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Tyler Toffoli Improved His Two-Way Play In 2011-12 Without Sacrificing Offense

Forward prospect Tyler Toffoli, shown here during the
Los Angeles Kings 2012 Development Camp,
July 6-10, 2012, at the Toyota Sports Center
in El Segundo, California.
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Left wings Dwight King and Jordan Nolan surprised everyone late last season by not only staying with the big club after they were recalled from the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League in early February 2012, but also by playing a key role in the Los Angeles Kings making the playoffs, and winning the Stanley Cup just a little over two months ago.

With the two having “graduated” from the AHL, and with serious doubts that center Andrei Loktionov is capable of producing consistently at the National Hockey League level, primarily due to his lack of size and strength, one young player could very well be the Kings’ top forward prospect, even though he has not yet played at the professional level.

That player is none other than center/right wing Tyler Toffoli, who could be the forward prospect with greatest potential to make an impact at the NHL level for the Kings.

Last season, Toffoli, who was selected by the Kings in the second round (47th overall) of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, scored 52 goals and tallied 48 assists for 100 points, with a +31 plus/minus rating, and 22 penalty minutes in 65 regular season games with the Ottawa 67’s of the Ontario Hockey League. Read more of this post

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2011-12 Year-In-Review: Can LA Kings Forwards Reach The Next Level After Stanley Cup Win?

Looking ahead to 2012-13, can Los Angeles Kings star center Anze Kopitar, shown here during the team’s
Stanley Cup Championship Rally on June 14, 2012, at Staples Center in Los Angeles, avoid the prolonged
slumps that have plagued him throughout his career?
(click to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

LOS ANGELES — Although it certainly ended with a huge bang, the 2011-12 season was one of struggle for the Los Angeles Kings, given the fact that they qualified for the playoffs by the skins of their teeth.

Indeed, the Kings’ inability to score goals, a problem that plagued them until the trade deadline in February, almost cost them an invitation to the post-season party, and would likely have resulted in a shake-up in the Kings front office (see 2011-12 Los Angeles Kings Year-In-Review: Front Office Turnaround Set Stanley Cup Run In Motion, and 2011-12 Year-In-Review: Doughty Holdout, Failure To Execute In Offensive Zone Almost Sunk LA Kings Early).

But, as detailed in the previous story in this multi-part series that looks back on the Kings’ 2011-12 season, they put it all together in the final six weeks of the season, earning an 11-4-3 record, good for 25 points, securing the eighth and final playoff berth in the Western Conference, setting up their dominant run to the first Stanley Cup Championship in the 45-year history of the franchise.

In part 4 of Frozen Royalty’s 2011-12 Year-In-Review, it is now time to evaluate the players, coaches, and management. In this installment…the forwards. Read more of this post

Los Angeles Kings Can’t Afford To Keep Giving Points Away

Los Angeles Kings Forward Trevor Lewis earned some solid praise from head coach Darryl Sutter after practice on January 20, 2012, at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California.
Photo: David Sheehan

LOS ANGELES AND EL SEGUNDO, CA — 48 games into the 2011-12 National Hockey League season, the Los Angeles Kings have a 23-15-10 record, good for 56 points. That puts them in second place in the Pacific Division, one point behind the San Jose Sharks (through games played on January 20), and in seventh place in the Western Conference, four points ahead of the Colorado Avalanche, their next opponent (Saturday, January 21, 7:30 PM PST, Staples Center).

San Jose is third in the conference, and the Chicago Blackhawks, with 64 points, leads the West. As such, the Kings remain in the thick of the Western Conference playoff race, and could still come out on top of the Pacific Division, even though the Sharks have four games in hand. Read more of this post

LA Kings Make A Statement To End 2011 In 4-1 Victory Over Vancouver Canucks

Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar ended a 17-game goal scoring drought during a 4-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks at Staples Center
in Los Angeles on New Year’s Eve 2011.
Photo: Victor Decolongon/Getty Images via the Los Angeles Kings

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Kings have struggled through much of the final month of 2011, losing five straight games from December 3 – 13, and winning just twice from December 1 – December 17.

Indeed, things have looked pretty bleak with an anemic offense, the worst in the National Hockey League. But, somehow, the Kings never dropped out of the picture in the Western Conference standings, and after handing the high-powered Vancouver Canucks a 4-1 drubbing at Staples Center in Los Angeles on New Year’s Eve, they not only ended the year on a high note, but…hold onto your party hats…they now find themselves in sole possession of first place in the Pacific Division and third place in the Western Conference. Read more of this post

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