience, including 87 by O’Donnell and 81 by Smyth.

Drew Doughty, Dustin Brown and Jack Johnson haven’t gotten past the vernal equinox in the NHL, but they breathed the pressurized air of the Olympics.

“You’ve got to be on top of the things in the playoffs because there’s no room for error,” Smyth said Thursday morning. “It comes down to whether you can outplay and outwork the guy in front of you. If enough guys do that, you’ll be successful.

“If we get into the playoffs it will be a huge accomplishment. No question that we would have taken this position at the start of the year.”

more

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Kings May Be Afraid To Win

from Rich Hammond of LA Kings Insider,

After today’s morning skate, Terry Murray was asked what his message was to the team today. There is plenty of subtext to today’s game, with the ever-tight playoff race, the Kings’ four-game winless streak and their seven-game winless streak against the Nashville Predators. The Kings held a morning skate today, which isn’t typical before the second of back-to-back games. Also not typical is the fact that 14 skaters, and all three goalies, participated, a larger-than-normal number for any optional skate. Afterward, Murray talked about his message to the team…

MURRAY: “This is part of a process that you go through, and I’ve seen it with other teams that I’ve coached. We’re a little bit on that `afraid to win’ side right now, where your game is a little out of sync and the hesitancy is there in the early part of the game. As we go into later in the game and we’re down by a goal, two goals, now we start to play the way that we have shown most of the year.

continued

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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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