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Los Angeles Kings Let It All Skate Away Against San Jose

LOS ANGELES — Four days after the Los Angeles Kings were eliminated in six games from the first round of 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs by the San Jose Sharks, the Kings dressing room at Staples Center has probably been cleaned out, not to be used (at least, not by the Kings), until next season.

Despite losing in six games, the Kings came close to, not just extending the series to a seventh game, but to advancing to the second round. Indeed, when they were on top of their game, their forecheck, defensive zone coverage and goaltending gave the Sharks fits.

“We had opportunities to win this series,” Kings right wing and team captain Dustin Brown lamented. “We had a 4-0 lead at home in Game 3, and two other overtime games. We were right there.” Read more of this post

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Los Angeles Kings Getting Offense From Surprising Source

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Going into the Los Angeles Kings’ first round playoff series against the San Jose Sharks, if someone predicted that their third line of Kyle Clifford, Brad Richardson and Wayne Simmonds would account for six goals and seven assists for 13 points after five games, they would be quickly dismissed as being insane.

Kyle Clifford (left), Brad Richardson (right), and Wayne Simmonds
(center, facing away) are the unexpected leaders of the Los Angeles Kings’
offensive attack in their first round playoff series against the San Jose Sharks.
Photo: David Sheehan

Further, if anyone predicted that Clifford, a wet-behind-the-ears, twenty-year-old rookie who is known for more for throwing his weight around, would lead the team in playoff scoring with three goals and two assists for five points, they would probably be laughed at.

But those nutty predictions have proven to be prescient, as Clifford, Richardson and Simmonds have been the Kings’ top line, not their third line that is only expected to be an energy line, a checking line. Indeed, they have led the way offensively for the heavily defensive-oriented Kings, who trail the Sharks in the series, 3-2, with Game 6 scheduled for tonight at Staples Center in Los Angeles. Read more of this post

LA Kings On Short Road To Recovery After Game 3 Flop Against San Jose

The Los Angeles Kings gather around head coach Terry Murray on April 20, 2010, at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California, as
they prepared for Game 4 of their first round playoff series against
the San Jose Sharks on April 21, 2011.
Photo: David Sheehan

EL SEGUNDO, CA — The morning after the worst come-from-ahead loss in their playoff history, the Los Angeles Kings hit the ice at their practice facility, not to mention the road to recovery, after Game 3 of their first round playoff series on April 19, a game that may be remembered as the Flop On Figueroa.

In case you missed it, the Kings had a 4-0 lead early in the second period, and then got complacent. They allowed five goals in the period, along with another in overtime, gift-wrapping a 6-5 win for the San Jose Sharks, who now hold a 2-1 series lead going into Game 4 tonight at Staples Center in Los Angeles. Read more of this post

Being Offensive Would Be A Good Thing For The Los Angeles Kings

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Under normal circumstances, being offensive is not a good thing. But for the Los Angeles Kings, it would be more than welcomed, as it is no secret that they do not score a lot of goals. That is a big reason why they are tremendous underdogs heading into their Western Conference Quarterfinal playoff series against the San Jose Sharks, starting on April 14 at HP Pavilion in San Jose.

Logo courtesy National Hockey League

Especially with the Kings missing their best player, star center Anze Kopitar, who is out until next season due to a broken right ankle with torn ligaments, the Kings will probably need a miracle to advance to the second round of the playoffs.

To illustrate the Kings’ offensive woes, they ended the season ranked 25th in the league, scoring just 2.55 goals per game, while the Sharks scored 2.96 goals per game, ranking sixth in the National Hockey League.

As one might guess from those numbers, the Kings’ power play is anemic as well, ranking 21st in the NHL with a 16.1 percent rating.

Meanwhile, the Sharks had the second-best power play in the league with a 23.5 percent rating. Read more of this post

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