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Are The LA Kings On The Right Track For 20-Game Sprint To The Finish?

AUDIO: Includes audio interviews with Drew Doughty, Alec Martinez, Willie Mitchell, Jake Muzzin, Jarret Stoll and Justin Williams.


LA Kings right wing Justin Williams: “This time of year is when we play our best hockey. These last twenty games is playoff time.
It’s time to show up.”
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

LOS ANGELES AND EL SEGUNDO, CA — Even though the Los Angeles Kings have won all three of their games since the National Hockey League returned to the ice following the Olympic break—they have won four straight games overall—they know their game is not yet where it needs to be. Nevertheless, there is little doubt that they have picked up their game since the break ended.

“We wanted to have a good start coming out of the break,” said defenseman Alec Martinez. “It’s no secret that we weren’t happy with our game before the break started.”

“We’re scoring goals, and we’ve been playing our game, the last three games,” added Martinez. “That’s certainly a good sign, but we’ve got twenty more to go. We’ve got to keep it going.”

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LA Kings Anze Kopitar Talks Olympics, Sprint To The Finish

LA Kings center Anze Kopitar
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Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Well before the Los Angeles Kings hit the ice on February 24, an unusually large throng of local media had already gathered at their practice facility, the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California. In fact, with all the television and radio news media present, it looked like we had skipped over the final 23 games of the regular season for the Kings and moved right into the playoffs, which is when the local broadcast media start to show up at practices.

But on this day, center Anze Kopitar returned to the Kings’ practice ice for the first time since the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia ended, and he did so as an Olympic hero, of sorts. After all, even though he did not win a medal, he led Slovenia to a nearly miraculous 3-1 win over Slovakia in the preliminary round. Slovenia also shutout Austria in the Qualification Round, 4-0, to reach the Quarterfinals.

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Sprint To The Finish Gives LA Kings Almost No Time To Fix What’s Broken

Los Angeles Kings defenseman Robyn Regehr, shown here during a recent practice at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — When we last left the Los Angeles Kings, they had just defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets, 2-1 in overtime, on February 6, at Staples Center.

The win ended a four-game losing streak. But looking at the bigger picture, there were still a lot of things in their game that were broken, as their 6-13-2 record over their last 21 games indicates.

Center Mike Richards hopes that the Olympic break gave the Kings enough of a respite that they will be able to break loose offensively when they return to the ice at Colorado on February 26.

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Open Letter To Culver City City Council on Culver City Ice Arena

The following is an open letter that was sent to members of the City Council, City of Culver City (this one was addressed to the Mayor), regarding the property where the Culver City Ice Arena operated (the former practice home of the Los Angeles Kings; they closed on February 2). A new lessee, Planet Granite, wants to build a rock climbing, yoga and fitness center in that location.

As a long-time resident of Culver City, California, I felt compelled to let the City Council here know that a new, state-of-the-art ice rink in that location, and everything that comes with it, is what’s best for Culver City.

UPDATED: February 20, 2014. Now includes video of public comment period during City Council meeting, City of Culver City, February 10, 2014, when supporters of the Culver City Ice Arena addressed the City Council, including Los Angeles Kings radio color commentator Daryl Evans, and yours truly.


The landmark sign outside the Culver City Ice Arena.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net

Honorable Jeffrey Cooper
Mayor, City of Culver City
9770 Culver Boulevard
Culver City, CA 90232-2703

Dear Mayor Cooper:

As you are aware, the Culver City Ice Arena has ceased operations, with a new lessee, Planet Granite, expected to takeover the property with the purpose of building a yoga, rock climbing and fitness center.

As you must also be aware, City staff has discovered a zoning variance granted to the owners of the property that dictates that an ice rink is the only approved business that can be operated at that site. If I am reading the document correctly, the existence of this variance indicates that for the property to be used for any other purpose, another zoning variance would have to be granted, or the property would have to be re-zoned.

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