Los Angeles Kings/Phoenix Coyotes: 2012 Western Conference Finals Preview

The NHL’s 2012 Western Conference Finals may boil down to a goaltender’s duel between Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick (shown here at a
recent practice session), and Phoenix Coyotes netminder Mike Smith.
(click to view a larger image).
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Despite what the players and coaches have been saying over the past week, the National Hockey League’s 2012 Western Conference Finals (Game 1 is scheduled for tonight, 5:00 PM PDT, Jobing.com Arena in Glendale, Arizona) features two teams that are very, very similar.

Whether it is a hard, aggressive forecheck, solid play in the defensive end, stand-on-your-head goaltending, both teams making strong runs at the end of the season to make the playoffs, and peaking at just the right time, the Los Angeles Kings and the Phoenix Coyotes, both Pacific Division rivals, would not be easy to differentiate if they wore the same jerseys. Read more of this post

Los Angeles Kings: Not Easy For Black Aces To Stay Focused, Ready

Los Angeles Kings backup goalie Jonathan Bernier sprawls to make
a save during a recent practice session.
(click to view a larger image).
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Every team in the National Hockey League’s Stanley Cup Playoffs has them, but they are usually unseen, or keep to themselves, staying out of the limelight, patiently waiting for their chance to crack the lineup, often a fleeting opportunity, at best.

These are the Black Aces, the extra skaters and goaltenders who rarely get the chance to play in the post-season, if at all, during a team’s run through the playoffs.

But wait a minute…where on Earth did the term, Black Aces come from, anyway?

As it turns out, the term was derived from the “Dead Man’s Hand” in poker, consisting of a pair of eights, the Ace of Spades, and the Ace of Clubs. Read more of this post

From Murray To Sutter: What’s Changed For The Los Angeles Kings?

Los Angeles Kings head coach Darryl Sutter (right), shown here with defenseman Drew Doughty (left), during a recent practice session.
(click to view a larger image).
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — With the Los Angeles Kings set to face their Pacific Division rival, the Phoenix Coyotes, in the 2012 Western Conference Finals—just the second time in the Kings’ 44-year history that they have reached the conference finals—many are still shaking their heads, blown away at the dominance the Kings have displayed in dispatching the Vancouver Canucks in five games, followed by a four-game sweep of the St. Louis Blues in the second round.

The Kings have accomplished all that by getting solid contributions from throughout their lineup, as 15 players have scored goals in the post-season, and their top players have outplayed their counterparts by a wide margin.

As much as the focus has been on the stellar performances of right wing Dustin Brown, center Anze Kopitar, and goaltender Jonathan Quick, Darryl Sutter has had a tremendous impact Read more of this post

Frozen Royalty’s Gann Matsuda Breaks Down LA Kings’ Playoff Run With Brad Kurtzberg on STN Sports Report

Logo courtesy: SportsTalkNetwork.com

Less than 24 hours after the Los Angeles Kings completed their four-game sweep of the St. Louis Blues in the Western Conference Semifinals, I broke down the Kings’ 2012 playoff run to date on The STN Sports Report with Brad Kurtzberg.

Kurtzberg, who covers the New York Islanders, and has written a book, Shorthanded: The Untold Story of the California Golden Seals, can be heard, Monday through Friday, 10:00 AM PT (1:00 PM ET). Read more of this post

Frozen Royalty’s Gann Matsuda Wraps-Up LA Kings Sweep of St. Louis Blues On From The Arena by Inside Sports

Immediately following post-game interviews after the Los Angeles Kings’ 3-1 victory in Game 4 of their Western Conference Semifinal series against the St. Louis Blues on Sunday, May 6, giving the Kings a four-game sweep in the series, yours truly appeared on Inside SportsFrom The Arena post-game show hosted by Charles E. Smith, Jr. Read more of this post

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