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Dean Lombardi: Anze Kopitar Must Learn To Handle Success

LOMBARDI ON KOPITAR: Los Angeles Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi talks about his star center, Anze Kopitar, and his struggles this season after starting the year on fire. Part 2 of a series. Look for part 3 early next week.


LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Kings started the 2009-10 season on fire, as did center Anze Kopitar.

The Kings were scoring goals in bunches, as the line of left wing Ryan Smyth, right wing Justin Williams and Kopitar were torching just about every opponent they faced.

Kopitar was largely responsible for that, as he opened the season on a serious tear with fourteen goals and seventeen assists for 31 points in the team’s first 21 games (October 3 – November 14, 2009).

Indeed, with Smyth going hard for loose pucks and consistently parking himself in front of the opposition’s net, Kopitar found himself with more room to maneuver in the offensive zone, giving him more scoring chances.

But it was much more than Smyth that made Kopitar the scoring terror that he was early in the season.

Off-season conditioning and strength work added muscle and endurance to Kopitar’s 6-3, 222-pound frame. That gave him more speed and power to get past defenders and to help him win more loose puck battles. Read more of this post

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Frozen Royalty Audio And NHL Video: Quick, Richardson Lead LA Kings To 2-1 Win Over Ovechkin, Capitals

LOS ANGELES — Brad Richardson assisted on the game-winning goal by Michal Handzus in the third period and made one solid play after another while Jonathan Quick was stellar in goal, stopping 26 shots, the two combining to lead the Los Angeles Kings to a 2-1 victory over the Alexander Ovechkin-led Washington Capitals in front of a sell-out crowd of 18,118 fans during a matinee affair at Staples Center on January 2.

The Kings dominated the first period, which ended with Kings left wing Ryan Smyth opening the scoring on the power play with his eleventh goal of the season at the 19:01 mark.

The Capitals took over control of the game in the second, putting the Kings way back on their heels. But on the strength of Quick’s play in goal, the Caps scored just once on a power play goal by defenseman Mike Green at 2:13. Read more of this post

Luc Robitaille: The King Of Kings – Part Two

The following is part two of an updated story written for the Online Kingdom back on April 14, 2006, a few days after Los Angeles Kings left wing Luc Robitaille announced his retirement as a player. It is being re-published in honor of his induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame on November 9, 2009. To read part one on FrozenRoyalty.net, click on Luc Robitaille: The King Of Kings – Part One.


Robitaille The Leader

I’ve always admired people who were gifted with the quality of leadership, and when leadership and raw athletic ability are found together in one person, it’s a rare combination to be sure. I think that one of the things that I appreciate most about Luc is that not only does he possess this combination, but that it is manifested in him in a unique way. Luc brings a contagious passion to the rink every day and to everything he does. I found that being around that kind of passion and desire made the game even more enjoyable for me and challenged me to give to my full capacity.
— Former Kings tough guy Stu Grimson
Read more of this post

Luc Robitaille: The King Of Kings – Part One

The following is an updated story written for the Online Kingdom back on April 14, 2006, a few days after Los Angeles Kings left wing Luc Robitaille announced his retirement as a player. It is being re-published in honor of Robitaille’s induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame on November 9, 2009. To read part two, click on Luc Robitaille: The King Of Kings – Part Two.


EL SEGUNDO, CA — Back on April 3, 1995, the night that all-time Los Angeles Kings great Dave Taylor had his jersey number 18 retired by the club, this reporter wrote that he was the King of Kings, earning that right above other all-time Kings’ greats such as Marcel Dionne, Rogie Vachon and Wayne Gretzky.

“No Kings’ player had ever measured up to Taylor when it came to heart, the desire to excel and win and the ability and willingness to go into the corners and sacrifice his body for his team,” I wrote. “No other Kings’ player has ever come close to Taylor as far as leadership—on the ice and off—is concerned, [and] no Kings’ player has ever matched his relentless work ethic, his dedication to his team, the game of hockey and his community.”

To be sure, Taylor had earned the right to wear the crown as the King of Kings, and was a great standard bearer for the organization, both on and off the ice. But on Tuesday, April 11, 2006, the day that Kings all-time great left wing Luc Robitaille announced at a press conference that he would retire at the conclusion of the 2005-06 season, Taylor immediately abdicated the crown because his reign is over. Robitaille now wears the crown as new Kings of Kings. Read more of this post

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