LA Kings 2011 Training Camp: Goalie Prospect Jeff Zatkoff Approaches 2011-12 Season With Renewed Focus

LA Kings goaltender prospect Jeff Zatkoff.
Photo: David Sheehan

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Outside of the years superstar and should-be-Hall-of-Fame netminder Rogie Vachon dominated while toiling between the pipes, goaltending has traditionally been the weakest link for the Los Angeles Kings.

Even goaltender Mario Lessard only had one outstanding season with the Kings in 1980-81. He even played in the 1981 National Hockey League All-Star Game that year, along with the Kings’ “Triple Crown Line,” which featured Marcel Dionne, Charlie Simmer and Dave Taylor.

Kelly Hrudey backstopped the Kings during the Gretzky Era, and helped lead the Kings to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1992-93. But that team won by outscoring its opponents, not because of its defense and goaltending. Read more of this post

Strong Goalie Pipeline Is A First And A Sign Of Strength For The Los Angeles Kings

Goalie prospect Martin Jones speaks to the media during the
Los Angeles Kings 2011 Development Camp at the
Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California,
July 11-12, 2011.
Photo: Gann Matsuda

EL SEGUNDO, CA — With Jonathan Quick having established himself as a legitimate number one goaltender in the National Hockey League, and with Jonathan Bernier performing admirably in the backup role in his rookie year this past season, the Los Angeles Kings may have a one-two punch in goal that they have never had before.

Although Rogie Vachon is still the best goaltender in the history of the franchise, and Gary Edwards, the backup netminder during all but one of Vachon’s seasons with the Kings, was no slouch, the Kings’ current netminders have the potential to surpass the tandem of Vachon and Edwards.

Indeed, the Kings certainly appear to be set in goal for the foreseeable future. Read more of this post

Frozen Royalty Audio: 2011 Los Angeles Kings Development Camp – Part 2

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Frozen Royalty was present at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California on July 12 for the final day of the Los Angeles Kings 2011 Development Camp for their young prospects. Read more of this post

LA Kings Earn Split Against Phoenix Coyotes in Rookie Tournament

Los Angeles Kings center prospect Andrei Loktionov carries the puck in a 6-1 loss against Phoenix Coyotes prospects. Photo courtesy Thomas LaRocca/LAKings.com.

Los Angeles Kings center prospect Andrei Loktionov
carries the puck in a 6-1 loss against Phoenix Coyotes prospects.
Photo courtesy Thomas LaRocca/LAKings.com.

EL SEGUNDO, CA – After the first game of their 2009-10 Rookie Tournament, a 6-1 blowout loss to the young prospects of the Phoenix Coyotes, one might think that the Los Angeles Kings’ prospects should have stuck with the drills they were working on during the first three days of their rookie camp.

Indeed, the Kings prospects were a step slow from the opening face-off on Wednesday night at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California. They were outworked and outhustled throughout by the Coyotes prospects who seemed to be intent on skating on, over and through their counterparts.

In that first game, the Kings took some early penalties, immediately putting themselves at a big disadvantage. The Coyotes were all over the Kings from the start and things quickly spiraled out of control from there.

“You get four power plays in the first period, that really set the tone [for Phoenix],” said Kings head coach Terry Murray. “We were outshot 17-4 in the first period. It gets to be an easier game once you get a 2-3 goal lead.” Read more of this post

Los Angeles Kings: Jonathan Bernier Is Growing Up

Jonathan Bernier Courtesy Los Angeles Kings/NHL

Jonathan Bernier
Photo courtesy Los Angeles Kings/NHL

EL SEGUNDO, CA — About this time last year, highly-touted Los Angeles Kings goaltending prospect Jonathan Bernier showed up at the Kings annual development camp for their young prospects with a bit of a chip on his shoulder.

During last year’s development camp, I asked Bernier how he would feel if the Kings decided to send him to the minors even if he performed well at their 2008 training camp.

“I’ll be mad, really mad,” said the very confident, if not brash, young goaltending prospect.

As it turned out, Bernier suffered an injury during training camp and did not get a chance to be mad, at least, not for that reason. But in any case, it was a rather ominous sign of things to Read more of this post

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