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LA Kings: Inconsistent Play Stopping Forecheck Before It Can Get Started

ALSO: Update on Dustin Brown adjusting to having to wear a knee brace; Defenseman Alec Martinez could become left wing Alec Martinez; Anze Kopitar makes a young man’s wish come true, and; in an audio interview, Willie Mitchell discusses hitting and fighting in the National Hockey League.


Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar (left), with 18-year-old Tyler Fithian, a leukemia patient whose wish to skate with Kopitar was granted by the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Los Angeles, on October 23.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net

LOS ANGELES AND EL SEGUNDO, CA — Entering tonight’s game against the Phoenix Coyotes at Staples Center in Los Angeles (7:30 PM PDT; televised locally on Fox Sports West), the Los Angeles Kings are a disappointing 6-4-0 to start the season, good for twelve points. That ranks them a lowly fifth in the seven-team Pacific Division, and seventh in the Western Conference.

Although it is way too early in the season to be overly concerned, to this point in the season, inconsistent play has been a rather glaring issue for the Kings, and it has shown up mostly in their inability to generate a forecheck with any semblance of regularity, as was evident in a 3-2 loss to the Calgary Flames at Staples Center on October 21.

Indeed, even though the Kings took too many penalties and gave up three power play goals, their problems extended beyond their poor penalty-killing that night.

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Los Angeles Kings: Too Early To Panic Despite Slow Start

ALSO: Will Alec Martinez return to the lineup tonight against Ottawa? Willie Mitchell talks about complacency, and video interviews with Colin Fraser, Trevor Lewis, and head coach Darryl Sutter.


Los Angeles Kings right wing Justin Williams shared
ome very strong words about his team’s
play so far this season.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO AND LOS ANGELES, CA — After a 1-2-0 start to the still very young 2013-14 National Hockey League season, a quick spin through the World Wide Web forums where the Los Angeles Kings faithful congregate indicates that while many are not concerned with the team’s poor start, a significant number are already in panic mode.

Indeed, some fans are already pointing fingers, and railing against the performance of various players. Some have singled out goaltender Jonathan Quick. Even head coach Darryl Sutter has been under the microscope—some have commented that they believe he has lost control of his team, and has been tuned out by the players.

One word can be used to address such beliefs…

Really?

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LA Kings Defenseman Keaton Ellerby: “You’re Always Battling For A Spot”

Los Angeles Kings defenseman Keaton Ellerby
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — In this space on September 14, I reported that defenseman Alec Martinez, one of the Los Angeles Kings’ defensemen who could be the odd man out once the 2013-14 National Hockey League regular season begins due to the Kings’ current surplus of players on their blue line, indicated that he is not worrying about his shaky situation.

“You’ve just got to focus on your own game,” said Martinez. “Get your own game in order so that you’re playing well, and let the chips fall where they may.”

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LA Kings Comeback “Kids:” Willie Mitchell and Jeff Schultz

Los Angeles Kings defenseman Willie Mitchell
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — As we move into the seventh day of the Los Angeles Kings 2013 Training Camp, only four of the team’s defensemen are guaranteed to be in the opening night lineup in a few weeks.

Drew Doughty, Matt Greene, Robyn Regher, and Slava Voynov are locks to be patrolling the Kings blue line come opening night. That leaves three or four roster spots for players such as Keaton Ellerby, Alec Martinez, and Jake Muzzin to battle each other for.

Two players trying to make comebacks of sorts are also in the mix, including veteran defenseman Willie Mitchell, who is working his way back into shape after sitting out for more than a year due to two surgical procedures on his knee.

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