LA Kings Have Re-Discovered “Kings Hockey,” Perhaps Just In The Nick Of Time

AUDIO: Includes audio of media interviews with Matt Greene, Jake Muzzin and head coach Darryl Sutter after practice on Feburary 23, 2015.


LA Kings defenseman Matt Greene, shown here during a recent practice.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

EL SEGUNDO, CA — After winning seven straight games to move themselves, for at least one day, anyway, into third place in the Pacific Division, the Los Angeles Kings are firing on all cylinders, and as previously reported in this space, they’re doing it by playing Kings Hockey, a term used by the players off and on since last season.

Kings Hockey is when they smother opposing teams in the defensive zone, recovering pucks and breaking out quickly from their zone. That allows the Kings to generate speed through the neutral zone on attack. That speed is critical to their ability to beat opposing defensemen to loose pucks deep in the attacking zone, allowing them to get in on the forecheck, and create scoring chances off of that.

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Reasons Behind LA Kings’ Recent Success Might Not Be What You Think

LA Kings center Jarret Stoll, shown here during a recent practice.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Perhaps the most obvious reason that the Los Angeles Kings have won five straight games is because they have scored timely goals and have gotten the balanced scoring they have lacked all season long.

But that’s just the easy answer. The real starting point, when looking for the root cause of the Kings’ recent success lies 200 feet away, in their own zone.

Indeed, much-improved defensive play and penalty-killing have been the fundamental differences and the most important, most significant reasons behind the Kings’ current five-game winning streak.

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Believe It Or Not: Dwight King’s Critical Role In LA Kings’ Recent Success

AUDIO: Includes audio of media interview with Dwight King after practice on Feburary 17, 2015.


LA Kings left wing Dwight King, shown here during a recent practice.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Since he was called up to the Los Angeles Kings for good in the 2011-12 season when the Kings won their first Stanley Cup Championship in franchise history, left wing Dwight King has had his share of detractors.

Whether it was his perceived lack of speed or skating ability, his hands, puck-handling, goal scoring—you name it, King has probably been criticized rather heavily for it.

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LA Kings LW Prospect Maxim Kitsyn: “It’s Just Me. I Have To Be Better…It’s Not Anybody Else”

LA Kings left wing prospect Maxim Kitsyn, shown here
playing for the ECHL’s Ontario Reign.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

ONTARIO, CA — When we last checked in with Los Angeles Kings left wing prospect Maxim Kitsyn in December 2014, his head coach said that “he wills his way, every shift.”

A couple of months later, that hasn’t changed.

“You know [that] when he puts on the uniform, he’s going to give you 110 percent,” said Jason Christie, head coach of the Ontario Reign, the Kings’ current ECHL affiliate. “You see him out there—he works, he competes. That’s why he got a call up—because he battles. He’s determined. I think that’s the biggest thing—how determined he is, as a player.”

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9-Year-Old Cancer Patient, Hockey Player Grace Bowen Gets Royal Treatment From The LA Kings

Nine-year old Grace Bowen, a former hockey player
who was stricken by cancer, is shown here dropping
the puck for the ceremonial opening face-off prior to
the Calgary Flames vs. LA Kings game on
February 12, 2015, at Staples Center.
Photo: Aaron Poole/NHLI/Getty Images
and the Los Angeles Kings

LOS ANGELES — On a night when the Los Angeles Kings earned a much-needed 5-3 win over the Calgary Flames at Staples Center in Los Angeles, they honored former head coach Barry Melrose during one of their Legends Nights. But they also honored one very special guest.

On February 12, nine-year-old Grace Bowen, who played right wing for the West Northumberland Wild of the Lower Lakes Female Hockey League, was honored by the Kings prior to the game.

Accompanied by her father, Greg, and her mother, Andrea, young Grace, a native of Grafton, Ontario, dropped the puck for the ceremonial opening face-off.

As reported by Pete Fisher in Northumberland Today, Prior to her birthday in April 2014, Grace was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a rare form of cancer.

Doctors found a tumor in her right femur along with a pathological fracture. Grace underwent 7 1/2 months of chemotherapy, along with “…rotation plasty surgery to remove the tumor and utilize her ankle to create a new knee. That joint will be used when Grace gets a prosthetic.”

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